Knowledge Base

The most comprehensive, easy-to-understand source of information for selling a small to mid-sized business.

Knowledgebase Topics

FAQs

Find quick and concise answers to the most common questions in M&A.

General Information

Thinking of selling your business? Start with our guide to the general concepts and processes of M&A, such as timing your sale, the most common reasons owners exit, and how involved you can expect to be at each step.

1 - Preparation

In this section, we explore the planning stage for selling your business, such as increasing your business’s value and reducing buyers’ risk, when to inform your employees, and compiling key documentation for the sale.

2 - Valuation

Business valuation is a complex process with dozens of competing factors. Use our guide to understanding the value of your business using multiples of your SDE (seller’s discretionary earnings) or EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization).

3 - Exit Options

Your ultimate buyer may be a financial, strategic, or other type of investor. This section explores the buyers most suited to your business’s type and size, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

4 - M&A Team

When selling your business, your advisory team can make or break the sale. Learn how to select and work with a winning team, including an experienced M&A advisor, attorney, accountant, and other professionals.

5 - Marketing

This section covers the most effective ways to confidentially market your business for sale. Discover how buyers are found, screened, and contacted, and how to keep news of your sale a secret.

6 - Letter of Intent

The letter of intent is arguably the most important document in your sale and will form the basis of your transaction. Review our in-depth guide to the key clauses of the LOI, the most common mistakes sellers make in negotiations, and how to maximize your leverage before you sign.

7 - Deal Structure

Before you accept a letter of intent, it’s important to learn the basics of deal structure. In this section, we cover the components of the purchase price, such as cash, stock, earnouts, and seller financing, and how your taxes could be impacted by your transaction’s legal framework.

8 - Due Diligence

Once you accept a letter of intent, the buyer will begin the process of investigating the operational, legal, and financial aspects of your business, known as due diligence. Half of deals die at this stage – here’s how to navigate these 30 to 90 crucial days before closing.

9 - Closing

The purchase agreement is the ultimate legal contract between buyer and seller. It is usually prepared by the buyer during due diligence, negotiated by your M&A attorney, and consummates the sale of your business on closing day. This section studies the closing in detail, from negotiating the purchase agreement to resolving post-closing disputes.

10 - Transition

Ownership of your business officially transfers to the buyer upon closing. This section will help you understand the different transition periods, learn how to package and hand over your accounts and processes, and prepare to finally let go of your business.