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Sooner or later you may want to sell your business. The first step towards finding the right purchaser is to ensure the company is in a saleable state.

The procedures for sale may vary depending on the type of company you are selling. Both regarding treat for tax purposes as well as the practical approach. Whatever the structure, there are some things you should be considering.

Start by dealing with documentation of routines and processes. Anything the purchaser may perceive as a problem may hinder the conclusion of the transaction. The following areas should be considered:

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  • Are accounting records, agreements and administrative documents in good order?
  • Are production, routines and processes well documented?
  • Are core business activities, the customer base and contact networks well documented?
  • Does the business plan need updating?

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Balance sheet and agreements

  • Will it facilitate the purchase if some assets are not included in the business?
  • Are there any related-party liabilities and accounts which should be settled?
  • Are there any ongoing disputes that should be resolved?
  • Is there an important agreement date (rental, leasing etc.) approaching which may be of significance to a potential purchaser?

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  • Is there a loss-making activity or secondary activity which should be discontinued or removed?
  • Are there any special agreements with good contacts which a purchaser might want to take over?
  • Are there any good business transactions or development projects which should be completed before the sale is concluded?

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External factors

  • What is the cyclical situation for the sector?
  • Is the business seasonal?

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Start planning in time

A change of ownership has several phases. If you start planning in time, you are able to steer the process. Here we review the most important aspects of a change of ownership.

Motivation: review why and how much of the company you want to sell.

Buyer: define what types of buyers you want and how the purchase will be financed.

Advisor: use qualified advisors who can make objective assessments.

Structure: review the company's organization and procedures so that it doesn't depend completely on you. A well-managed company is also more attractive to buyers.

Future: think about your role after the sale, check the tax consequences and make sure that you have enough money when you retire.

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