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Where To Sell Your Business

Where to sell your business

As a business owner looking to sell your business, you’ll know that this can be a rather stressful time as you look for the right buyer who’s willing to pay the right price. One way to make this process a lot smoother is preparing your business properly for sale and knowing where to sell a business. Knowing where and how to sell a business will save you a lot of time as well as headaches and will simplify the process that you have in front of you.

In this article, we’ll have a look at some of the options that you have available to you when it comes to selling your business in the UK.

What to do before you sell your business

Before you look at where you can sell your business, there are a few steps in preparation that you’ll need to take to ensure that your business is ready to be sold. Some of the things you’ll need to do before you sell your business include:

Set Your Goals

We’re sure that almost every business owner has frustrating days which by the end of the day leaves them threatening to sell their business. If this is you, it’s time to take a step back and determine your reasons for wanting to sell your business. Selling your business is definitely not a small decision, and the process is probably far more complicated than it may seem from the outside. So take some time to set your goals for the future and what you hope to achieve by selling your business.

Prepare Your Business for Sale

Once you have decided that selling your business is what you definitely want, it is time to prepare your business for sale and make it as attractive as possible to potential buyers. This means getting your business in ship shape by replacing and fixing broken equipment, building up a strong team, settling any disputes, ensuring all creditors are paid, preparing accounts, and ensuring that managers can handle some of the responsibilities that are usually thrust on the owner for the interim period.

Understand the Tax You’ll Need to Pay

Selling a business comes with its own tax obligations. If you make a profit when you sell your business, you’ll need to pay capital gains tax if you go over the tax-free allowance. This can end up being quite costly, so it is important that you are aware of some of the tax reliefs available to you, including:

  • Business asset disposal relief- will apply to you if you’ve owned the business for two years or more.
  • Business asset rollover relief- reduce the amount of tax you’ll have to pay on the sale of assets if you plan to use the money to buy more assets in less than three years.
  • Incorporation relief-this is applicable when you sell your company in exchange for shares.
  • Gift holdover relief- when selling an asset and you transfer tax responsibility over to the buyer.

Get a Business Valuation

While you may have an idea of the amount of what you’d like to get for your business, this is probably not its true value. To get an accurate idea of what your business is worth and what you could sell it for, it would be necessary to have a professional business evaluator evaluate your business. They’ll be able to give you a ballpark figure as well as the reasons why they think this is an accurate estimate.

Sale Brochure

Just like selling a house, it is helpful to have a sale brochure for your business that contains pictures and details of your business so that potential buyers can take these homes and look over them. You may want to incorporate your sale brochure with elements of your due diligence which will also need to be prepared in detail

Where are some of the places where I can sell my business?

Once you have prepared to sell your business, it’s time to think about where you’d want to sell it. The good news is that in this day and age, you have many different options available to you, some of which include:

Social Media

The power of social media should definitely never be underestimated. Social platforms such as Facebook Marketplace and LinkedIn could be good starting points for listing the sale online. It is an efficient way to reach as many potential buyers as possible. Just remember that not everyone who calls you may be a serious buyer.

Local Publications

Are there any local publications in your area? If so, they probably have a section in which they list various properties and businesses for sale, and it may be well worth paying for a listing in a publication. You never know who’ll see it and who may be interested in what you have on offer. A local publication would probably do a bit of a background check on your business before agreeing to list it, and having your business listed in a local publication would definitely help confirm the sale as legitimate. Local publications could include the local newspaper, a neighbourhood magazine or a publication that focuses specifically on local, business-related news.

Approaching Someone You Know Would Be Interested

The chances are that you probably have a client, supplier, friend, or family member that may be interested in buying your business from you. It is often easier to sell to someone that you know, as they are already familiar with your business, and you’ll know that your business is going to be well taken care of. Someone that is already working in your particular industry would be able to handle the running of your business and perhaps even be able to breathe new life into it.

