Selling a business can be a lengthy and stressful process. A sale may be considered due to pending retirement, illness, a lifestyle change, or a host of other reasons. The better and more time you have to prepare for a sale, the less stressful the experience will be.
Here at Torr Waterfield, we can help you with the process, from start to finish. Here are a few pointers to help you on your way…..
- Review the strengths and weaknesses of your business. A SWOT analysis will help you to identify and address the weaknesses and threats, and improve the strengths and opportunities before sale
- Consider the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of the business, and how these can be identified and reviewed both by you and a potential buyer
- What do you think the business is worth and what is the minimum value you would be prepared to sell it for? Just as importantly, are there likely to be potential buyers willing to pay that minimum price?
- Consider ways to increase sales and reduce costs in the immediate period prior to sale. A business is often valued on a price to earnings ratio or earnings multiple method, so recent increased profitability can increase its value
- Consider the infrastructure and management profile of the business, and whether the necessary skills and knowhow are sufficient in the event of your retirement/removal
- Consider your own tax position and ensure the sale method is the most suitable to you e.g. Entrepreneur’s Relief is available for business asset and share sales fitting certain criteria. This relief allows chargeable gains on sales to be taxed at 10%, even for higher rate tax payers. Other sales methods, such as sale of assets and goodwill, may be more appropriate
- Consider employee issues in the event of a sale; e.g. does TUPE (transfer of employment rights) apply? How will your employees react prior to and after a sale? Do you advise them of your plans and keep them up to date with progress?
- Ensure that the position, legal or otherwise, and potential impact on a sale of any minority shareholders or partners has been taken into account
- Consider what may happen to the business premises; will they be part of the sale? Are they owned by your Personal Pension, in which case it may be worthwhile continuing to lease the premises to the purchaser?
- Appoint professional advisors and expert help to assist with your valuation, to help with any legal agreements that need to be drawn up and to review your tax position prior to and after the sale
You only sell your business once, so it must be done properly to ensure you get full benefit.
If you would like to find out more about selling your business, please speak to me at Torr Waterfield
Peter Morris , Director