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There are many moving parts to selling your business.  Like any good business decision, a good plan and process are going to be necessary to get your company sold for terms you are happy with.

Below you can learn about the eight steps involved in selling a business, but if you want to talk to an expert right away, then sign up for a Free Consultation today.


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EDGE - Step one

Collect Your Financial Statements

The Numbers Don't Lie

In order to get the highest possible valuation for your sale, it is important to tell the story the right way.  Gather the items listed below and organize the information the best you can.  

Seller Involved: Seller, Accountant 

  • Profit and loss statements for the last three years.  You will most likely be asked for your tax returns as well.
  • Information on real estate or lease(s) for the business operations
  • List of equipment, fixtures, equipment, and vehicles owned and/or used by the business
  • Information on any debt/loan obligations of the business (note, terms, amount, payment schedule)
EDGE - Step 2

Get a Professional valuation

How much is your company worth?

Once you have gathered all of your financial information.  It is time to value your business.  Your options are to do it alone, pay a valuation firm or an accountant for an appraisal, or find a business broker or investment banker to help you.

It is important to have an accurate valuation based on the market.  Your business is worth what someone will pay for it.  If you price it too high, it will stay on the market for a very long time and may not even sell.  If you need to sell fast you want to set your price competitively to get faster interest and inquiries.

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EDGE - Step 3

Make Business Improvements

This is not the time to take your foot off the gas.

If you have followed our advice you probably have received a fair market value for your business.  Hopefully, you learned a few things about your company from it as well. 

Look at your business from a buyer's perspective.  What concerns would you identify?  This is a crucial review of your business.  It is better you identify them, correct what you can, and have good explanations for what you can't for the buyer.  Turn your company's deficiency into their opportunity for improvement and more margins in the future.

EDGE - Step 4

Retain a Business Broker or M&A Advisor

You are going to need professional help.

This is going to be one of the most important transactions of your life.  You likely have not sold a company before.  The process is long and complex.  You have a business to run that has to maintain its value.

Your business broker or M&A advisor's role:

  • Provide you with a fair market value for your company
  • Guide you through the process and prepare you for what to expect
  • Market your business confidentially
  • Receive offers and present them to you
  • Manage the due diligence process
  • Get the deal closed!


EDGE - Step 5

Market the Business for Sale & Qualify Potential Buyers

Trust the process, you better have one

The most important role for your advisor is to market your business, especially to your target buyer personas.   Make sure your advisor has a better plan than to list your company on and pray for an offer.  

Qualifying buyers is necessary so your company's financials and secrets are not just going out to everyone including your competitors.

Buyer Involved: Potential Buyers

Seller Involved: Seller, Business Broker

Download Example: Confidential Information Memorandum
EDGE - Step 6

Field Purchase Offers & Accept Offer

Don't start counting your money yet

Finally, months of hard work pays off, and "purchase offers" or "letter of intents" start coming in.  Now you will see how the market values your business.  For small to mid-size companies there likely will be a loan asked to come from you, yes you the seller, for a portion of the deal.  Understanding your offers is key while gauging who can get the deal to the finish line and get you paid.

Download Example: Purchase Offer
EDGE - Step 7

Buyer (and Bank) Due Diligence

Are you, what you say you are

Now it is the buyer's turn to confirm everything you have stated and claimed is correct.  They will ask you for an extensive amount of bookkeeping info, contracts, patents, client records, CRM review, the pipeline for new business, and the list goes on.

More experts are being introduced as this digs deeper and progresses forward.

Buyer Involved: Buyer, Attorney, Accountant, Banker

Seller Involved: Seller, Business Broker, Attorney, Accountant 

Download Example: Due Diligence Checklist
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EDGE - Step 8

Close the Transaction

The Attorney takes control

All final negotiations are complete. It is now the attorney's job to make sure you can proceed to closing. Due diligence is complete. You have come to terms with the buyer.  Typically the buyer sends the first draft of the legal documents necessary while the seller's attorney reviews, advises, and responds.

Buyer Involved: Buyer, Attorney, Banker

Seller Involved: Seller, Business Broker, Attorney

Here is a list of some of the documents needed to close sale and transfer your business to the new owner:

  • Purchase and Sale Agreement
  • Bill of Sale
  • Closing/settlement sheet
  • Loan Documents
  • Lease-transfer documents
  • Vehicle ownership transfer documents
  • Franchise transfer documents
  • Succession documents
  • Consulting and/or non-competition agreement
  • Asset Acquisition Statement, (IRS Form 8594)
  • Transfer of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and other intellectual property


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learn more about

the importance of knowing your business' worth

It is never too early to have a business valuation done.

We want to help business owners understand the worth of their most important asset... and then help them make improvements that can maximize their return at the time of sale.  That is why we offer a FREE, CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS VALUATION.



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Selling Your Business 101 - Plus Checklist - mock eBook

downloadable educational resource:

Selling Your Business For More

Includes Checklists: Preparing Your Business for Valuation and Sale, Due Diligence

You are probably too busy to read all those books on how to sell your company or maximize profits.   You should read them, but in the meantime, this quick business owner's guide, with extremely helpful checklists, will point you in the right direction and make a complex process manageable and to your benefit.  Do not let the simple word mislead you.  This information is an insider’s guide from professionals.


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