When selling a company, there are legal, financial, and emotional issues to deal with. To ensure the sale is done properly, it may be necessary to work with other professionals such as accountants, attorneys, business evaluation experts, and real estate agents. In addition to professionals, it may also be important to talk to your family, business partners, or economic experts if appropriate.
Legally, there are many considerations. You must make sure that you have the right to sell either the whole company or your share of the company to the buyer. This may include looking into the corporate document (i.e. the bylaws) to make sure it does not include any provisions that you cannot sell. For instance, in some family companies, there may be provisions that you can only sell your share to other family members. You must make sure there are no legal reasons not to sell. For instance, if you are selling a construction business but the license to run the business if non-transferable, you may have to tell the buyer that he will not be able to run it without the license. You must ensure that any conditions of the sale that need to be revealed to the buyer are. For instance, you may need to reveal what type of stock the buyer is purchasing, any environmental hazards in the building, or any conditions in employment contracts.
Financially, there are several considerations. Before selling, you need to consider what price is appropriate for your business or share of business. Sale of stock may be determined by either the market price or the corporate documents.However, if you are selling a company in which you are sole owner or one of only a few owners, you may want to consult an expert in evaluating the net-worth of a business. You may need to consider whether the market conditions are right to sell the business or whether it would be better to wait. There may also be tax implications depending on how the sale is structured.
Emotionally, if you are the sole owner of the business, then it may be difficult to let the business go. Before selling the business, you need to make sure you are prepared if the new owner doesn’t run the business like you did. If you co-own the business, there may be issues if you try to sell the business without letting your partner know. If the partner is a family member or close friend, selling the business to someone your partner does not like may have an impact on your relationship with your partner. Talking to family members, trusted friends, and your business partners may alleviate some of this concern. However, before talking to anyone, it is important that, if the sale of the business is a secret, they are people you can trust or that they sign non-disclosure agreements, if appropriate.
Selling a business can be an exciting time. The sale can lead to retirement, a new business venture, or just some needed relaxation to help you decide on a new life path. However, it is always important to make sure that the sale is completed in a way that ensures you receive the full value of the company and are not setting yourself up for future problems.