Selling a Privately Owned Business – Briefing 8 – Choosing an Advisor
As a business owner you will almost certainly sell only once and you’ll probably wish to appoint a suitable advisor to assist you with the process.
Clearly it’s very important to use the right advisor for you and your particular business, but with little experience of advisors, how best to go about that? Here are some key questions that you can consider and discuss with possible advisors:
• Does the firm have a good knowledge of your type of business and markets?
• Is the firm a specialist advisor and not just a “business estate agent”?
• Confidentiality is absolutely critical for us, how do they control this?
• Will the firm provide you with a full service, including initial advice on the saleability of your business?
• Obviously value and the price you are likely to receive is a very important aspect, how does the firm assess this?
• Do they have a good feel for the economy generally, are they able to advise you on what market conditions are like now and is it the right time to sell?
• You may already have an idea about the kind of buyers that might be interested in your business, how will the firm find more and better buyers than you can do yourself?
• Selling a business is entirely new to you; can you ensure in particular that you will get the necessary support throughout the process, specifically with negotiations?
• Once a deal is agreed, it’s critical to appoint good legal advisors; can the firm help you to choose appropriate solicitors?
• Finally, you need to be sure that you will be supported throughout every step of the sale, with a personal hands-on service, with your advisor available at all times.
As vendor you should always meet with and discuss your potential sale with more than one advisor and it should be easy for good advisors to provide positive answers to all the above points. Furthermore, meeting with potential advisors will allow you to gauge the “chemistry” between you, which will be important as the sale process progresses, which can be quite stressful at times!
6 July 2017