Selling A Business? Use A Team Of Professionals
The likely team of experts will consist of a business broker, an attorney, and an accountant.
Once an owner has decided to sell the business, he or she needs to determine who will handle the process. Utilizing professionals to facilitate the process is key to successfully selling the business within the shortest time frame for the most favorable price in the optimal confidential environment.
The right professionals are those who specialize in business transfer transactions. Each understand the role they play in the deal.
The Business Broker
A business brokerage firm adds value to your business during its sale as the captain of the team. They provide services such as valuing the business, preparation of a marketing package that describes the attributes of your business, confidentially finding and screening prospective buyers, providing advice regarding market trends and the marketability of your business, assisting in the negotiations, and coordinating the sale process between all the parties to the transaction. A business broker’s creative transactional skills and experience in closing thousands of business sales often makes the difference in being able to put a deal together. Their business is selling businesses. Period.
Any given business owner may be great at distribution, running a restaurant, or manufacturing widgets. But even though they are successful in their chosen field, they don’t do themselves justice when they opt to sell by themselves because they’ve never done it before. Selling a business is not like selling a product or real estate. Privately-held businesses are sold in an environment that is unlike any other.
An attorney can review legal documents and provide legal advice that will protect your rights and keep you from having legal problems after the sale. They are instrumental in drawing up documents, such as noncompete contracts, that may be part of the purchase agreement. They should also be used to clear up any outstanding legal issues that your business may have so that it does not reflect badly in the eyes of the buyer.
Accountant / CPA
An accountant can get your financial records in order, help explain the financial records to the buyer and his advisers, and help you understand the tax consequences of a sale. Poor financial records is one of the biggest reasons businesses do not sell or sell at a value considerably less than market value. Hire competent accounting help and keep your financial records current. If a buyer needs to obtain outside financing, financial institutions are not going to rely on observation. They want to see financial statements that reflect all of the sales and operating expenses.
Professional advisers can make or break a deal. A Seller must articulate his wishes to his team of advisers in order to have them working together towards a common goal. Each adviser, such as a business brokers, an attorney, and an accountant has a specific role in the transaction and should be working on behalf of their client — you the Seller — to achieve the objective for which you engaged them.