Steps to Successfully Selling Your Business

by | Jul 27, 2023 | Business Sellers & Purchasers, Commercial Clients

Selling a business is a significant decision that requires careful preparation to ensure a successful and smooth transaction. As a business owner, you play a crucial role in the process, and understanding the stages involved is essential for achieving a favourable outcome. Let’s explore the three main stages of selling a business and the key considerations in each phase with the guidance of experienced business lawyers.

Stage 1: Get Your Business Ready for Sale with the Help of a Business Lawyer

The first step in selling your business is to ensure that it’s ready for sale. Proper preparation is crucial to maximising the value of your business and attracting potential buyers. Engaging a business lawyer experienced in commercial law can be immensely beneficial during this stage. They can conduct a thorough Sellers Due Diligence early on, helping to identify and address any issues that may negatively impact the sale price or cause problems down the line. Here are some tips to get your business ready for sale with the assistance of a business lawyer:

1. Conduct a Sellers Due Diligence: 

A business lawyer can investigate the business, its assets, and business relationships to address any legal issues before the business goes on the market.

2. Ensure Legal Compliance: 

A business lawyer can assist in registering the business name and trademarks in your name, discharging any old PPSR charges, and documenting all key contracts to add value to the business.

4. Review Financial Aspects:

Collaborate with your business lawyer and accountant to review the financial aspects of the business, ensuring your finances are in order and attractive to potential buyers.

Tips for selling a business

Stage 2: The Contract Stage with Expert Commercial Lawyers

Once your business is ready for sale, the Contract Stage begins, where the parties enter into a legally binding agreement. This stage is critical in solidifying the deal with the buyer and negotiating terms of the sale. It is highly recommended to work with expert commercial lawyers during this stage to protect your interests and ensure a smooth transaction. Key aspects during the Contract Stage include:

1. Document Agreed Commercial Terms: Your commercial lawyer can help document all main commercial terms of the offer, such as parties, price, settlement date, and conditions to be satisfied before completing the sale.

2. Negotiate Additional Terms: Commercial lawyers can negotiate other important issues not yet agreed upon, such as the period and geographic area of the Seller’s restraint of trade, employee entitlements, and apportionment of the purchase price.

3. Attachments and Matters: Your commercial lawyer will ensure that all necessary schedules, such as asset lists, intellectual property, leases, licenses, permits, and employees’ details, are included in the contract.

4. Exchange of Contract: Once the business sale agreement is agreed upon, the parties sign the contract, making it legally binding.

5. Fulfill Contract Obligations: Your commercial lawyer will guide you to meet key dates and obligations outlined in the contract to avoid breaching your responsibilities.


Stage 3: Settlement with the Support of Business Lawyers

The final stage of selling your business is Settlement, where the sale of your business becomes unconditional, and ownership is transferred to the buyer. This stage involves several legal and financial complexities that require expert advice from business lawyers. Here’s what you need to know about the Settlement stage:

1. Transferring the Lease: Your business lawyer will help prepare to transfer the lease to the buyer, including the necessary documentation and ensuring that you are released from any obligations after settlement.

2. Business Name and Licenses: Your business lawyer will guide you in transferring the business name and any necessary licenses required for operation to the buyer.

3. Plant and Equipment: Your business lawyer will assist in transferring ownership of any equipment or assets involved in the business.

4. Employees: Your business lawyer will ensure that employees are properly notified of the upcoming business sale, calculate their entitlements, and ensure the buyer is aware of their obligations regarding employees.

5. Transferring Business Contracts: Your business lawyer will handle the transfer or termination of agreements with third parties, such as suppliers and customers.

6. Settlement Statements: Your business lawyer will help you agree on settlement adjustments, such as rental payments, and provide payment directions to different parties receiving payments.

7. Stocktake: Your business lawyer can advise on conducting a stocktake to assess the value of the stock if it’s not included in the purchase price.

8. Settlement Day: On settlement day, the final transfer of ownership takes place, and you’ll hand over the keys to the business and any required documentation.

This blog provides the key insights and tips for business owners looking to sell their businesses successfully. By working with experienced business lawyers such as Rise Legal, you can navigate the complexities of selling your business with confidence, knowing that your interests are protected every step of the way.

To get further information as to how Rise Legal can assist you in selling your business, book in for a free 15-minute consultation with one of our lawyers.

Helen Kay - Managing Director

Helen Kay

If you require any assistance with your business legals or any other commercial legal issue, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Typical Legal Disclaimer!…

Unfortunately, there is never a ‘one size fits all’ formula to apply. Every situation is unique and it can be tricky to wrap your head around some areas of the law. To ensure you are setting yourself and your business up for success, it is always best to consult a legal professional with expertise in the field.

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