It’s time to take the leap! You’ve either decided to sell your business to a new owner or you are transferring your ownership to a business partner, family, or friend. No matter what your circumstances are around selling your business, there are certain steps you will now need to make to ensure the successful sale and transfer of your business.
- Cancel your Australian Business Number (ABN) on settlement. To cancel your ABN, please visit the Australian Business Register website for assistance.
- If you are transferring the business name so that the new owner can still trade under it, you will need to do this via the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. However, if you have come to an agreement that the new owners will not be using the current name of your business, you can choose to cancel the business name instead.
- You will need to cancel all other businesses tax registrations, including your Goods and Services Tax (GST) registration.
- Ensure you have made all necessary GST adjustments against activity statements and lodge your final tax return.
- Ensure you have paid all outstanding bills and statements against your business, prior to the change of business ownership. This could include anything from water and electricity bills to credit card statements and any outstanding invoices.
- Settle any outstanding activity statements and instalment notices
- Transfer any other assets you have to the owner once the sale has been successful. This can include domain names or web registration, or physical assets like machinery and inventory.
- Transfer any business records necessary to the future operations of the business. This includes anything from business statements, customer records and employee records to the new owner.
Transfer of Lease Agreements, Permits, and Licenses
The process of listing your business for sale and finding a buyer is just the first series of steps in a long but exciting sales journey. Not only will you need to transfer the name and ownership of your business, you will also need to migrate any lease agreements, permits and licenses too. The transfer of some lease agreements, permits and licenses can sometimes take up to 12 months, so it is important to plan ahead and be prepared for this process early.
Typically, these contracts and licenses are critical to the successful operation of your business day-to-day. Particularly the lease on the premises the business occupies. If you're selling your business, you are still responsible for any lease tenancy agreements and obligations for your business until they are transferred to the new owner, as these agreements can still be in your name. We recommend that you consult your solicitor with any queries that you may have on your ‘business premises lease’ and have them assist you with legal advice on disclosure statements and lease assignments or transfers.
Different leases can have varying conditions when it comes to the transfer of ownership, so it is important to review all agreements and make sure you understand the conditions of your lease agreements BEFORE you transfer them to the new owner. This process can often become a little confusing. Seeking the guidance of your Solicitor, Financial Planner/Accountant or Business Broker will certainly help clear any grey areas here.
A business owner must be careful to plan their exit strategically and be ready to take the leap when the timing is right to pursue your business’s maximum value.
Thinking of selling your business? At Verified Businesses, we are the leading Business Broker on the Sunshine Coast and we have an enviable reputation within the local business community.
At Verified Businesses, success in business is Verified.