How-to Guides


Articles and Guidance on Business Sale

A collection of how-to guides, expert articles, and case studies that are segmented by ExitAdviser's 4-step sale process.

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Checking the Status

How to Transfer Your Business to a Family Member

Transferring your business to a family member like your son or daughter requires planning and tax considerations. Read about selling the business to a family member or giving it to them as a gift.

How to Sell a Restaurant: 5 Hints for the Owner

Selling a restaurant or a café is more complicated than selling a business in general. As the owner, you have to go through a time consuming process to come up with a good exit plan.

Owners' Guide to Selling a Business

This is a complete guide on selling a small business by owner. Topics addressed: hiring a broker vs DIY, pricing the business, legal questions, tax implications, and much more.

How to Sell a Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is a business without a separate legal entity. Find out how to sell such a business and what you must know prior to transfer the ownership. Due diligence and tax implications addressed.

Selling a Business to Employees

Learn how to sell a business to employees, or to management by implementing ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) or MBO (Managemet Buyout).

13 Ways to Exit Your Business

Exit strategy is something that every business owner looks for at some stage of their life. Even if you are a small business owner, you need to figure out the right way to leave your company and hand over the keys.

How to Sell a Franchise Business

Selling a franchise business can be easy for finding buyers but tricky when it comes to the terms and conditions set forth by the franchisor. Franchisees must learn the rules, restrictions, and obligations of reselling their franchise to a new buyer.

Selling Your Business to a Competitor

Selling your business to a competitor can mean saving time and money from trying to find a third-party buyer. Competitors are already familiar with the industry of your business and they know how to manage it properly. Owners just need to be wary of the risks involved by learning how to protect themselves throughout the sale.

Selling a Business: How To Communicate Your Decision

This article guides you through the process of communicating your decision to sell your business - externally and internally. Use the letter template provided to communicate your message to employees, partners, suppliers, and other key stakeholders.

Should I Sell My Business? − 12 Reasons Why Owners Decide to Sell

Should you sell your company? Read about common reasons why small business owners are selling their company. As it turns out, their choices are made up of 12 different scenarios that a business owner might find themselves in.

How Long Does it Take to Sell a Business

You may be wondering how long does it take to sell a small business. Learn about how to speed up the sales process by implementing a series of smart strategies which can motivate the buyer to close the deal faster.

Is Your Business Sellable?

The primary reason businesses are not salable is that business owners fail to plan for the sale. Unrealistic valuation, customer concentration and poor accounting are common obstacles.

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How to Sell a Family Owned Business

The sale of a family-owned business can be tricky. You can sell it on the open market, or to another family member. There are pros and cons to each one of these options. Read about the tips, tricks, and traps with family businesses.

How to Sell a Home-based Business

Sale of a home-based business is a challenging task for the owner. Read what to consider when your intention is to prepare single-person business for sale.

Maintaining Confidentiality When Selling a Business

When selling your company, keep it confidential. Read how does it work with your employees, customers, vendors, competitors, and potential buyers.

A Short Guide to Selling a Small Business

This is a short set of instruction and guidance on exit strategies, principles of business valuation, due diligence, and drafting the buy-sell agreement. Aimed at small business owners selling their company.

How to Prepare and Sell Your Pharmacy Business

Selling an independent pharmacy business is similar to selling any other company, but there are some additional wrinkles associated with this kind of sale.

Selling Your Business in 7 Steps

Selling a company is not an easy decision to make - you'll need to take several critical steps to plan and prepare your business for sale.

How to Get the Timing Right for Your Business Sale

This is brief overview of timing your business sale. Let's simplify the question into three areas: your personal needs, your financial needs, and a realistic business valuation.

Why Are You Selling Your Business?

You've made a decision to sell your business. However before preparing your business for the sale, think again about your motivation, and the reasons. Why are you selling?

Your Dad Is Going to Sell His Business. Now What?

Is your dad selling his business? Now what? You may want to provide him some help. Anyone who has ever run a small business knows just how hard it can be to start selling it.

12 Need to Know Factors That Will Make Your Business Harder to Sell

What many business owners fail to think about when they entertain the idea of selling their business is what factors may make it harder to sell. Take a look at 12 of these.