Online Marketplaces

The most popular places to sell businesses these days are definitely online marketplaces, of which there are many. The great thing about these websites is that they attract legitimate buyers who have the cash to buy a business and are looking for a business to call their own. Some of the most popular websites on which you can list your business include sites such as:

  • RightBiz.co.uk
  • DealOpportunities.co.uk
  • RightMove.co.uk
  • Daltonsbusiness.com
  • BusinessesForSale.com
  • BusinessBroker.net

Do your own research surrounding these sites and others, and see what option may work best for you. It is important to keep in mind that most of these sites charge you to list your business on them. It could be a monthly fee or a flat fee that you pay until your business is sold and your listing is removed.

Using a broker to sell your business

If none of the above ways of selling your business appeal to you, you may want to go through the route of using a professional business broker to sell your business.

Going through a broker offers you many benefits. The number one benefit is that it saves you time. Selling a business can be an extremely time-consuming process as you have to deal with loads of phone calls, emails, and non-committed offers. It can be extremely frustrating, and having a business broker handle everything for you can certainly relieve some of the stress and anxiety associated with selling a business.

Brokers also have access to a network of potential buyers within the business world. They may be able to get your business sold efficiently and even faster than you may have hoped for. This is definitely a major advantage.

Did you know that negotiating really is a skill? And business brokers have honed this skill down to a T. Not everyone is a good negotiator so it is sometimes better to allow the professionals to handle this arena for you.

When dealing with a broker, you’ll also ensure that all your admin and paperwork involved with the sale of your business is done correctly. It is so easy to make a silly mistake if you are not familiar with all of the paperwork that is required from you.

The only real drawback is that the broker usually has a fee as well as takes a percentage of the sale. But think of it this way, it is also an incentive for them to sell your business for the highest price possible, creating a win-win situation for both you and your broker.

Business brokers handle the sale of all types of businesses. So no matter what size your business is or what industry you’re in, a business broker definitely has many advantages to offer you during the sale of your business.

What are the advantages of selling my business privately?

When you sell your business privately instead of through a broker, you have complete control over every aspect of the sale of your business, and this is attractive to many business owners. You don’t have to give anyone a percentage of the sale, and you get to decide the final price and who you would like to sell your business to.

How to sell my business equipment?

When it comes to selling your business equipment, you essentially have two options available to you. Selling your business equipment as an inclusion with the sale of your business or selling it separately. Often you could get more if you sell each piece separately, depending on the type of equipment that you have, but this process can be tiresome. There are many different platforms on which you could sell your equipment, including social media and online marketplaces. Alternatively, you could sell your used equipment to a secondhand store or reach out to other business owners in your industry.

How long will it take to sell my business?

It is impossible to determine how long it will take to sell your business. Therefore patience is key. You could get lucky and find a legitimate buyer straight away, or you could be waiting months for even the slightest nibble. The time that you’ll have to wait to sell your business is determined by a number of factors, including the current business market, the demand for businesses in your industry, and how much you want for it. If you are looking to make a speedy sale, it is a good idea to settle for just below the asking price. Going through a broker may also help speed up certain processes.

If you are determined to get as much for your business as possible, then you should expect to wait and be patient.

Be ready to negotiate

Whether you go through a broker or sell your business privately, you need to be willing to negotiate at some point. This is why getting a business valuation is so important so that you know what your business is really worth and that you have a price in mind that you know you won’t budge from.

Tying it all up

If you go through a broker, you’ll have a professional by your side to guide you through the tying up process, but if you decide to sell on a marketplace or to a private buyer, you’ll need to be familiar with the tying up process yourself.

Some of the documents that you’ll need to have in order are the purchase and sale agreements, lender documents, lease agreements, bill of sale, non-compete agreements (if you have been asked to not open a competitor company for a certain number of years.)

It is usually best to wait until the sale is final before letting your employees know that your business has been sold. Inform them of any changes that will affect their lives going forward.

Whether you sell your business yourself on an online marketplace or you go through a broker, ensure that you make the choice that is right for you. Perhaps ask fellow business owners if they have ever sold a business and what their experience was like. It’s always advantageous to get insight from other perspectives. Also, remember that selling a business is not the only way to exit a company.

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