Three Deadly Weapons That Will Wreck the Sale of Your Business

Here are the Three Deadly Weapons that can wreck the sale of your business. These weapons are based upon experience, discussions with many business owners, and many years of representing businesses in and out of the courtroom.

In selling a business, you can learn how to avoid the three mistakes that will literally cut the sales price of your business in half. Think about having a business that should be worth $750,000 but only being able to sell it for $375,000.

There are 700,000 businesses that will come on the market and change hands every year. That number represents 30% of 2,500,000 businesses that owners will want to sell every year. 70% of the businesses do not sell. Many of those end up being liquidated for lack of a buyer.

If you do not pay attention to three factors in selling your business, you literally may only receive half of what you should get.

1. Not Understanding the True Value of Your Business.

Albert wants to sell his business that has a ten-year track record. The business provides Albert an income of $150,000 per year in the retail area. Albert has done his own valuation of what he thinks the business should sell for and wants a price of $1,500,000 for the business. That price is a factor of 10 times the net income. Unfortunately, in the retail sector of Albert’s business, the going rate is a multiple of three times the net income or $450,000.

Because of his unrealistic price, Albert will not be able to sell his business.

2. Not Understanding How The Sales Proceeds Will Be Taxed When Received.

Janet owns a business in a corporation. The sale is proposed to her as a sale of assets and no assumption of liabilities. Although the sale of assets will be treated as a long-term capital gain at the corporate level, she has not considered how she will get the money out of the corporation and into her hands personally. Unfortunately, she has also signed the Purchase and Sale Agreement without consulting her attorney or her accountant. How much tax will she have to pay?

There are a number of options that could have been considered on how to structure the transaction. Unfortunately, you have to game plan and run the numbers on all of the options BEFORE you sign the purchase and sale agreement. Some owners have actually unintentionally structured transactions by not planning advance with the result that they were taxed at ordinary income rates rather than long term capital gains rates!

3. Business Owners Selling Must Follow The Boy Scout Motto – “Be Prepared”

After working for twenty-five years, two owners decide that they want to sell their business and retire. They begin working less and have not trained anyone to do the technical things that they do so well. Of course by working less, less technical tasks get fulfilled and less income rolls in. The best preparation would be to sell before income goes down and better yet have installed the six systems that literally double the value of your business.

One needs to begin preparing to sell a business probably years before the business is sold or even offered for sale. There are six systems that every business must have. Without them, the business is not an investment that buyers drool over.

This test will tell you whether your business has those systems:

1. If you take off all of next week and do nothing in your business, what will happen to the income of the business?

Increase Decrease Unaffected (Circle one)

2. If you take off all of next week and do nothing in your business, what will happen to the flow of new business?

Increase Decrease Unaffected (Circle one)

3. Do you have a written business continuity plan? Yes No

4. Do you have videos or audios of your plans for the business over the next three years? Yes No

5. When someone calls your office to schedule an appointment, does someone different answer the phone and/or do they have a set script to use to answer the call and close the appointment? Yes No

6. Who is your favored buyer for your business?

Do you have a name ready or do you have no clue whom the buyer would be?

7. If you do not come back from your next appointment, ever, who will sign checks at your company?

8. Will your death cause your company’s lines of credit to be called due?

Yes No

9. Do you have a checklist to be followed if you are suddenly disabled and unable to care for the business? Yes No

10. Are you ready to learn how to implement the necessary steps for an effective exit strategy? Yes No