Are You Ready to Sell Your Business – Try the Checklist

Thinking of selling your business? Are you ready, and is your business well prepared? Here is a checklist to keep your reasons and motivation to sell well organized.

Understanding the Emotional Side of Selling a Business

How do you feel about selling your company? It's obviosly not easy stepping back from a business you've spent your whole life building. Learn how emotions and your personality type play a large role in selling a business.

Don't Transfer Your Business to a Family Member, Just Sell It Instead

Transferring the ownership of a company to a family member could have far-reaching and devastating effects on the family and business lives of the owner. Instead, selling it, is a perfect solution to avoid such dire turn of events.

A Guide To Selling Your Online Business

A how-to guide on valuing and selling a web-based, internet business. Factors that will influence the worth of your website. Steps of the overall online business-for-sale process addressed.

12 Factors That Make a Business Easy to Sell

Thinking about selling your company? Read about 12 factors that can help you ensure your business is salable, valuable and attractive to potential buyers.

Share Your Story

Share your story and let us publish your article (or case study) on ExitAdviser. We accept well-written and unique posts on topics around selling a small business by owner. Get in touch and let us know your ideas.

How I Sold My Leather Handbag Business

I recently sold my leather handbag business last year (One Fated Knight) to a friend I knew for a few years and this is my story of why I sold the company, my process, and lessons learned from the whole experience.

Case Studies on Selling a Business - Vol 1

This is a set of case studies on selling a business. Why did you decide to sell? Did you use a business broker or went by DIY route? Stories shared, and lessons learned.

Business Succession Planning - It's Never Too Late to Start

Thinking about retirement? It is never too late for a founder to lay down the plan and timelines for the transfer of business ownership and to prepare a solid business succession plan.

Answered: How to Sell a Home-based Business

The question was posed at Bizbuysell Community about how to sell a home-based or single-person business operation. See the answer by Donald M. Barrick, a Business Broker from Maryland.

How I Sold My New York Swim School

Miles Gordon: My advice would be to talk with people who have been through the process. Whether you use a broker or not, you will be more informed at the end of the conversation than you were at the start.

What To Do When Your Partner is Not Interested in Selling

In the best-case scenario both partners will agree to sell. But if one of partners/owners is not interested in selling their share, then this is obviously a big problem. Read about buy-sell agreements, mediating, and legal courses.

Do Not Repeat My Mistakes

A real-life case-study by Ryan Crow; about mistakes made and lessons learned when selling his business.

Step-by-Step Guide to Selling a Business

This is an end-to-end, 12-step approach to selling a business. ExitAdviser helps you to proceed with the 4 main stages: checking the status, preparing for sale, going to market, and closing the sale.

12+ Reasons Why You Should Not Sell Your Business

Selling your business now might not be the best return on investment strategy, particularly if you know you could give the company a few more years. Here are 12+ reasons why you should not sell your business yet.

Life After Selling My Business

A real-life case-study by Amy Rees Anderson about how she sold her business. Lessons learned, mistakes made, and what next...

7 Tips for Small Business Owners to Survive the Coronavirus Crisis

Here's an immediate action plan any small business owner can undertake to survive the Covid-19 crisis. Before thinking about selling-off, consider these 7 measures to commit.

9 Reasons Why Buying a Business Is Better Than Starting Up

To buy, or not to buy, that is the question many entrepreneurs ask when deciding whether to launch a new business or to take over the existing company; the right solution depends on many factors and variables.

How to Sell a Business in the Midst of Coronavirus Crisis

If you are thinking about exiting your business but don't know how to execute the sale during this crisis, here is a detailed guide on how to do so.

What You Need to Know When Selling a Business with Real Estate

When business owners are trying to sell their businesses with land and buildings, they usually have issues with whether to leave the real estate and sell the company or sell both separately. Read about the questions that you may need to address.

7 Examples of Successful Company Sales

Take a look at seven case studies about well-known and successfully sold businesses like Instagram, LinkedIn and WhatsApp.

How to Sell a Retail Store

If you are looking to retire, one of your priorities might be selling your retail business. Here is a set of tips and hints to consider when selling a retail store.

