Owning a business


Selling a Business 10-Step Checklist

Paul Cronin

Paul Cronin

February 25, 2024 ⋅ 2 min read

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There are many approaches to selling a business whether through an online marketplace like Baton or utilizing your personal network. Regardless of your approach, Baton’s team of business valuation and sales experts has compiled a 10-step checklist to selling your business. Completing these action items will set you up to sell your business on your terms. Let’s dive in.

  1. Prepare financial documents: Gather and organize financial records, including profit and loss statements, balance sheets, tax returns, and any other relevant financial documents.

  2. Valuation: Determine the value of your business by considering factors such as cash flow, assets, market trends, and industry benchmarks. You may want to consult with a business valuation expert for an accurate assessment.

  3. Clean up operations: Streamline your operations and address any outstanding legal or operational issues. This may include resolving disputes, updating contracts, and ensuring compliance with regulations.

  4. Boost sales and profitability: Prioritize efforts to increase sales and profitability in the months leading up to the sale. A business with strong financial performance is more attractive to potential buyers.

  5. Identify potential buyers: Consider who might be interested in purchasing your business, such as competitors, investors, or individuals seeking a business opportunity. You can market your business for sale through online listings, business brokers, or personal networks.

  6. Confidentiality agreements: Protect sensitive information by requiring potential buyers to sign a confidentiality agreement before disclosing detailed business information.

  7. Negotiate terms: Once you've found a potential buyer, negotiate the terms of the sale, including the purchase price, payment structure, transition period, and any contingencies.

  8. Due diligence: Allow the buyer to conduct due diligence, during which they will review your financial, operational, and legal records to verify the information provided and assess the risks associated with the purchase.

  9. Finalize legal documents: Work with a lawyer to draft and finalize the sale agreement, which outlines the terms and conditions of the sale, including warranties, liabilities, and any seller financing arrangements.

  10. Close the sale: Coordinate the transfer of ownership, assets, and any necessary licenses or permits. Ensure a smooth transition by providing support and assistance to the buyer during the handover process.

By following this checklist, you can effectively navigate the process of selling your small business and maximize the likelihood of a successful sale.