Preparing Your Business For Sale

Having all your “ducks in a row” will increase the chances of a sale, reduce the doubts that may arise in a buyer’s mind and prevent possible hold-ups when you do receive a contract.

Aim to have the following completed:

  • Full financials for the previous three years, with BAS.
  • Ensure your premises lease is up to date with options signed and in place.
  • Ensure your premises lease can be assigned to the new buyer without any complications – ask your solicitor if you are unsure.
  • Have all staff entitlements up to date. You don’t want any horrible surprises if you discover a staff member is owed a substantial amount of holiday pay.
  • Have a full and detailed procedures manual covering all aspects of the business, with documented systems for operations, employment recruitment and training, health and safety, marketing, termination procedures and legalities.
  • Have all plant & equipment in order with maintenance schedules available for the buyer to inspect.
  • Have your ‘business plan’ up-to-date and ready to show the buyer when they’ve committed to a contract to buy (not before!).
  • Refresh your website. Many business owners neglect their website. Have an expert on ‘search engine optimisation’ assess your website effectiveness and its Google ranking.
  • Have any supply agreements checked to ensure they are current and up to date.
  • Ensure your employment agreements are current.
  • Resolve any legal issues that may be current or pending. Buyers get very nervous if they discover any legal matters are unresolved.
  • Have some ways to show the buyer that your business can grow and expand. Buyers want to be persuaded that they can enhance the potential of the business with fresh ideas and renewed enthusiasm.
  • Smarten up any signage or shopfront. Make the physical appearance of the business “shine” from the outside. Tired, faded appearances are a quick turn-off.
  • Have any staff uniforms in top condition.
  • Resolve any possible issues with licensing compliance and any local council health and safety regulations. When the business goes under contract, the buyer will check all these matters in the due diligence period.
  • Inform your accountant that you are selling. He or she may have some good advice on the best way to structure the sale to maximise your tax obligations.
  • Have a meeting with your Verified Business Broker to establish the current value of your business and have them do a full assessment of the business.