Selling Your Business With a Professional Business Broker
The process of selling a business is very different from the sales process for anything else. If you have never sold a business before, you might not know exactly what the process entails. Typically, business sales follow the following procedures:
- Exit Planning: When you meet with one of our business brokers before you begin the sales process, we will help you plan for your business’s future, discuss your options and help prepare for your business’s eventual sale.
- Business Appraisal: In order to determine your company’s value and choose an asking price, your business will need to be professionally appraised. Our business brokers will perform a formal appraisal of your company and provide you with an estimate of your business’s most probable selling price.
- Offering Documents: We will prepare an offering document, which is a 20-to-25-page business summary that details important information about your business, your products, and your daily operations. This document will be provided to interested buyers (only after they have signed a confidentiality agreement), so they can learn more about your business before making an offer.
- Marketing: To connect your business with potential buyers, your business’s sales must be advertised. Our business brokers will create a customized, confidential marketing campaign for your company’s sales. This campaign will advertise your sale using general information and ask buyers who are interested in learning more to contact the Grand Rapids, Michigan, office of Morgan & Westfield. It is important that your sale is advertised in this way to protect your confidentiality.
- Buyer Screening: Interested buyers who respond to your marketing campaign will be screened to ensure they are qualified to purchase your business.
- Negotiations: You will meet with interested buyers and discuss your business. Buyers will make an offer to purchase your business and you will then have the option to accept their offer, reject it or make a counteroffer. This negotiation process will continue until you are able to reach an agreement with a buyer. Throughout this process, our business brokers will advise you on negotiation techniques and help you structure the deal.
- Financing: Most business sales will be financed. Whether your sale is financed by a lending service or you finance your own sale, financing terms will need to be outlined and agreed to. Our business brokers will assist you with securing financing for your sale or structuring the terms of your financing agreement, making successful repayment more likely.
- Closing the Sale: Once a deal is reached and financing is secured, you can begin the closing process. This involves both parties reviewing and signing the sales contract, transferring property, and completing all obligations outlined in the sales contract. Our business brokers will help you complete all of the necessary paperwork to finalize your sale and help you ensure that all buyer and seller obligations are completed in a timely manner.
Your Responsibilities as a Seller
To end the sales process and finalize your sale, you must complete your responsibilities as a seller. These obligations will be outlined in your sales contract, and failure to complete any of your responsibilities will be seen as a breach of your sales contract, potentially nullifying the sale. Our business brokers will help you throughout the closing process and ensure all obligations are met. Some seller responsibilities that are common to most sales include:
- Transferring Property: When your business is sold you will need to transfer all of your company’s property to the new owner. You will also be expected to provide your buyer with information about the rented or leased property and assist them (if possible) in assuming these agreements so that the property can continue to be used by the business.
- Disclosing Proprietary Information: You will be expected to disclose all proprietary information to your buyer once the sale is completed. This includes all information about clients, suppliers, products, services, and any other information that your buyer would need to know to maintain the business’s daily operations.
- Buyer Training: Your sales contract will include a clause outlining a time period in which you will be required to train your buyer. You will need to teach them about your business, your products, and your customers, as well as introduce them to your employees and suppliers to prepare them to run your business’s daily operations.
- Signing a Non-Compete: As a standard aspect of any sale, your buyer will require you to sign a non-compete contract. This contract will prohibit you from working with or opening any business in competition with the business that you are selling. It will also outline when, where and what type of business you will be able to open in the future.
- Signing a Confidentiality Agreement: Just as you required interested buyers to sign a non-disclosure agreement to protect your business’s confidentiality, both the buyer and the seller will usually sign a similar agreement to keep the details of the sale private.
Business Brokers of Grandville, Michigan
At the Grand Rapids, Michigan, office of Morgan & Westfield, our business brokers exclusively serve the business owners of our local communities. This includes the communities of:
Grand Rapids, Cedar Springs, Howard City, Coral, Trufant, Gowen, Greenville, Belding, Smyrna, Orleans, Ionia, Saranac, Clarksville, Lowell, Alton, Lake Odessa, Woodbury, Woodland, Freeport, Middleville, Caledonia, Alto, Forest Hills, Rutland Charter Township, Hastings, Shelbyville, Dorr, Hopkins, Allegan, Fennville, Burnips, Saugatuck, Overisel, Macatawa, Holland, Zeeland, Jamestown, Hudsonville, Georgetown Township, Byron Center, Kentwood, Port Sheldon, Borculo, West Olive, Walker, Allendale Charter Township, Marne, Wight, Nunica, Spring Lake, Grand Haven, Ravenna, Casnovia, Kent City, Grant, Ashland, Muskegon, and Wyoming.
In addition to these specific communities, our business brokers have also worked with business owners in many of the surrounding communities that make up this region of Western Michigan.
Our business brokers at the Grand Rapids, Michigan, office of Morgan & Westfield have hundreds of years of combined experience in facilitating business sales in the Western Michigan area. By utilizing our local connections and our extensive knowledge of this marketplace, our business brokers are able to facilitate hundreds of business sales in this region each year. These sales include companies of all sizes and in a variety of industries, including retail, automotive, manufacturing, hospitality, health care, education, construction, and agricultural.
We have also facilitated franchise sales and franchise resales for a wide variety of companies. Our extensive experience in facilitating business sales throughout the Western Michigan area uniquely qualifies us to facilitate the sale of any business in this region. If you are considering selling a business in the Western Michigan area, contact the Grand Rapids, Michigan, office of Morgan & Westfield today.