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From the category archives: Certified Business Brokers News

Looking for tips and common questions that sellers should be prepared to answer before talking to a buyer.

Selling a Business in Houston -- Surfs Up!

Proper planning for the sale of your business is key to an enjoyable sail into your next adventure in life.

Surfs up! A wave of business buyers has flooded the Houston marketplace looking to take part in its promising future economic growth. Houston is booming and is ranked #3 best Metro Area for business.

Texas is home to almost one million privately-held small businesses with revenues under $100 million and less than 500 employees. As the largest city in Texas, Houston is home to one quarter of those small businesses (Source: InfoUSA) and it is estimated that less than 50 percent have had a change in ownership in the last 15 years. For many of these business owners, developing and executing a timely exit strategy is key to achieving the rewarding outcome they expect.

As 80 million baby boomers around the country move toward retirement, more than 7 million business owners are expected to exit their businesses over the next 10 to 15 years.

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The Closing Table

THE SUCCESSFUL CLOSINGNow that all of the contingencies have been satisfied and removed from the Standard EarnestMoney Contract, it’s time to draft the final closing documents. These documents may beprepared by the Seller’s attorney, Buyer’s attorney or a third party attorney employed by thebusiness broker.The basic documents associated with the transfer of a small business generally include:The Bill of SaleThe Purchase/Sales AgreementThe Promissory NoteThe Security AgreementsThe UCC Financing StatementsThe Bulk Seals AffidavitsThe Board of Director’s (authorization to sell) ResolutionReal Estate Documentation (if appropriate)Lease AgreementsOther Side Bar AgreementsClosing Statements (prepared by broker and/or title company)Based on the agreement between the parties, as stated in the Standard Earnest Money Contract,the above closing documents are prepared and furnished to all parties (and their attorneys)several days prior to closing.Any other minor changes are made and agreed to prior to closing. There shou ...

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Small Business Owners: When is it Time to Sell Your Business?

The Answer -- in a Nutshell: The best time to sell a business is when the business has upward trending revenues, when the industry is in an upturn, when the economy is strong, when there is a multitude of buyers looking for business acquisitions, and when interest rates are low. There are many questions that need to be answered before an informed decision can be made. Is selling the business your best alternative? Will one of the kids want to take over the business? Timing is everything. Is now the right time? You figure that you don't have to sell or decide right now. You are quite busy so maybe you will look into it after.....or maybe tomorrow.....or next year...... Facing the issue of succession or continuation of one’s business is not addressed with much enthusiasm by the average small business owner. But only one of three eventual fates exist for a business: Transfer to family, employee, customer, or vendor Sell to an outsider Close down Although the overwhelming majo ...

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Who Would Be the Buyer of Your Small Business? Part 2

Who are the Buyers for Privately-Held Companies and What is Their Acquisition Criteria? Understanding who the buyers are and their acquisition criteria will enable business owners to be better prepared when the time comes to sell. Unrealistic expectations of value and factors that drive value result in many business owners being unable to sell their business. When a business is on the market for a long period of time, pre-disclosure to employees, customers and suppliers can be detrimental to the business. Alternatively, proper valuation, packaging and presentation to the most likely buyers enhances the probability of a sale within a reasonable period of time. Already addressed in Part 1 of this subject was the Individual Buyer Category. Discussed here will be the Financial Buyer (sometimes called investment buyer) and Synergistic Buyer categories. Each have specific identifiable acquisition criteria. THE FINANCIAL BUYER There are approximately 200 well-known financial or investment buyers ...

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Who Would Be the Buyer of Your Small Business? Part 1

The Individual Buyer Category represents the largest number of prospective buyers for small to midsize privately-held businesses. Understanding who the buyers are and their acquisition criteria will enable business owners to be better prepared when the time comes to sell. The individual buyer category encompasses a variety of buyer types that include wealthy individuals, corporate executives, engineers and salespeople working for large firms, and immigrants entrepreneurs who have recently moved to the US. There are two other buyer categories that will be discussed in a future post: Financial Buyers (sometimes called investment buyers) and Synergistic buyers. Each buyer category differs in their purpose for making an acquisition and the types of businesses they target. Wealthy Individuals often are people who have taken early retirement from corporate America and after a brief period of being nonproductive decide to get into their own business. They tend to acquire midsize companies grossing in excess of ...

