How to sell a business in the UK
There are countless reasons why you might want to sell your business. It could have been your plan all along, to create something valuable and then sell it when the time is right, or you could simply want to retire and make a lump sum of cash. No matter the reason, it’s important to get the sale right.
Selling a business in the UK can be a complex and time-consuming process, but there are several steps you can take to make the process as smooth and successful as possible. Here are some basic stages to go through in order to ensure things go as well as possible, which we cover with the team from Dexterity Partners.
Seek professional advice
Before starting, it’s worth mentioning that you might want to consider seeking the advice of a business broker, lawyer, or accountant to help you navigate the process of selling a business. They can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the process.
“Fit for sale” and “fit for future”
“Fit to sell” refers to the process of preparing a business for sale. This includes organizing financial records, creating a detailed list of assets and liabilities, identifying any areas that need improvement, and taking steps to increase the value of the business. “Fit for future” consists of a long-term health check of the business – along with “fit for sale” checks, this can help ensure that you get the real value for your business, and that the sale goes smoothly.
Determine the value of your business
It’s important to have a clear understanding of the value of your business before you start the selling process. You may want to seek the advice of a professional valuator to help you determine a fair price for your business.
Find potential buyers
There are a variety of ways to find potential buyers for your business, including advertising online, using business brokers, or reaching out to industry contacts. You may also want to consider using a confidentiality agreement to protect your business during the selling process.
Negotiate the sale
Once you have identified potential buyers, it’s important to negotiate the terms of the sale carefully. This may include discussing the price, the terms of payment, and any conditions of the sale.
Formalise the sale
Finally, you’ll be ready to formally close the sale in an SPE. An SPA, or Sale and Purchase Agreement, is a legal contract that outlines the terms and conditions of a business sale in the UK. The SPA typically includes details such as the purchase price, payment terms, the assets and liabilities being transferred, and any conditions that must be met before the sale can be completed.
Overall, the key to successfully selling a business in the UK is to be well-prepared and to seek the advice of professionals if needed. By taking the time to prepare your business for sale, determining its value, finding potential buyers, and negotiating the terms of the sale carefully, you can increase your chances of a successful sale.