The impending sale of your business

27th February 2017 5:27 pm Leave your thoughts

How many of you pick up the phone to a solicitor only after a verbal agreement has been reached? Your possibilities of achieving a more profitable outcome are increased significantly if solicitors are contacted much earlier. There is so much more we can do to help you achieve optimal results as a seller and make sure you are properly prepared to proceed.

To help you plan for your future, I would recommend that you should speak with a solicitor to go through all your options with you. I always discuss and draw up with my clients, a viable exit strategy and I ensure that we jointly get all my clients’ important paperwork in order, to tie up any potential loose ends.

It is important to me that I take the time to explain and familiarise you with the whole sale and purchase procedure. It is at this point that you should be able to gage and appreciate the level of expertise of your chosen solicitor and make sure it is appropriate to your needs.

Well ahead of time I would be advising you to start the process of identifying suitable prospective buyers. A competitor?  A supplier or customer? Members of the businesses own management team (management buy-out)? or even someone I know? Proving, perhaps strongly now more than ever, it’s not what you know but who you know.

If you have appointed the right solicitor who has the correct level of expertise, then they should urge you to formalise your contractual relationships with important suppliers and customers. More often than not, much will have been left to trust and goodwill. Such an approach will be frowned upon by any prospective purchasers and their solicitors during their pre-acquisition due diligence process as continuity may be at risk.

It is important to make sure key employees have signed contracts of employment with appropriate restrictive covenants preventing them working for a competitor or on their own in competition with you. I would go through your contracts of employment with you making sure they are thoroughly up to date. The worst possible scenario is finding a purchaser only to be faced with a key-employee giving notice and sets up a competing business.

I would advise you in conjunction with your accountant on the tax opportunities and consequences.

These are just a few of the matters that I can help with, so ensure that you involve Colemans at the outset and then I can certainly help you achieve the best results.


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This post was written by Colemans Solicitors LLP

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