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Small Business Owners: Prequalify Your Business for a SBA Loan Early in the Selling Process

SBA prequalified businesses get more attention in the businesses-for-sale marketplace because it saves potential buyers a lot of effort and time to secure financing. More importantly, however, they know the business is financially sound. The more interest generated in your business, the better the chances for a quicker sale.

If your business is eligible for SBA financing, it will usually get a higher price.....especially if you provide a small amount of additional financing to the buyer. It makes the buyer feel more secure about purchasing your business knowing that you have enough confidence in the performance of the business to provide a loan. Or, based on the buyer's financial capabilities, you may get all cash instead of having to provide any portion of the financing yourself.

When your business is prequalified for financing, you will also get advice on what types of buyers would be approved for financing for your type of business, potential terms, and deal structure. You will also get a Letter of Prequalification you can present to qualified potential buyers.

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Houston is Booming -- It's Not Only the Weather That's Hot Down Here

"Texas is a land of buccaneering capitalism."- The Economist, 12/19/02 In addition to having a low cost of living and a great quality of life, Texas has one of the nation's most favorable business environments. By 2030 the U.S. Census Bureau projects Texas population will increase by 60 percent compared with 2000 and will be one of the three other states that account for nearly one-half of total U.S. population growth between 2000 and 2030. So........with all the environmental infrastructure in place, it's not surprising that we're off to a running start. Noted in New York Times article last week, Houston is experiencing its strongest resurgence in more than 20 years. The article cites energy, real estate development, and real estate investment as leading the way for the boom. There are, however, many other drivers contributing to the diverse economic health of Houston. The international trade and logistics sector is trucking along in the speed zone and will not be putting on the brakes anytim ...

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How to Choose a Business Broker To Sell Your Business in Houston

If you are an owner of a privately-held small business.....

You are the heart of American commerce. You are part of the engine that drives our economy and creates jobs. You have built your business up over time. We recognize and applaud your achievements. We are much like you in that nearly all of us have walked in your shoes by owning and running a company ourselves.

Now you are considering letting go. You are considering your options for selling the business.

You understand the importance of confidentiality and wonder how you can market your business without disclosing sensitive information prematurely, or disturbing the status quo. Your trusted advisers, such as your CPA, have helped you manage your business to minimize your tax liabilities. Now, however, you wonder if the income statements negatively impact your eventual asking price for the business. You wonder if you could discreetly line up a buyer yourself. Problem is, you know what you don’t know. You know about running your business, but in your heart you know this deal is the deal of your life. You need to know you’re getting the best possible exposure and price. You need to know how to qualify your buyer prospects and their offers. You don’t have the time or resources for a misfire. You know you will need help.


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More Fuel for Houston's Sizzling International Trade and Logistics Market

"Companies to service cargo and vessels at the Port of Houston and along the Houston Ship Channel will be in high demand for the foreseeable future and will continue to provide impetus to our city's economic vitality." -- Above is a quote from one of my posts earlier this month touting Houston Growth in International Trade and Logistics. Another major firm expanding operations to Houston's commerce hub Marlink, an international satellite communications provider, announced this week a visible step in its global business strategy. It is opening a Regional Headquarters operations center in Houston to meet growing demand from its maritime and offshore industry customers throughout North and South America. It will be located near the South Shore Harbor complex, with access to the ports of Houston, Galveston and the primary offshore oil and gas support bases in Louisiana. (Full Article in Houston Business Journal: "Marlink Picks Houston for Americas Headquarters" 03/12/2007) Houston's Gulf Coast has lon ...

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Seller Financing in a Small Business Sale

Most sellers are unaware of how much the interest on the sale increases their actual selling price. For example, a seller carry-back note at eight percent carried over nine years will actually double the amount carried. $100,000 at eight percent over a nine year period results in the seller receiving $200,000.

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