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Selling Your Business: What You Need to Know First


Preparation + Process

Selling your business is a big decision and one that should not be taken lightly. You might be at a loss and not know how to sell your business or where to even start. Whether you’re selling a small business or a high-growth tech company, it’s important to be prepared and educated about the process. To ensure that you get the best outcome, there are several steps you should take to prepare for the sale.

  1. Have your financials in order. Before you start the process of selling your business, you should make sure that your finances are up-to-date and accurate. This includes having accurate records of your income and expenses, as well as any debts or liabilities.
  2. Get a business valuation. A professional valuation of your business will help you determine the fair market value of your business. This will help you set a realistic price for the sale and ensure that you get the best return on your investment.
  3. Prepare your business for sale. Before you put your business on the market, you should make sure it is in the best condition possible. This includes going through a due diligence process and making sure that all legal and regulatory requirements are met, as well as ensuring that your business is running smoothly and efficiently. It’s essential to have an experienced attorney and accountant by your side to help you sell your business and navigate a successful exit.
  4. Find a buyer. Once you have your business ready to sell, you need to find a buyer. You can do this by marketing your business online, attending trade shows, or using a business broker that knows how to sell a business. You’ll want to create a detailed business plan that outlines the value of your company and its potential for growth to help possible buyers understand the potential of your business and make them more likely to invest.
  5. Negotiate the sale. Once you have a buyer, you need to negotiate the terms of the sale. This includes the purchase price, payment terms, and any other conditions that need to be met. The negotiating process can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to many months. You should come to agreement on as many as the terms as possible up front to avoid unnecessary legal expenses and wasting time.

Selling your business can be a complicated and time-consuming process and can be structured in different ways, but with the right preparation, planning, strategy and guidance, you can ensure that you get the best outcome. You should consider hiring a lawyer and an accountant for advice and they can help guide you through the business sale process! They can also assist you in making informed decisions and help you avoid making costly mistakes.

What are the legal considerations for selling my business?

When selling a business, there are a number of legal considerations that must be taken into account. These include the transfer of ownership, the transfer of assets, the transfer of liabilities, and the transfer of intellectual property. Additionally, you should consider the tax implications of the sale, such as capital gains taxes and other taxes that may be applicable. You should also consider the legal implications of any contracts or agreements that you may have with customers, suppliers, and other parties. It is important to have an experienced attorney by your side to help you navigate the legal aspects of selling your business. They can help you understand the legal implications of the sale, draft the necessary documents, and ensure that all legal requirements are met.

What are common mistakes to avoid when selling a business?

When it comes to selling a business, there are several common mistakes that should be avoided.

First, it is important to have a clear understanding of the value of the business and to set a realistic price. Overpricing the business can lead to a longer sales process and may even result in the business not being sold.

Second, it’s also important to have realistic expectations about the timeline for selling the business. Many sellers underestimate the amount of time it takes to complete the process, which can lead to frustration and delays.

Third, it’s important to have all the necessary documents and paperwork in order before beginning the sales process. This includes financial statements, tax returns, contracts, and other legal documents.

It is important to have a plan for the transition of the business to the new owner. This should include a timeline for the transition and a plan for transferring ownership of the business.

It’s important to work with experienced professionals to ensure the sale is handled properly. Working with an experienced lawyer, accountant, and business broker can help ensure the sale is conducted in a timely and efficient manner.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure a smoother and more successful sale of your business.

How long does it take to sell a business?

The amount of time it takes to sell a business can vary depending on a number of factors. Generally, it can take anywhere from three months to a year to complete the sale. The size and complexity of the business, the number of interested buyers, and the current market conditions all play a role in how long it takes to complete the sale. Additionally, the amount of time it takes to complete the due diligence process and negotiate the sale can also affect the timeline.

It is important to have realistic expectations about the timeline for selling the business. Many sellers underestimate the amount of time it takes to complete the process, which can lead to frustration and delays. Working with experienced professionals can help ensure the sale is handled properly and closing occurs in a timely manner.

Final Words

Having a solid exit strategy is important for any business owner who is looking to sell their business. A solid exit strategy will help ensure that the sale of the business is handled in a timely and efficient manner with the right team by your side. It will also help to ensure that the transition of ownership is smooth and successful and that the business is sold for the right price!

Tricia Meyer 301

Tricia Meyer is Founder + Managing Attorney of Meyer Law, one of the fastest growing law firms in the United States! Meyer helps entrepreneurs and technology companies from startups to large corporations with day-to-day matters and notable clients include companies that have appeared on Shark Tank to companies gracing the Inc. 500 to some of the largest companies in the world. Tricia has been named on the Forbes Next 1000 list, is one of the Most Influential Female Lawyers in Chicago according to Crain’s Chicago Business and been recognized as a top 10 technology lawyer. As an entrepreneur and a lawyer, Meyer has a unique perspective and has mentored thousands of startups and scaling companies at tech incubators and accelerators across the United States such as 1871, WeWork Labs and Techstars. Tricia has been featured in Inc., Crain’s, Chicago Tribune, NBC Chicago, American Express OPEN Forum, and more. Learn more at and follow Meyer Law’s story on Instagram @loveyourlawyer.