How to Sell a High-risk Business

It’s never easy knowing clearly whether your business is high risk or not, but it could. It might seem like the perfect time to sell it only to realize that it’s a high-risk business. Read about how to do it smartly.

14 Ways to Get Your Business to Run Without You

The perfect asset any buyer would want to own is one where even without the owner everything runs smoothly. Have you prepared your company to run without you? Here are a number of things to think about.

5 Mistakes Every Business Seller Should Avoid in 2020

To be on the safe side and to start off well, you might want to avoid making the mistakes that many business sellers have made before you.

How to Not Go Cheap Selling Your Small Business

Do not make the mistake of thinking that selling a small business is a simple process, many owners often settle for lower prices they didn’t intend on agreeing on. Read about how to get the best price for your business.

5 Assets Investors And Buyers Look For In Businesses

There are various reasons why someone might invest into a particular business. In many cases, what sets one company apart from comparable ones, is its collection of valuable assets.

How to Sell Your Business to Your Business Partner

It’s not really hard to sell a business to a partner although it can be complicated if not handled right. Allowing a partner to completely own the company is one of the commonest ways of transferring ownership.

8 Unique Steps to Help You Sell Your Small Business in 2020

It’s not easy to sell any business, small or otherwise. The process is complex in terms of logistics, best practices and even personal emotions for the owners and investors involved. Here are 8 unique steps you need to be aware of to help you sell your company resplendently.

Preparing for Sale

Business Valuation Methods

These common business valuation methods give you a solid platform for price negotiations: profit multiplier, discounted cash flow, comparables, and asset valuation. Examples included.

How to Value a Business: A Step-by-Step Guide

How do you value your business? Here is a practical, step-by-step guide to small business valuation. DCF - Discounted Cash Flow method is discussed in detail, and with examples.

How to Prepare a Business Selling Memorandum

Read about and how to prepare a Sales Memorandum when selling your business. It finalizes your sale proposition, the key selling points, and drives the promotional messages used in your advertising.

Selling a Business With Debt

Learn about debt considerations when selling a business. What happens to debt? Stock sale vs asset sales. How business value is affected by debt and more..

Enterprise Value

Enterprise Value (EV) is a measure of a company’s total business value. EV is the theoretical price for a business if it were to be bought.

How Do You Value a Business - Models and Formulas

What methods or formulas can be used to value a business? Read this how-to article about some common valuation models such as asset-based, comparative, option pricing and the DSF-equation.

Some Tips for Accurately Valuing an Existing Business

Common business valuation methods include: calculating the value of the underlying assets, finding the liquidation value, and calculating the future income potential of the business (also called as Discounted Free Cash Flow to Owners).

How to Sell a Business Fast

Selling a small business fast requires the owner to take certain steps in going to market, finding the right buyer, and making preparations within the organization to be prepared for the sale.

Seller's Discretionary Earnings as Basis for Business Valuation

Valuation of privately own companies earning income of 1 million or less is often based on Seller’s Discretionary Earnings (SDE), a common metric

How to Calculate Post-Money Valuation of a Private Limited Company

Post-money valuation (enterprise value) is determined by calculating number of factors. This goes beyond looking at debt, current market value and cash on hand.

Items to Consider When Preparing Your Business for Sale

The purpose of this checklist is to help small business owners understand key topics when considering how to sell their business for the most money. Check out these 9 key items when preparing your business for sale.

Preparing Your Business for Sale

There are a number of things you can do to get the most out of the sale of your business. Here's a checklist to prepare your business for sale.

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Selling Your Business During Divorce

A married businessperson needs to protect their business interests early on in case they get divorced from their spouse. Read how to make your business assets divorce-proof.

Small Business Risk Management Guide

For a small business owner it's important to have a risk management strategy on place to increase business value. When preparing your company for sale, a risk management plan shall be a priority.

Selling a Business: Setting a Realistic Asking Price

It is better to be realistic when setting an asking price for your business. Make it right by considering all the key factors (13) when pricing your business for sale.

Selling a Business: Understand the Transfer of Intellectual Property

Intellectual property is a legal term which refers to intangible assets, such as patents and trademarks. It is what makes a business worth buying because customers are already drawn to it.

