Settle all litigation and environmental issues before putting the company on the market.
Hire a good transaction lawyer, because the buyer will also.
If company owners are totally inflexible, the buyer may walk away from the transaction.
Be prepared to accept a lower price for lack of management depth, dependence on a small number of customers or clients, and lack of geographical distribution.
When a buyer indicates he or she may be ready to submit a Letter of Intent, tell them up front what items you want included. For example, price and terms; what assets and liabilities are to assumed, if an asset purchase; what contracts and warranties are to be assumed; and time schedule for due diligence and closing. (These are just some of the items a seller might want included.)
Be advised that many buyers will view the value of Sub Chapter S corporations to be worth less than if the company is a C Corporation.
Make the company more visible by attending trade shows. Tie up patents, copyrights and trademarks. Create a public relations program. These areas all create perceived value.
Selling a company involves sometimes-inconsistent objectives: speed, confidentiality and value – pick the two that are the most important.
Keep in mind that companies get stale after sitting on the shelf for awhile.
Don’t expect your lawyer to win every point of contention – you want a dealmaker, not a dealbreaker.
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