I've Decided to Sell My Business- What Do I Do?

Whether you started it in your garage or bought in at the ground level, you’ve dedicated your time, energy, and talent to creating and growing your business over the last several years. Now, you’re ready to try something new – whether it’s a new business venture or retirement. Instead of shutting the doors and laying off your employees, though, you’ve found a buyer who will continue your legacy. What happens now? And do you need an attorney?

The first step in selling your business is to get a realistic valuation. A valuation of the business will help you figure out the business’s worth and give you the best starting point for determining your sales price. If you haven’t already found a prospective buyer, a business valuation can help you find the best suited buyer.

Once you know the business’s value and potential sales price, you can begin negotiating with prospective purchasers. If you don’t have an employee, competitor, or contact in the field, you may decide to engage a broker familiar with your industry to help market your business. Once you’ve found an interested buyer and begun the process of negotiating the sales price, you will likely want to engage an attorney and accountant to help prepare the documents and information your buyer will want to see when they do their due diligence. An attorney and accountant familiar with mergers and acquisitions, or the buying and selling of businesses, can be a valuable tool to help process all the information your potential buyer will likely want to see when they are deciding whether to make a formal offer.

After the offer to confirmed, an attorney and accountant can help in determining whether you are selling assets of the business only or if your sale is better structured as a sale of the ownership of the corporate entity. A qualified attorney can also assist preparing the purchase documents which might include not only the purchase agreement, but a bill of sale, a promissory note, deeds for the transfer of real property, restrictive covenants such as non-competes and non-solicitation agreements, and the internal corporate documents necessary to formalize the sale.

Hiring a business attorney familiar with how business operate and transitioned from own owner to another can ease the stress that inevitably comes with the process of selling. Engaging a business attorney will also help avoid common mistakes and make sure the process is as smooth as possible. Your attorney will work to protect your interests and maximize your ultimate return on your investment.

The attorneys at Waldron & Schneider have represented business owners in the purchase and sale of their business for more than 30 years. If you have questions about the process or are ready to begin, please we are here to assist.

The legal information in this blog entry is not intended to be a substitute for seeking personalized legal advice from an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction. Further, nothing contained in this article is intended to create an attorney-client relationship with any reader. By using this website you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and this firm. The article and website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.  
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