Re­fresh­ingly clear ad­vice

Kaye Whitby ex­plains how to make your busi­ness fit for sale

Cheshire Life - - Promotion -

It can be a hard de­ci­sion to sell a busi­ness. We of­ten see the emo­tional at­tach­ment that own­ers and fam­ily mem­bers have to their busi­ness and the soul de­stroy­ing im­pact when the buy­ers’ ad­vi­sors em­bark on the due dili­gence process. This scru­tiny can re­sult in f laws that own­ers didn’t know ex­isted be­ing re­vealed, hence achiev­ing the ob­jec­tive of pro­tect­ing the buyer and ne­go­ti­at­ing the price down. To lessen this pain and re­ceive the best sale price for your busi­ness, there are a num­ber of ways you can pre­pare.

Be­fore mar­ket­ing your busi­ness you should work to­wards: 1. Get­ting it in the best pos­si­ble shape 2. Elim­i­nat­ing as many po­ten­tial “is­sues” as pos­si­ble


It is highly ad­vis­able to in­volve your busi­ness ad­vi­sor or ac­coun­tant to look at whether or not you have the ap­pro­pri­ate fi­nan­cial con­trols in place and to en­sure that your busi­ness is max­imis­ing prof­itabil­ity.

• Do you have a set of up-to- date fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion and ro­bust cash f low state­ments?

• Can you demon­strate that you are able to at­tract new and re­tain long term busi­ness?

• Can you ini­ti­ate cost ef­fi­ciency mea­sures or elim­i­nate un­nec­es­sary ex­penses?


Many busi­ness own­ers don’t even con­sider their le­gal doc­u­men­ta­tion, which can lead to ma­jor prob­lems and greatly de­value your busi­ness. It is im­por­tant that you:

• Re­solve any ac­tual or po­ten­tial le­gal dis­putes, such as late and bad debt

• Demon­strate good cor­po­rate gov­er­nance, which is seen as a good in­di­ca­tion that those run­ning the busi­ness have strong and ef­fi­cient risk man­age­ment in mind

• Can le­gally prove that you own the key as­sets that are fun­da­men­tal to your busi­ness, such as your in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty. This will in­clude how you man­age and pro­tect your busi­ness data (GDPR) You should en­sure that your key le­gal doc­u­men­ta­tion is up to date and fit for pur­pose, this in­cludes:

• Di­rec­tors’ and Em­ploy­ees Con­tracts

• Em­ployee Hand­book

• Health and Safety Poli­cies

• Trad­ing Terms and Con­di­tions of Busi­ness

It can save you a sig­nif­i­cant amount of money if a pre­sale le­gal re­view of your key trad­ing doc­u­ments and part­ner­ship/share­holder agree­ments is un­der­taken.

Once you are ready to em­bark on the sale process it is vi­tal that you pro­tect your con­fi­den­tial in­for­ma­tion by pre­par­ing a non-dis­clo­sure agree­ment, be­fore any­thing is re­vealed to the buyer. You need to keep in mind that a po­ten­tial buyer may de­cide not to pro­ceed and with­out the ap­pro­pri­ate le­gal pro­tec­tions in place, they could walk away with and po­ten­tially ex­ploit your key busi­ness in­for­ma­tion. We reg­u­larly pre­pare this type of agree­ment for sell­ers in or­der to safely ex­change in­for­ma­tion.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on sell­ing or buy­ing a busi­ness, con­tact Kaye Whitby, Part­ner in the Cor­po­rate and Com­mer­cial team at SAS Daniels on or email 01244 305900 kaye.whitby@sas­ Kaye Whitby Part­ner in the Cor­po­rate and Com­mer­cial team

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