FAQ: “I want to sell my business. What are my options?”

Every month, hundreds of small to medium-sized business owners decide the time is right to sell their business. Whether you’re looking for an early retirement or just some fresh business capital to invest in your next business venture, there are a series of options available to you if you’re looking to sell your business.

Business Valuation | Daltons Business“Why should I sell my business through an agency?”

Business Transfer Agents and Commercial Property Agents will be able to advise you of the likely sales value of your business given its location, industry and turnover. If hired, they will advertise your business for sale under their corporate branding, present your business to active business buyers whom they know will be interested in buying your business and negotiate the sale of your business. On completion of the sale, they will charge a fee for this service and they may ask you for an up-front fee, depending on the agency.

“Why should I sell my business privately?”

When you sell your business privately, you are responsible for every aspect of the sale, from the pricing and marketing of your business to the final negotiations. You don’t have to sign a contract giving anyone exclusive rights to sell your business, and you don’t have to give anyone a percentage of the sale in commission fees. You will have to write and pay for your own advertising, however, and you will have to arrange your own viewings. To join the thousands of business sellers advertising on our site click here

“How can I sell my business as a going concern?”

If you’re selling your business as a going concern, you will need to be able to show potential buyers that they can walk in to your business and take the reins without any major problems. Buyers will need to know that you have the bank account, stock, goodwill and web presence (if applicable) required to make a profit from day one. If you can show basic accounting information, such as sales figures for the last 6 to 12 months, this will make your business for sale a much more attractive proposition.

“How do I sell my business equipment?” 

Food counter sell my businessBusiness equipment that you wish to sell separately, such as manufacturing machinery or catering fridges, are classed as assets. You will frequently find that these have a value to new business buyers and existing business owners who are looking to expand or re-fit their premises in a cost effective manner. You need to make it clear to the potential purchaser that it is the business assets, and not the business itself, that you are selling.

“Can I sell my business if I am a sole trader?”

If you sell your business as a sole trader, the value of the premises you operate from and the assets you have will remain the same, however it will be hard to put a value on the ‘goodwill’ element of your business. Your suppliers may have given you credit on the basis of your own personal payment record, for instance, and they might not wish to continue this arrangement with the new business owner. Equally, all trading licences and qualifications will be in your name and are unlikely to be transferable. If you are concerned that this will affect the selling value of your business, it’s worth speaking to your accountant, or requesting a free valuation of your business here.

“How long will it take to sell my business?”

The length of time it will take to sell your business will depend on a series of factors, and on the price you are looking to achieve. If you are looking for a quick sale, it’s best to set your asking price just below the asking price of other comparable businesses for sale. If you have a sum in mind that you believe is at or above the current market value for businesses of your type in your location, then it may take longer to find the right buyer.

“How much tax will I pay if I sell my business?”

This will depend on how your business is configured and which parts of your business you are selling, and will differ greatly depending on your situation. If you are at an early stage in the process and looking for a rough estimate, the UK government’s Business Link website has an interactive tool which can give you an idea of what to expect. When you approach this stage it’s important to take professional advice; ask your agent, accountant or solicitor for more information.

FAQ: “I want to sell my business. What are my options?”