How to find a buyer for my business?

6th May 2024 / Aly Young / No Comments

Finding a buyer for your business is a bit like trying to find a buyer for your house.

One option is to use an agent. However unlike estate agents, most business sales agents want money up front with no guarantee of success.

I often work with family-owned businesses when it is the children of the founder who may be the people stepping up to run the company.

This can present its own challenges, particularly if their skill sit isn’t quite where it needs to be.

Sometimes your business is of a sufficient size and scale that you might find no family members i.e. people already within your organisation to take it over. These are sometimes referred to as Management Buyouts (MBO’s).

When it comes to looking outside, alternatives to using an agent can include approaching people above and below you in the supply chain. They might be interested in absorbing your business to access your products and services and/or your customer database.

Another option, although somewhat risker is to go to your competitors. If you do want to do this be careful how you do it, so as not to upset the market place and harm your own business by putting uncertainty out there.

And when you get to the point of wanting to start sharing information with any potential buyers – who will want to carry out their own investigations – make sure you get them to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

Also remember that the PROCESS of selling can take a LONG time. Allow anything up to a year to find a buyer, do the Due Diligence and complete the paperwork.

You also have to continue to run your business whilst you are going through the process as until the ink is dried on the contract, it can fall through. Make sure you build up a team around you of people you can trust to help you with the exercise.

Also carry out a full audit before you let buyers nose around, to make sure there are no skeletons in your closet.

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Solicitor with 30 years experience of working in business. Specializing in protecting multiple owners in business together and business sales and acquisitions.

Aly Young
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