There is no set time for how long it will take to complete the sale of a business. This is determined by a multitude of variables such as how desirable your business is and therefore how long it will take to find someone wanting to purchase it, how quickly you can agree on price and other terms, and whether the due diligence procedure highlights any issues. However, you should be prepared for the fact that selling a business is often a lengthy process and typically takes upwards of six months to complete. You should not be surprised if it takes anywhere between six and 12 months for the deal to go through. Having realistic expectations of how long the process could go on for could save you frustration and disappointment further down the line.
While a sale could stall for many reasons and at any stage in the process, there are certain things you can do to help it move as quickly as possible. Before putting the business up for sale, it is advisable to spend some time collating the financial information of the company, such as previous accounts and cash flow statements; these documents will be needed during any sales negotiation so it makes sense to have these available and ready.
One of the most time consuming parts of this business is finding someone who not only wants to buy your business, but someone who is also in the position of actually being able to do so. Enlisting the help of an adviser could help to speed up this aspect of the process considerably. An experienced adviser will have a database of potential buyers and will know the best ones to contact who may be looking to purchase your kind of business.