Your sale of business checklist: What to do before seeing a potential buyer

business owners going through sale of business checklist

Discover the documents needed to sell a business

Selling a business can be challenging. But when managed well, and with adequate preparation and diligence, the sale of a business can be a positive and even life-changing event.

A poor business sale can drain time and resources. It may even end up being a negative experience that causes financial strain and other complications for the business owner. It is important to therefore have a good idea of what to expect so that you can face challenges as they arise.

It is also vital to have your business ready for sale and to make sure you have got your business to a point where it is an attractive prospect for a would-be buyer. When you are sure that selling your business is the right decision, you need to take some key steps before meeting with any prospective buyers.

Looking to sell your business? Call Conveyancing.Com on [phone] for a complimentary and confidential discussion about what you need to do to get started.

What you need to do before you advertise your business for sale

One of the first things that a prospective buyer will want to look at is the financial aspects of your business. A buyer is going to want to see:

  • Records of the business cash flow
  • Stock, supply and records of debtors
  • A comprehensive inventory of all of your assets (including a valuation of assets with up to date records for both sale and insurance purposes)
  • A valuation of your business
  • Profit records and accounting information for current and all previous financial years of operation
  • Lease information, licenses and permits

There will likely be a lot of information to compile, so before you even consider advertising your business for sale, bring this information together by performing a financial inventory.

This will make matters straightforward when you are looking to engage in negotiations with prospective buyers. It is also important that you create an inventory of your assets so that you know what plant and equipment you have to include or exclude from the sale price.

How to create an inventory of your assets

man checking stock for preparation of business sale document

You may be selling your business with everything included, or you might be choosing to keep certain items for other use or sale. No matter what, you need to perform a full inventory of all possible assets that will be included and excluded in the sale of your business.

  • Work out what is owned, and what is leased or hired by your company or business
  • Set a value for any equipment that you own that cannot be independently valued
  • For leased or hired equipment, work out whether this is going to be paid off or transferred, and if so, what sort of transfer consent and fees exist
  • Identify how existing stock will be valued and when a final stocktake will take place

You may also have existing debtors. The new business owner may be happy to buy these debtors. If this is the case, you will need to outline a method of valuing your debtors and what sort of transfer will take place.

Along with your asset inventory, you may also need to consider whether the new business owner will require a period of time in which the seller will remain on-site to educate them in operating the business. This can be outlined in your sale of business contract but is also something to consider prior to selling.

Manage your staff and current contracts

It is vital that you inform your staff as soon as possible about your intention to sell your business. If you do not inform them promptly, they may find out through other means and think that you intend to sell the business out from underneath them. This can then cause problems with employee loyalty and satisfaction.

If you are selling your business and the new owner wishes to keep all current staff, you should inform your staff wherever possible about your actions.

  • List all current staff, their start dates and current salaries
  • Identify any relevant terms of employment
  • Find out if there are any employees who do not wish to continue working for the business after the sale

Also, if you have any current supply contracts you are obliged to fulfil, inform your clients or customers of the upcoming sale and work out how the new owner will continue to meet these obligations.

woman in shop preparing documents for sale of business

Do you need a Section 52?

A business owner looking to sell may need to prepare a Section 52 statement. This is required when a small business is being sold where the goodwill, plant, equipment and fittings are being sold for a total price of less than $350,000.00.

You can read more about a Section 52 here, and find out whether your business needs one.

At we have helped countless business owners achieve a successful sale. When you have ticked off what you think you need from your sale of business checklist, call us to make sure that nothing is overlooked. We can ensure that the documents you need to sell a business are all in order for your peace of mind.

Call us on [phone] and speak to our friendly legal team today.

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