If one of your goals for the coming year is to sell your business, you likely have mixed emotions about it. Perhaps this is something you have been contemplating for a while, or circumstances have told you this is the right time to let it go and try something new.
Whatever the motivation for selling your business, it certainly means a major change in your life, and you want to be sure you get the best possible deal when you sell. This is not a transaction as simple as selling a house, and it involves many factors, any of which can alter the outcome for better or worse. Seeking reliable advice and guidance throughout the process may improve your chances of avoiding missteps that could hinder your ability to make a profit.
As emotional as you may feel about the prospect of selling your business, it is better to avoid spreading the news about your decision. Knowing the business may be changing hands may create unrest among your clients and employees. Until you are certain you have a buyer and a transition plan in place, you would be wise to keep the rest between you and those professionals you retain to assist you with some of the complex tasks, such as these:
- Weighing the tangible and intangible factors for setting a reasonable asking price
- Gathering and organizing your paperwork, including taxes, contracts and financial accounts for the past three years
- Ensuring your personal financial affairs are not entangled with the business's accounts
- Promoting the sale of your business and reaching out to buyers who may be in the market
- Obtaining written offers so you can compare the details in each
If your business is a brick-and-mortar enterprise, you will have the added task of preparing the facility for sale. This includes cleaning, purging, repairing and creating a pleasant appearance inside and out. You may need to upgrade some equipment or spruce up the signage to attract potential buyers.
You may find you need the resources of many professionals, from landscapers to accountants, to get your business ready for a smooth transition to a new owner. Among those professionals who can offer you an advantage is a skilled business attorney. Not only will an attorney have the necessary knowledge of Louisiana business law, but he or she can also guide you through each legal step in such a complicated transaction.