Sell an Existing Business
Selling a business you already own is simple compared to the process of buying an existing business, but there are still several complex factors to consider, such as the fair market value of the business assets, federal bulk sale rules, federal and state securities laws, and taxes resulting from the business sale. In general, the steps to selling a business include:
Hire a Certified Public Accountant to prepare your financials for delivery to prospective buyers. If required, your accountant may also prepare a prospectus.
Consider hiring a business broker to market the sale of your small business. In addition to identifying potential buyers, a business broker may also assist in negotiating offers made by prospective buyers. Business brokers are paid about 10%of the purchase price by the seller at closing.
In addition to an accountant and perhaps a business broker, an attorney should be retained to prepare a sales contract, arrange for the legal transfer of securities if required, and provide counsel on bulk sale and other regulatory hurdles.
Selling the assets of a business will have different tax consequences than selling the ownership instruments (e.g. shares of stock, LLC membership interests, etc.). Careful examination of the tax implications of the different methods of sale will allow the seller of a business to reduce the tax liability of such a sale.
Where to Start
Contact San Diego Corporate Law for a consultation, to discuss your current business situation, and to receive personalized suggestions for your business situation.