As a business owner, the decision to sell your business is probably the biggest decision you will ever make.
There are several reasons you may have come to that decision. It could be that you are about to retire, sell to a larger corporation to assist in its growth or sell to your management team. Whatever the specific reasons, selling your business can be a difficult, complicated and emotional experience, especially if you’re not properly prepared.
A common mistake made by many business owners is the lack of time taken to prepare the business for sale. It is vital sufficient time is allocated in advance to ensure the business is in a strong position for sale, that any existing issues are addressed beforehand and that the structure is optimised to secure the best sale value and the minimum exposure to tax. Failure to plan can often result in the business valuation not meeting the owner’s expectation or problems further along the line.
To help prepare you more fully, here are some tips to guide you through the process.
- GET THE RIGHT HELP
This is the first and absolutely the most important step. Having the right team of accountants, solicitors and advisers on your side, working with you to make sure you get the best possible terms for your sale, always makes a huge difference to the successful completion of your transaction. The first thing we do is to review your corporate strategy with you, make absolutely sure that disposal is the correct decision, the corporate structure is optimised to secure the best value and to mitigate tax and then we project manage the whole process for you, from valuation and due diligence through to completion.
- UNDERSTAND THE DRIVERS OF VALUE
Business owners are most unlikely to contemplate a sale without first having obtained an estimated valuation but it is also important to understand the metrics that drive that valuation. If the valuation is driven by the fixed assets of the business then making sure that those assets are well maintained, secured and insured is an important consideration. If the valuation is driven by the people assets of the business then making sure that those people are happy, properly rewarded and fully engaged in the process will aid the outcome. If the valuation is driven by the business underlying earnings or its annuity income streams then focussing upon maximising those drivers will yield the best outcome.
- REACHING OUT TO ALL POTENTIAL PURCHASERS
It may be a cliché but you will only sell your business once and to ensure that the best exit outcome is achieved it is important to research all the appropriate and potential buyers. Jerroms Corporate Finance will help you identify and assess prospective purchasers including those that may be located overseas. As a member of the Russell BedfordTM global network of partners we have access to 700 Partners, 6500 staff, 350 offices spread across 100 countries Worldwide. If the ideal buyer of your business is based anywhere from Algeria to Zimbabwe; we will find them.
For any number of reasons it is imperative that discussions on a possible sale are conducted under the veil of an appropriate cloak of confidentiality. Jerroms Corporate Finance has the experience of many years and a great many transactions in dealing with this issue. Potential buyers will not even know for sure that it is your business that they are considering until a full confidentiality agreement is in place and information shared with a potential buyer is carefully anonymised or redacted until the very last stages of the transaction process.
- MAKE TIME FOR PURCHASER ENQUIRIES
Having found a potential buyer, gained their attention and outline terms have been agreed the prospective buyer will want to undertake further detailed due diligence. Reactive management of this process will consume valuable management time and drag out the completion process. Jerroms Corporate Finance offer a proactive, virtual data-room disclosure process. The proactive management of the virtual data room disclosure and timely compliance with the buyer’s requests will save time in the long run and make the whole sale process run more smoothly.
- ABIDE BY THE PURCHASER’S WARRANTIES
A purchaser will often require that the seller supply warranties and indemnities, which are contractual guarantees that all relevant and pertinent information to the transaction has been provided. The seller will be called upon to make full disclosure in each case. We can help guide you through what can be a lengthy and stressful process, enabling you to make full and active disclosures.
- GET THE BEST FROM NEGOTIATIONS
Jerroms Corporate Finance are experienced negotiators. We work out your priorities and seek always to get the best possible results for the vendor.
- GET THE BEST TAX ADVICE
Appropriate tax advice is absolute essential. The sale of your business or company can be made tax efficient in a number of different ways. Are you eligible for entrepreneurs’ relief? Have you taken dividends into consideration?
Jerroms has tax experts and industry focused professionals to ensure that you develop the most beneficial environment for the sale.
So, if you’re selling your business, we can help you with every step of the process, from valuation to giving you the best post-sales advice.