Pros and Cons Of Hiring A Business Broker

Business owners tend to believe that hiring an intermediary is a smart way to sell a company. Is it? In this article, you’ll find out all about the pros and cons of hiring a business broker. A 7-minute read.

Selling Your Business Step by Step — Scheduling the Tasks

Read this step-by-step guide about where to begin, and how to schedule the tasks and steps to orchestrate the sale process in logical and efficient way.

Preparing for Sale: Assessing the Need for Short Term Changes

How do you prepare your business for sale? Here is a simple framework to highlight potential change actions that help to improve salability and value of your business.

Review Your Business Before Sale, Prepare the Sales Memorandum

The Sales Memorandum is a key document in the business sale process. It’s the written review of the business that prospective buyers seek.

FSBO: Selling a Business With or Without a Business Broker

Here are some pros and cons of selling a business with or without a business broker. Make sure you weigh up all options when valuing the business, promoting your sale listing, and managing legalities.

Level Up: How To Increase Asset Value Right Before You Sell

In this article we’re going to review some ways in which you can increase the value of your business right before you sell it, ultimately resulting in a better deal.

13 Things To Do Before Selling Your Business

Selling your company is a once-in-a-lifetime event. To get the best possible return on your investment, check these 12+1 things to do when preparing your business for sale.

6 Ways To Prepare Your Online Business for Sale

Planning to sell an online/internet business? Here are six things online (e-commerce) business owners need to do in the run up to a successful business sale.

How To Mentally Prepare for A Successful Business Exit

Selling a business is a huge step, and it's important to have the right mindset throughout the process. Try these mental preparation techniques to make the sale process seamless and emotionally appealing.

Can You Sell a Failing Business: 7 Top Advice to do it Correctly

While there is always a market for selling your business, you may want to look for advice about ways to do it correctly, to make the most out of the sale.

What to Take Care of During Your Retirement Sale

If you are a business owner and retirement is near, you may consider selling your company. Here are a number of things you need to take care of during your retirement funding sale.

How to Sell a Financial Business

In this article, Justin Osborne shares his useful tips on how to sell a financial business from start to finish.

Selling Your Business? Avoid These Common Mistakes

There are so many challenges to selling a business, but some of them have a much bigger impact. In this article, we explore the most common ones so that you can avoid them and maximize your ROI.

Pay Attention to These 7 Things Before Selling Your Small Business

If you are thinking of selling your company, then there are some ideas to brainstorm. Here are seven important things to be careful about and pay attention to before selling your small business.

The Four Biggest Mistakes That Can Negatively Affect the Value of Your Business

If you run your business without the mindset of selling it one day, you may be negatively affecting your chances of getting a profitable sale eventually, whenever you decide to put it on the market.

How To Sell Your Business To The Millennial Entrepreneur

Finding a buyer is no longer just about looking at a company's profits. Today's investors are interested in putting their money in businesses that are also socially and environmentally responsible.

How to Offer Incentives to Sell Your Business Fast

When selling your company, and make it happen fast, you may want to come up with incentives to persuade willing buyers to check your investment out.

What Challenges Are Posed For Selling A Business In Lockdown?

Thinking about selling your business in lockdown? Even if your business (was) well-sellable, here are the challenges you’ll need to overcome to get it sold.

How to Sell Your Business to a Supplier

When it comes to selling your business to a supplier or vendor you must definitely seek to get the most value. You can’t just accept any deal out there but really consider a number of things way before you let it go.

How to Sell Your Business in Portions

You may wonder whether to sell your entire business or a portion of it. To sell a part of a business, such as a company unit, department, or a shop, you will be selling a list/portfolio of assets (tangible and intangible).

Going to Market

Where to Sell a Business in 2020

Where can you sell your business in 2020? Which websites to consider for an online listing and what are the criteria to compare them? This is a review of top business-for-sale marketplaces and websites.

Selling Your Business Without a Broker

Selling a business? You mine as well go without a business broker and save time and money. Selling a company without a broker is reasonable, and not as hard as you might think.

Selling a Non-Profitable Business

How to sell a business that is losing money? Read this guide about your options for sale in general, plus selling a business by an auction is discussed.

How to Advertise Your Business for Sale in 2020

Learn how to plan, prepare and market your business for sale by selecting the most efficient and cost-effective ways and websites for online advertising.

