Business Sellers: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
At ArrayBSA, we have put together a list of frequently asked business-selling questions and their corresponding answers, to get you started.
How long will it take to sell my business and how long is your contract?
According to the Business Brokerage Press, the average time for the sale of a small business was 212 days from the date of listing to the day the seller received a check. At ArrayBSA, some deals come together within 60 days, others take quite a bit longer. Due to these statistics our average contract runs 12 months. Only a careful analysis of your company will allow us to more closely project the time required.
Can I engage ArrayBSA and still sell the business myself?
Due to issues of confidentiality, ArrayBSA works with exclusive contracts only. If you have identified a potential buyer, we will arrange for a reduced success fee for that one particular buyer.
How will you market my business while maintaining confidentiality?
ArrayBSA has dozens of methods to introduce your opportunity into the buyer community without compromising confidentiality. First and foremost is tapping into our database of, qualified buyers. Blind postings (with very broad geographic range) on tens of web sites, trade publications, national financial publications, direct mail and countless other means are utilized and only after approval of the client.
How can I figure out the value of my business?
When it comes to determining the value of your business, there are a lot of options depending on your business and industry. Business Valuations provide a look at your company in many different ways, from cash flow to physical assets. For a more in-depth look we provide our own proprietary Brokers Opinion of Value (BOV) process. ArrayBSA provides several options that are commonly integrated into our selling a business process.
Do my employees need to know I am selling my business?
Each company has different needs but typically employees are not told of the sale until such time that the seller and buyer agree the time is right.
Do I get to keep my cash on hand and accounts receivable?
Most business sales are asset sales where the business seller does keep all cash and receivables at closing. This is a negotiable issue that is discussed prior to bringing the company to market.
Will I need my lawyer and accountant?
The success of any business transfer is directly related to the team effort put forth. Your attorney and accountant will be instrumental in creating a win/win deal and should be made part of the team as soon as possible. If your attorney is not experienced in business transfers, we are happy to provide a list of experienced M&A lawyers for you to choose from. Tax implications will be critical and your accountant should be conferred with early on in the process.
What are the types of buyers for my business?
There are generally three types of buyers for a business.
- The job finder is looking at replacing you as owner and operator: their motivation is employment.
- The financial buyer is looking at your business as an investment: their motivation is financial gains.
- The strategic buyer is looking to add your company to their own business: their motivation is assets.
What is the Fair Market Value of a business?
The fair market value is an estimate of what a willing buyer would pay to a willing seller, (both having equal knowledge of the business and transaction variables) in a free market, for an asset or piece of property under conditions where neither party feels pressured or obligated to buy or sell. If a transaction occurs with the aforementioned conditions the transaction price is usually the fair market value. This is not the same as intrinsic value that an individual may place on an asset, meaning what he or she feels the selling/purchasing price should be based on personal preference.
Am I ready to sell by company?
Below are a few key questions to ask yourself if you are considering the sale of your company. These questions are for your own use. You must answer honestly to aid you in determining if now may be the right time to sell your company.
- Do you have a clear reason for why you want to exit your company or was it just a bad day?
- Are you prepared to train a new owner in transitioning ownership?
- Have you planned what you’ll do with your time when you no longer have an office to go to?
- Have you had your company appraised? Will the sale be sufficient to finance your next life?
- Are you truly committed to selling if your financial expectations are met?
- Do you have ideas as to who might be the best buyer for your company?
Confidentiality Agreement – The Intermediary’s Role
Prior to any information being disseminated to a potential buyer, a ArrayBSA intermediary will require that the buyer execute a confidentiality/non-disclosure agreement. This agreement prohibits the release of any information (unless in the public domain) to anyone except their attorney and/or accountant. Both of these professional groups follow a Code of Ethics which prevents them from disclosing any information. We also ask that personal financial statements and corporate balance sheets are supplied to ascertain the buyer’s financial ability to consummate the transaction being contemplated. The background of the buyer and/or the investment/equity group they represent are also important to determine whether they may be a strategic fit. If there is a question about giving information to anyone within the client’s industry, we ask our client for client permission first.
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