Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA discusses five tips to help sell a privately-owned business.

Five Tips for Selling a Privately-Owned Business

You have built your company over the years into a thriving, successful business. However, you are ready to sell your privately-owned business, but you want to get top dollar for the company. A South Carolina business attorney can help you take the necessary steps to ensure that you receive the best value for your business. Below are five tips that can help you as you begin the process of selling your company. 

Five Steps to Sell your Private Owned Business

1. Begin Preparing to Sell Your Business as Early as Possible

If you anticipate that you might want to sell your company in the next few years, begin the process of preparing for a sale right now. You need accurate books and records, a strong customer base, and the correct business structure to successfully sell a privately-owned business. Making improvements and changes now to your record-keeping procedures, structure, and management style can help you prepare for a smooth sale and transition.

2. Obtain a Business Valuation

It can be difficult to be objective when valuing a business that you built with sweat equity. Obtaining a business valuation from an expert is the best way to know exactly how much your company is worth. Having a professional business valuation can also assist in obtaining the price you desire for your company because potential buyers have an expert opinion to rely upon when making a purchase offer.

3. Prepare Current Financial Documents for Sale

You need several financial documents that are current and up-to-date to present to potential buyers, such as company tax returns, profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and client information. Many buyers prefer to see several years of tax returns and financial statements to gauge the success of the business. Have these documents prepared and ready for prospective buyers to review.

4. Deal with Parties Who Are Pre-Qualified

A pre-qualified buyer is an individual or company who has qualified for financing with a lender prior to making an offer to purchase. Working with pre-qualified buyers reduces the risk that a deal goes through because of a lack of financing. It can be frustrating, time-consuming, and costly to have a deal fall through at the last minute because a buyer could not qualify for financing to purchase your business. 

5. Retain an Experienced South Carolina Business Attorney to Assist with the Sale of Your Business

There are many factors that must be considered when selling a privately-owned business. In addition to the legal documents required to transfer the business, you need an exit strategy that maximizes your profit while reducing your tax liability and general liability after you sell your company. 

An experienced business attorney can assist you with drafting the required legal documents to sell your company, take steps to limit your personal liability, and negotiate a fair price for your company with potential buyers. An attorney can also help you locate a pre-qualified buyer who is serious about purchasing your company.

Consulting a South Carolina business attorney who understands that various legal requirements and laws governing business transactions can reduce the risk of making an error or mistake that could result in expensive legal problems in the future. Contact Willcox, Buyck & Williams, PA to