Selling (part of) a business

  1. Try and keep the sales process confidential – performance invariably suffers when a business is up for sale – which will hurt the ultimate price
  2. Also, keep your information confidential. Some ‘buyers’ will present themselves when really all they want is to see your data. They actually have no intention of seeing a transaction through. Beware particularly of direct competitors. Be ready to give them limited up front info, then if they prove really to be serious, show them some more. You can do this through a ‘dataroom’, where they can view, perhaps take notes, but not copy or take things away. Ensure they do not take a camera phone in with them!
  3. Tidy the business up and prepare a really good Information Memorandum and Due Diligence file with everything neatly presented. This will help persuade the buyers that what they are buying is in good order.
  4. Do your research as to recent transactions and get your pricing right
  5. Read the tips on making acquisitions and where applicable, reverse them
  6. Read the meters etc. Write to providers and make sure you only get billed up to the cut-off (completion) date (rent, rates, water, electricity, gas, phone, adsl et al)
  7. Cancel all applicable direct debits and standing orders
  8. Put an accounts process in place to ensure you do not pay any bills in future
  9. Where you can make it applicable, sell a company not the assets (as nasties coming out of the woodwork then cease to be yours)
  10. Take tax planning advice

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