Pre-Sale Checklist

After you've decided to offer your business for sale, attention to the details that make up your final sale price is vitally important.


Below is an organized list of topics/criteria that are relevant from a potential buyer's standpoint; let's say, an idealized list of business characteristics.

Obviously, in the real world, some items are not attributable to your business, and some can't be changed at all. Nevertheless, don't rush to list your business for sale without doing your homework first. Take your time and attention to make some pre-sale improvements where possible - it will pay off.


View all document forms and checklists provided by ExitAdviser.

Item Comment/Deadline Checked

Business Assets and Financials

Profitable business model.

Consistent, proven profit record for at least 3 years.

Increasing revenue and profits, growth potential.

Positive cash flow.

Clear and consistent accounting records.

Proof that accounts receivable can be collected.

Current inventory that’s in good condition.

Taxes paid to date.

Convincing business plan or presentation for the next few years.

Professional business valuation on place.

Organization and Management

Sensible or convincing reason for sale.

Honest business practices.

Complete disclosure of all relevant information.

Established, trained staff.

Commitment of key employees to stay with the business.

Attractive and well-organized business premises.

Long-term lease at a favorable rent.

Business and office equipment in good condition.

Website/online presence.

Organized paperwork, including cash flow records, tax returns, leases and important contracts, and documents such as entity records.

Make sure you'll make a good first impression for a potential buyer (i.e., bring chaos to order).

Collect arguments that the business can survive the change of ownership without issues.

Suppliers, Products, and Customers

Solid relationships with suppliers and customers.

Proven (ideally: documented) customer satisfaction.

Distinct, competitive products.

Distinct, competitive services.

Packaging/product presentation in good order.

Proprietary production process.

Long-term, frequent customers (ideally).

Long-term client contracts (ideally).

Well-diversified customer base


Clear ownership of assets.

No unresolved/pending legal issues such as liens, claims and/or encumbrances.

No pending litigation/labor issues and/or law violations.

Legal paperwork well organized (original incorporation papers, employee and independent contractor agreements, customer agreements, vendor contracts, benefit plans, other).

Up-to-date licenses.

Trademarked business name/brand.

No zoning issue(s).