YOUR COMMERCIAL BUSINESS SPECIALISTS
We will save you time, money and frustration
Initial Business Appraisal
Many businesses are placed on the market without any preparation whatsoever. For example, does the success of the business depend on the current owner? What are the trading trends? Is significant investment going to be required in the short term? What are the relationships with key customers and suppliers?
Once we are both confident that the business is ready for sale we will need to undertake a detailed valuation.
This process will involve gaining an understanding of your market strength and position, your financial performance and your assets and liabilities.
In certain circumstances such as where there is substantial freehold property involved, we may recommend an independent valuation of the real estate. The ‘bricks and mortar’ valuation will be required by your purchaser so it makes sense to undertake the exercise at the outset.
As soon as we are formally instructed we will produce an Information Memorandum for your approval. Once this document is approved the marketing of your business will begin. Our marketing methods include:
- Online ad
- Making confidential approaches to sector-specific prospective purchasers identified by us.
- Making confidential approaches to sector-specific prospects we jointly identify with our client.
Confidentiality is of paramount importance throughout the sale process. All potential purchasers are very carefully screened in order to ensure that they are both qualified and serious prospects for your business. Undertakings of confidentiality will always be required from all interested parties prior to any detailed information being released. In any event, commercially confidential information will not be released without your approval.
Prospective purchasers wishing to make an offer for your business will be referred to us and we will negotiate the price and other terms on your behalf.
Heads of Terms
As soon as an agreement is reached with your buyer we will draw up the Heads of Terms document. This document will be used by your solicitor and other professional advisors to ensure that the contracts and other formal documents accurately reflect the terms of the transaction.
Your buyer will want to undertake some detailed Due Diligence. We will coordinate this exercise and will be available to try to ensure that any misunderstandings or issues are resolved quickly and to your satisfaction.
We will work with the other professionals involved in order to ensure that the transaction is completed effectively and in accordance with the timescale agreed.
The Dynamics of Commercial Property Are Different
The dynamics of buying a business are complex and it’s important to consider specific needs, supply and demand, yield, and development outcomes so you can make the best decision.
The key is to have clear goals and to understand the dynamics specific to your situation so you make the smartest decision possible.
Factors to Consider For Your Next Investment
How can I prevent my employees, my customers and my vendors from knowing I’m selling?
Confidentiality is, perhaps, the most critical issue for a business broker. Virtually every business seller doesn’t want his employees, customers or vendors to know that his business is for sale. We are very aware of this fact and in every step that we take we emphasize confidentiality.
How long will it take to sell my business?
There is a great deal of variation in the time frame, but, if we had to pick an average time, eight to nine months may be close. While this may sound like a long time, all of the facets of selling a company, including listing the business, finding buyers, interviewing buyers, writing contracts, due diligence and finally the closing process are all time consuming.
I have a long-term lease with my landlord. Am I going to be able to transfer that?
Transfer of the lease is crucial to the success of the transaction. It will be almost impossible to consummate a deal unless the lease can be transferred. Leases will have a clause that defines the landlord’s rights regarding transfer. Frequently the seller will be required to remain as a guarantor of the lease and often there may be a charge by the landlord for the transfer.
I’ve taken cash out of my company and not recorded it. How does this impact the value of my business?
This is a difficult one, it is very, very difficult to prove to a prospective buyer that you have earned income that has not been reported. The only suggestion here is if you are not reporting income stop right now and maintain accurate records including all income.
What’s selling my business going to cost?
We have no upfront fees. We will analyze your company and go through the entire process with no cost to you. Your only obligation is when we find a buyer for your business. We traditionally receive our payment at closing.
I own the property where my business is located, do I have to sell that as well?
This can be handled in many ways. Often the property is sold as a separate listing. However, the company owner will frequently retain the property, obtain a long term lease and earn an ongoing cash flow stream. Also, the property can aid a buyer’s ability to finance the business.
I keep cash, inventory, and receivables, what generally happens to those items?
Most small businesses are sold with the seller retaining cash and accounts receivable. A working level of inventory is generally granted to the new owner.
I owe a lot of money for various items that my business acquired over the years. What happens to that debt?
Most often, the company is sold free of all debt. This means that the former owner will be responsible for accounts payable as well as all long-term debt.
What records are you going to need from me to sell my business?
The lack of good business records is the single most common reason for a business sales deal to fall apart. We can’t emphasize enough the importance of maintaining good books and records before selling. This includes accurate financial statements, cash register receipts or whatever records are necessary to prove income and expenses. Of course, current tax returns are a must. However, we are used to selling businesses that may have less than adequate records.
How far in advance should I start planning my exit strategy?
Today, no later. Even if you think you are not ready to sell your company right now you can’t start preparing too early. One of our experienced agents will be more than happy to meet with you to help you to start thinking about your exit strategy.
Do I need a solicitor and an accountant to sell my business?
Buying or selling a company can be a complicated venture. While some companies are sold without the help of accountants and solicitor, we strongly recommend that both the buyer and seller engage professionals.