There are a variety of valid reasons to sell a small business, even if you have enjoyed being your own boss and your business is profitable. Maybe you are ready to retire, focus on a new endeavor, or just want to take advantage of the fact that profits from small business sales continue to rise. In any case, selling your small business is something that should be approached with a great amount of consideration and planning. Here are a few tips for making sure your small business sale goes smoothly:
Hire a Business Transaction Lawyer
Selling your business involves a complex series of transactions that require expertise in business transaction law. A lawyer specializing in business transactions provides expertise in the legal ramifications of selling your business. They will be able to pore over any prospective sales contracts to ensure you are making a wise choice and that you avoid potentially costly pitfalls.
They will double check that you are only selling the assets you want to sell, for example selling a brick and mortar shop but retaining the rights to an online store under a different business name. They will also make sure that all permits and licenses are legally transferred to the new owner. Your lawyer will guide you through the selling process while protecting your interests.
Consult with Your Accountant
Long before you list your business for sale, it's a good idea to sit down with your accountant to go over all of the tax implications. Your accountant will give you an accurate idea of how much you can expect to pay in taxes if you sell your business for the asking price.
They may also be able to help you set up the sale in a way that minimizes your tax liabilities if at all possible. Your accountant will also be a valuable ally once the sale goes through. You and the buyer will both have to declare the sale to the IRS, and your accountant will make sure this is done correctly.
Market Your Business
Once you have your financial and legal details in order, it is time to list and market the sale of your business. You can do this online, in trade publications, and through word of mouth. If your business is worth a great deal of money, it may be worthwhile to pay a commission to a business sales broker who will make connections with prospective buyers and potentially get a better asking price on your behalf.
The decision to sell your small business is never easy, but by following these tips you will be protecting yourself legally and financially.