Using an Auction to Sell Your Business

As a small business owner, you can offer your business for sale by auction. Done right, auctions can gain sellers even higher selling price than their minimum asking price. The best part is that the terms of the auction sale are usually more beneficial to you, the seller.

Marketing Your Business for Sale in 2020

Selling your business? Read this article about how companies with different type and size are typically marketed and sold. Online business-for-sale advertising platforms and marketplaces introduced.

Managing Your Business Sale: How to Qualify Prospective Buyers

Selling your business? This how-to guide addresses the question about qualification of serious buyers as prospects, and the subsequent refinement of these down to a shortlist.

Responding to, and Communicating with Prospective Buyers

Read how to filter prospects from suspects during business sale process. What is effective communication, which information to provide, and when.

How Attractive Is Your Business for a Buyer?

When selling your business, get started by thinking yourself into the mind of a potential buyer. What will be at the top of their list of considerations? Read how to prepare your business for a successful sale.

Selling a Business - Prevent Making Mistakes

Sellers of their businesses often make common mistakes. Some of the top mistakes, such as incorrect valuation or lack of preparation, can be found in this article.

How to Make Your Business Sale Listing Stand Out

These days buyers first look online to identify potential businesses to purchase. It's critical to devote some attention to your listing's content and Landing Page.

Managing Your Time - Assessing Potential Buyers in Advance

During the sale process you will be receiving enquiries from potential buyers. However, and as with so much else in life, it’s the detail that counts.

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How Baby Boomers Can Sell Their Businesses

Do you own an established business that you are thinking about selling? Dreaming about retirement? If you are getting ready to sell and you are not quite there yet, then this article is for you.

6 Ways to Write a Sale Advertisement That Works for Your Business

When you advertise your business for sale it's important that you balance an effective marketing strategy with maintaining confidentiality. Here are some helpful tips to follow when you're writing your sale advertisement.

Selling a Business in Singapore

Lot of entrepreneurs in Singapore intend to sell their organizations, but many don’t know how to negotiate the best deal. Learn about Singapore and how to sell your business in this country.

How to Sell Your Business Quick: 7 Advice if You're in a Hurry

In this in-depth guide, Leon Collier will show you how to sell your business quickly at the highest price. Strategies, tips, and FAQs are addressed in detail.

How to Make the Most Money Possible When Selling Your Website

In this guide, we’re going to talk you through everything you need to know on how to define the worth of your online business and how to have the best-selling experience possible.

Selling Your Business: How to Write Ads That Attract Buyers

The market for buying and selling businesses has grown rapidly and got a life of its own. As a seller, there is a blueprint that you can follow to ensure that your business is marketable and that you achieve the best possible price.

How To Market An Ecommerce Business For Sale

In this post, I’m going to run through some key tips for marketing an ecommerce business for sale, setting out how you can get more eyes on your store and present it in a way that maximizes its perceived value.

Closing the Deal

Tax Considerations When Selling a Business

Here's an insight into tax consequences when selling a business. Asset sale vs stock sale, capital gains tax explained. Learn how much tax you will pay when selling a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation.

10 Tips for Selling a Business With a Lease

As the seller you may want to draft your business lease agreement appropriately so that your buyer takes over all responsibility of the lease and that you do not. Tips for selling a business with a lease provided.

Capital Gains Tax Considerations When Selling a Business

When you sell your business, chances are that you will have to pay a capital gains tax. It's a tax on the company’s capital assets that you sell and make money on. Learn how to lower the tax burden.

The 6 Legal Steps to Closing Sale of Your Business

The sale of a business involves taking certain legal steps to ensure that the copleting of the transaction is done properly, and with minimum risk for the seller. Find out what those steps are.

Selling Your Business With Seller Financing

Learn how seller financing works for an owner selling his/her business. Pros, cons, and risks addressed with owner-funded business sales. Tax benefits of owner financing addressed.

How to Sell a Business Using Installment Sales

Learn how to sell your business tax-efficiently via installment sales, a common method of seller financing. Special aspects with sole proprietorship businesses, limited companies, and corporations are addressed in detail.

