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Selling a company often provides the one and only opportunity for shareholders of an owner-managed business to realise their investment

Selling My Business - Getting Started

Unless you have gone through the process of selling a business before, it is wise to start by getting professional advisors on board to ensure the process runs smoothly.

Selling My Business has a proven track record of advising owner-managed businesses on a broad range of transactions, including exit strategies and disposals. Our expert team can handle the business-selling process and liaise with all relevant stakeholders to ensure investments are realised and a true value is achieved.

Not unlike the property market, a business is ultimately worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. Of course, a range of factors will influence the level of that willingness including: track record, future potential profit trends, market position, net assets, and commercial property values.

Devising a clear exit strategy is fundamental and these three key questions should be considered at the outset - How much is your business worth? What are the possible exit routes? Will your business be attractive to potential purchasers? We help to answer these questions through sound planning, careful considerations and a wealth of experience which has seen £500m worth of company sales in the last ten years alone.

Finding a buyer

The most common options to sell a business are: through a trade sale to a competitor or new market entrant; a sale to a competitor or new market entrant; a sale to the management team; an equity release - whereby a partial value is made to realise some value but a retained stake is held; or flotation, although this route is becoming far less common.

All of these routes should be explored before making a decision as to which is the most appropriate and would go furthest in meeting requirements from shareholders. We advise on all the pros and cons of a specific process, ensuring you are fully briefed on the path ahead and that there are no nasty surprises. We don’t just tell our clients what they want to hear; instead we provide full transparency throughout.

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Key considerations 

When it comes to assessing how attractive a business could be on the open market, some key questions are: ‘How key is the owner to maintaining the profitability of the business?’ and ‘Will key management personnel continue to work for the company?’. Also whether the business relies heavily on a single customer, product or market - and of course recent market developments - will need to be taken into consideration. In addition, potential buyers are likely to ask:

  • What is the competitive edge of the company and is this sustainable?
  • Are there any potential deal breakers such as onerous contracts, new technology outdating current products etc?
  • What are the maintainable profits of the business?
  • Is there a track record of sustained growth and can this be sustained?

For tailored advice around selling a business in a specific sector, choose from the sector guides below which currently cover a dozen core industries.

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Download Our Latest Help Guide

Selling a business? Here are 10 key questions you need to ask to ensure you’re getting the right advice

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