Selling Your Business in Florida can be easy.

Selling your business can become overwhelming and stressful. In fact, it may be one of the largest transactions of your life. An exit strategy involves developing a plan to pass on responsibility of running the business, transferring ownership and extracting your equity.  It’s important you have an experienced team of advisers in your corner to help you navigate thru the complicated process and anticipate upcoming steps in the process to ensure a successful transaction.

Business brokers at advise that whether you choose a professional business broker or not, it’s important that you have a comfort level with your Adviser when selling your business. We do however, take our job very seriously – protecting our clients, and working in their best interest to leverage value up to get maximum value for their business.

Simple Steps to start planning your Business Exit Strategy

Business owners know that their business will either transfer or close.   Step back and take an objective look at your business.  Without an objective view, a business cannot be packaged to attract the most advantageous buyer and receive the highest price.

Those looking to buy a business are looking for a good opportunity.  This often means stepping in to correct problems so that future profits can be gained.   It is just as important to know what’s wrong with your business as it is to know what is right.

You should take steps to ensure that your business does not depend on YOU for its survival and success.  Serious buyers are seeking a company to manage and don’t want to acquire a business that has a current owner who is indispensable.

Have your financials in order before selling your business.   Comprehensive, financial records are a must if you want to attract buyers willing to pay a premium for your business.  Well-maintained records present you as an experienced business owner and your business as professionally operated.  Well-maintained records also reduce the buyer’s perception of risk.

Have a third party credible business valuation.  A buyer will likely pay top dollar for a business when documented evidence can be provided that supports the price they are willing to pay.

Selling a business requires a great deal of preparation that must be completed before taking the company to market. Some of this preparation can take years since every aspect of your business needs to be reviewed. With careful consideration of the following steps, you will understand all of the components involved with the sale and be able to start putting strategies in place to ensure the most successful result.

  1. Determine Your Objectives
  2. Understand What Makes Your Business Salable
  3. Take Care of Pre-Sale Tasks
  4. Determine True Profitability
  5. Manage Your Capital
  6. Develop Your Sales Strategy
  7. Take Control of Your Exit

If you’ve gone this far, then selling your business has aroused enough curiosity that you are taking the first step. You don’t have to make a commitment at this point; you are just getting informed about what is necessary to successfully sell your business. This section should answer a lot of your questions and help you through the maze of the process itself.

Question 1

The first question almost every seller asks is: “What is my business worth?” Quite frankly, if we were selling our business, that is the first thing we would want to know. However, we’re going to put this very important issue off for a bit and cover some of the things you need to know before you get to that point. Before you ask that question, you have to be ready to sell for what the market is willing to pay. If money is the only reason you want to sell, then you’re not really ready to sell.

*Insider Tip:
It doesn’t make any difference what you think your business is worth, or what you want for it. It also doesn’t make any difference what your accountant, banker, attorney, or best friend thinks your business is worth. Only the marketplace can decide what the value of your business is.

Question 2

The second question you have to consider is: “Do you really want to sell this business?” If you’re really serious and have a solid reason (or reasons) why you want to sell, it will most likely happen. You can increase your chances of selling if you can answer yes to the second part of this question: “Do you have reasonable expectations?” A yes answer to these two questions means you are serious about selling.


Okay, let’s assume that you have decided to at least take the first few steps to actually selling your business. Before you even think about placing your business for sale, there are some things you should do first.The first thing you have to do is to gather information about the business.

Here’s a checklist of the items you should get together:

  • Three years’ profit and loss statements
  • Federal Income Tax returns for the business
  • List of fixtures and equipment
  • The lease and lease-related documents
  • A list of the loans against the business (amounts and payment schedule)
  • Copies of any equipment leases
  • A copy of the franchise agreement, if applicable
  • An approximate amount of the inventory on hand, if applicable
  • The names of any outside advisors

Planning the exit strategy for your business

It is worth planning and preparing your exit strategy as early as possible, regardless of the reason for the exit. Finding the right business adviser who understands the owner’s selling requirements and strategic goals and who can guide you through the steps to a successful sale is paramount. The adviser can also help you understand the various exit strategy options, criteria for the most appropriate buyers, the timing of the sale and the tax consequences of the different transaction structures.

Managing the profits from the sale of your business

Once the sale has been completed it is important to obtain the correct financial advice so you can map out your financial goals and determine how best to invest your money. It is also important to review the tax structures put in place at the beginning of the process and liaise with your tax adviser on any changes that may need to be implemented.

Our corporate finance team has extensive experience assisting SME clients prepare their business for sale and providing guidance through the different steps of the process. If you are considering selling your business, contact a member of our corporate finance team.

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