How to Sell a Business

A Step By Step Guide

a graphic of a silhouette stands in the middle of arrows pointing in all directions as a man in a suit ponders thoughtfully whether it is right to sell his business

1. Decide if it is the right time to sell - both for you and those who matter.

Answer yes to the following questions before moving on: 1) Is your company ready to sell?  Are you ready to exit your business?

2. Contact us and setup an in-person consultation.

Typically the first conversation can be over the phone and take 30 minutes.

a casual conversation depcited between two people sitting in armchairs
a business broker takes notes as they interview a business owner

3. Discuss openly, all aspects of your business.

Motivation to sell, and financial position. Disclose anything and everything about your business.  This is the time we begin to determine will we be a good fit for you and vice versa.

4. Provide Bockus Consulting with all financial information.

Once all your documents are in order and submitted, await the broker’s opinion of the ‘Market Value’ and proposed listing price.

a laptop with metrics and bar graphs displayed
a closeup of an ipad with charts and graphs

5. Work with us to complete Listing Documents and prepare a Confidential Business Review.

This will give qualified Buyers a ‘snapshot’ summary about all aspects of your business.  At this time we will perform an appraisal of your business. This typically takes 30 days to get completed.  To complete the appraisal an invoice for work will be paid in full before moving on to listing the business.

a conference call around a table and a speakerphone

6. Interview Prospective Buyers

We’ll schedule conference calls and meetings with qualified candidates. You may be required to have conference calls and in-person meetings with Buyers.  This process might be repeated several times until we find the right buyer.

7. Negotiation - accept or counter offers.

Consider all offers. Accept or counter an offer.  The person who has the most options in price, terms, and conditions will prevail successfully.

a handshake with a signed contract on a table
a hand written paper and reading glasses illustrating the strategy and financials of a business they want to sell

8. Enter Financial Due Diligence period.

This is the phase in which a prospective buyer will analyze confidential records about your business. 

9. Buyer signs off on applicable contingencies.

We await your buyer to sign off on all applicable contingencies.  For example, if you lease your property and get landlord approval or are a franchise and need corporate approval.

a closeup of a fountain pen on a signature line
an attorney reviews a contract with the scales of justice in the foreground

10. Attorneys prepare closing documents and parties review.

Attorneys will prepare closing documents for the transaction, and they are reviewed by the buyer, seller, and respective legal counsel.  Depending on the complexity of the transaction can take 2-3 weeks.

11. Inventory is conducted on day of closing.

Inventory is conducted (if applicable, and often it is competed at a time other than the day of closing but as close to closing as possible).

a warehouse with full shelves and industrial boxes
a closeup of two hands with a key being passed from one to the other

12. Closing Date

Parties meet at a closing attorney’s office or title company and sign the documents, and exchange monies to officially ‘close’ on the sale of the business.  The keys to the business are pasted across the table.

13. Seller trains Buyer in their new business.

Seller will train the buyer and help him/her get acquainted with their new business.

a closeup of a packet of papers that reads instruction manual along with reading glasses and a small crescent wrench