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Seller Questions - Understanding the process of selling a Florida business

SELLERS & BROKERS

I'm ready to sell my business, what do I do first?

The first thing you should do is to tell no one that you are going to sell your business. If employees, vendors, and customers learn that the business is for sale it can cause major problems. Find an experienced business broker that you feel comfortable working with and let the broker guide you through the process.

You would hire an accountant and attorney to do your taxes and legal work and should also hire a broker to sell your business. Your stress level of trying to sell a business while keeping it confidential and the increased profit you realize from the sale should outweigh the cost of doing so.

One of the best decisions a business owner can make is to continue managing his or her business efficiently (and profitably), while depending on the services of a business broker to take care of the many steps of the sale.

What do I need to do?

In order to get the highest price for your business the best time to sell is when there is steady growth so don't wait until you need to sell to list your business, One of the first things a buyer asks is, "Why do they want to sell?" so you need a valid answer to this question. You also need to allow enough time to sell the business as the average business takes from 6 to 8 months to sell. Your broker will ask you to bring several things for the first meeting. If you have these items when you first meet it will save a great deal of time in the future. At the very least, the broker will need to have your books and records for at least the last three years along with year to date numbers in order to help you arrive at a selling price. This includes tax returns, profit & loss reports, balance sheets, and anything else you may have. You will also need to have a copy of your lease and a list of all your furniture, fixtures, and equipment.

What does the broker do?

The business broker is an expert in placing a realistic price on the business and incorporating intangibles; thus reducing the danger that every seller fears, under pricing the business. At the same time, the business broker can help the seller to understand that the selling price is dictated by the marketplace, not by a well meaning accountant or friend who may have an unrealistic idea of what the business is truly worth on the market place.

Your broker has the expertise to market your business in order to appeal to the most buyers. There is an excellent chance the broker may already have a buyer that would be right for your business however you should not expect this.

For locating and qualifying prospective buyers, a business broker uses many methods including computerized databases to access comprehensive lists of local, national, and international buyers all to increase the chances of selling a business at peak value.

Your business broker will present all "offers to purchase" to you and will be a vital advisor during most stages of the negotiation, bringing to "the table" objectivity as well as negotiation skills developed through years of experience in the buying and selling of businesses. Once the "Offer" is accepted by both parties you broker will guide you though the many steps to a smooth closing and make the experience of selling your business as pleasant and stress free as possible.

We can help you sell a business in North Florida or anywhere else in Florida.

A. Jones & Associates, Inc.