If you have questions or concerns like these, then you’re in the right place for solutions that will be tailor-made for your unique situation.
When you’re aware of the factors that indicate selling is a good idea, then you can time the sale to take advantage of high prices. Usually, you’ll get the most for your Investments when sales are climbing and profits are strong.
If you have a strong history of solid performance, then by all means sell the company before trouble strikes. Other factors that may affect the timing of a sale are availability of bank financing, interest rate trends, changes in tax law and the general economic climate.
You can sell your business yourself, however many owners hire an Analyst first, and then contract with a professional business broker to handle the job. In addition to the training and awareness of relevant legal, tax and accounting considerations, a good reason to use a broker is to protect your anonymity and confidentiality.
If you’re advertising your business for sale and showing it to prospects, it compromises your ability to continue leading the firm. A broker can front for you, screen your prospects and keep your identity secret, from all but qualified buyers.
Most business buyers are individuals like you who want to become business owners. But sometimes you can transfer ownership of a business to another business in a merger or acquisition.
As a rule, businesses have deeper pockets and borrowing power than individuals, and they may be willing to pay more than individuals.
Businesses also tend to be more savvy buyers than individuals. This increases the chances that your business will survive, albeit perhaps as a division or subsidiary of another company.
However, businesses can’t move as fast as individuals. It may take you a year or more to get your company ready to be merged or acquired. During that time, you’ll need to:
A competitor who only wants to put you out of business is usually a poor merger prospect. This buyer is motivated only by price and probably isn’t interested in preserving the business.
Sometimes, the best thing to do is simply sell your inventory and fixtures, pay your creditors and employees, close your doors, and walk away.
Closing may be the best option if your business is failing, isn’t valuable enough for anyone to want to acquire it, or is the type of business that’s unlikely to be valuable without you personally operating it.
If you can’t raise enough money by disposing of your assets to pay everyone off, then you can give them what you have, and promise to pay them the rest later on. You can usually avoid legal wrangles if the debts are small enough.
Variations on this theme include making formal or informal arrangements to pay off your creditors, filing for voluntary liquidation, and declaring bankruptcy. Only bankruptcy is intended to give you a second chance. The others are almost certain to result in the end of your business.
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