A Complete Guide to Selling Business Assets vs Stock Sale

This is a guide to selling business assets vs stock (shares). Learn how it works with different types of business. Tax implications as well as seller interests vs buyer interest are discussed in detail.

Structuring and Financing the Deal

There are many options to be considered when structuring a deal to close the sale of your business. The trick is coming up with a deal that benefits both parties and provides incentives for the seller and buyer to sign.

Telling Employees That You’re Selling Your Business

If you are a business owner and you are planning to sell your company, then you need to inform staff, i.e., your managers and employees about the intended sale. Read how to prepare your communication letter to the staff.

What Information is Required for Due Diligence

Due Diligence is important for both buyer and seller in a business sale transaction. Read this article about what is Due Diligence, and what is required the seller to prepare for it.

10 Top Tips When Negotiating Your Business Sale

This may be the first time to selling your business. You want to be sure that you are covering all your bases before, during and after the negotiations with the buyer.

Term Sheet for Selling or Buying a Business

On the term sheet, the buyer will list all their conditions and terms for buying the business. It will include clauses such as price and payment terms. The term sheet shall be followed by seller and buyer if a sale were to take place.

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Letter of Intent to Buy a Business Explained

The Letter of Intent defines what a business sale deal may look like and provides parties (the buyer and seller) some time to perform Due Diligence, and to finalize the buy-sell agreement. Also known as Proposal to Buy a Business, or Offer to Purchase a Business.

Asset Sale vs Stock Sale

Businesses are sold through assets or stock (shares) sale. The difference stems from factors such as what type the company is, and tax considerations. To decide, you need to understand the pros and cons with selling assets vs sale of business entity.

Selling a Business by a Lease-Purchase Method

A lease-purchase (lease-to-own) is one of the most unique ways of selling a business to an interested buyer who might not have the means to buy at the moment but looking to own an existing investment.

Prepare Draft of Legal Papers

Selling a business, required legal documents discussed: Non-Disclosure Agreement, Letter of Intent, Term Sheet, Business Sale Agreement, and Bill of Sale.

Escrow Holdback When Selling a Business

When selling a business, it is common for the buyer and seller to utilize the services of a third-party escrow agent. An escrow holdback is another type of account that is sometimes used for the sale of a business. Read more.

Using Earn-outs When Selling a Business

When selling a business, an Earn-out (or Earnout) is an arrangement in which the seller finances the purchase and the buyer's payments are based on the earnings/profit of the business. Read about benefits, pitfalls and tax implications that are related to earnouts.

Closing the Deal: How to Avoid the Pitfalls

Read about how to avoid pitfalls and mistakes when closing business sale. Topics included: negotiating the deal, getting paid, deal closure, communication and transition issues.

Why Professional Advice is Important When Selling a Business

There are two skillsets that are particularly welcome additions to a business sale team namely, legal and financial. It’s common for business owners to use qualified Attorneys and Accountants on a periodic basis.

What It Means to Sell Your Company to the Wrong Person

What happens when a business is sold to the wrong person? What does it mean to allow the wrong individual acquire your investment of many decades? Read the story.

How To Protect Important Files While Selling a Business

In this post, Rodney Laws addresses a set of key tips for protecting your personal data, as well as important files while you’re selling a business.

Reducing the Tax Impact on the Sale of Your Business

There are lots of taxes involved that can impact the worth of the sale. Here are a few ways to reduce the amount of tax you pay when selling your business.

What to Do to Legally Avoid Capital Gain Tax During Business Sale

Capital gain tax occurs when a company owner sells its asset (business) for a higher price than they purchased it. Learn how to reduce (or even avoid) capital gain tax when selling a business.

5 Legal Business Selling Aspects to Consider in 2020

If you are looking to sell your business this year, then there are a number of things you might want to consider. Of course, the selling process might not be clear as you thought it would, especially the legal considerations you need to pay attention to.

How to Check the Background of a Potential Buyer

Read about in-exhaustive things expected in any background check not just of the potential business owner but corporate entity involved in the acquisition. Though screening a potential future owner of your company cannot be done slackly or hurriedly.

Why Leaving Guides Can Help You Get a Higher Price

Creating guides to your business processes and your brand identity can raise value of your company before you sell it. And setting up a consultation service will yield additional income.