A saying often attributed to Abraham Lincoln goes: “A man who acts as his own lawyer has a fool for a client.” This sentiment also applies to anyone selling a business. To obtain a successful transaction with the least amount of drama and risk, it is usually best to employ a team of experienced advisors who know as much about selling a business as an experienced buyer (and his team) know about buying.
Depending on the nature of the business and the size and complexity of the transaction, you may need a little or a lot of assistance from your team. But at some point in the sale process, you will need expertise in the following areas:
- Tax advisor
- Business broker
- Business mentor(s)
Your accountant, tax advisor, and business broker can assist in evaluation your business, make sure it is presented to the market in the most favorable light, and help structure the sale in a way that is favorable. Your attorney will make sure your purchase and sale agreement accurately reflects the business terms of the sale, mitigate any liability you may have, and insure all legal and regulatory requirements are satisfied. A personal mentor(s) can help you evaluate the bigger questions such as which alternatives might be the best fit for you given your situation and your other interests.
You don’t sell your business every day and it’s easy to overlook details that can become major problems. Bringing outside expertise to the sale of you business can help you avoid problems and achieve a smooth, successful sale.