BUSINESS BROKER SERVICES

Selling Your Business

I will work with you to navigate the entire selling process from marketing your business to identifying and negotiating with financially and experientially qualified buyers, structuring an acceptable deal, managing the due diligence process, satisfying the conditions for closing and finally, helping with the ownership transition. The stakes in the sale of your business are too high to proceed without competent representation. I'm ready to confidentially manage the entire process while you concentrate on running your business to maintain the highest value and to help insure a successful outcome of the sale.

Ready to list? Hire a seasoned professional to manage the business selling process from start to finish.

Step One

~ Consultation

If you are ready to seriously consider selling your business, please contact me (734-474-1161, or at steve@praxisbb.com) to discuss the parameters of selling your business. I would be happy to have an initial conversation and/or meeting to help you decide if you’d like to explore the possible sale of your business. All conversations and meetings are no charge, no obligation, and are completely confidential. During our consultation, I will be able to begin the process of educating you so you can better understand the complexities of business transactions.

Step Two

~ Market Opinion

Once you have made the commitment to move forward, the next step is to develop a market opinion of the value of your business (a valuation). I use proprietary software, combined with financial information and both hard and soft data provided by you, to place a market value on your business that will clearly demonstrate what you might expect in terms of proceeds from the sales transaction. The market opinion, like all interactions we will have, is provided without charge, obligation, and in complete confidence. I always validate the market valuation with at least one bank, as almost all business sales include bank financing. If the projected selling price to too high, banks will not provide loans to fund the deal. I work closely with them to determine the highest “bankable” price so that you can be confident the asking price is a realistic expectation of the proceeds from the sale. I will of course offer my recommendations as well, based on my many years of experience with scores of successful transactions on how to best structure the terms of the deal to achieve your goals while maximizing buyer interest in your business.

Step Three

~ Engagement Letter

Once the listing price of your business is established, a straight forward engagement letter (i.e. listing agreement) is executed. This letter specifies the success fee (commission) that is paid at closing. I receive no payments unless there is a successful closing.

Step Four

~ Listing Kick-Off

After the execution of the listing agreement, I’ll develop a confidential business profile used to kick-off the marketing of your business. This discrete profile of your business is sent to you for approval, and then posted on business-for-sale websites, which result in thousands of prospective buyers having the opportunity to see the profile. From that large pool, a much smaller number of active prospective buyers reach out to me to discuss their interest in your business. In addition, I contact my many years worth of connections and known prospective buyers to discuss their interest in your business.

Step Five

~ Confidentiality and Screening Potential Buyers

There are many aspects to the selling of your business, but none are more important than conducting every step with total confidentiality. I understand that it is crucial that your employees, customers, vendors, competitors, lenders, and even your neighbors remain unaware that your business is for sale. As prospective buyers express an initial interest, they are required to submit a strongly worded confidentiality agreement (non-disclosure agreement) to make sure that you and your business are adequately protected. In addition, a buyer profile is required so we understand if prospects are financially qualified and possess the appropriate skill set to buy and manage your business. Buyers who complete these two steps are then provided with a detailed financial package and other information covering a host of topics surrounding all aspects of your business.

Step Six

~ Buyer/Seller/Broker Meeting

Buyers that remain interested at this point will have additional questions, which start a dialog between them and myself. As the information flow continues, the next step would be for a direct buyer-seller-broker meeting. These meetings can take place at your business or a neutral site, during normal business hours, evenings, or weekends. It’s your call. The buyer-seller meeting can lead to follow-up questions, further dialog, and the building of a comfortable relationship between the prospective buyer and the seller.

Step Seven

~ Letter of Intent

While I always represent you, the business seller, I also never work against the buyer. A successful outcome of my assignment occurs when bother the seller and the buyer are committed to the transaction which will result in a win-win sale. At an appropriate time, I will provide a letter of intent (LOI) template for the buyer to tender a purchase offer. Once the offer is received, I work with the buyer to clarify language and finalize price and deal structure.

Step Eight

~ Buyer Support and Assistance

When the LOI is in acceptable form to both buyer and seller, the document is executed and kicks off the buyer going down three parallel paths toward closing. These are due diligence, banking, and legal documents. If the buyer would like, I will introduce them to CPAs, attorneys, bankers, retirement rollover specialists, equipment appraisers, environmental specialists, etc. I draw from a number of trusted professionals with whom I’ve worked in prior business transactions.

Step Nine

~ Seller Support and Assistance

At your election, I will introduce sell-side professionals to you as needed to help with the transaction. It is important you use an attorney that has a great deal of experience with business purchase transactions. Using your family or even business attorney that hasn’t handled several business sales can be a critical mistake.

Step Ten

~ Closing

Bank financing and due diligence require a great deal of information from both buyer and seller. An important part of my responsibility is to facilitate this process. A key milestone on the path to closing is the buyer receiving a bank loan commitment letter. At that point, the attorneys, if they have already not done so, should commence preparation of the legal documents. In most cases, the buyer’s attorney will draft the purchase agreement and ancillary documents. The seller's attorney may draft some documents as well. Ideally, the two attorneys, yours and the buyer’s, cooperate on these documents. However, it is important for you to read these documents and ask questions to your attorney in order to understand their practical effect.

Sell Side Consulting

Are you thinking about selling your business at some point in the future? It could be in your best interest to find out now more about the process and get some advice on how to prepare your business for future sale. At a minimum, you should get a market opinion that gives you an idea of what you can expect to receive in proceeds if you were to sell your business. I will develop the market opinion which can serve as the basis for discussion of key elements of your business which in turn can lead to recommendations for changes you can make that will increase the business salability and value by the time you decide to sell. I'll look at nineteen areas of the business to help you identify strengths and weaknesses of the business.

 

Once a market opinion is developed, the estimated selling price is acceptable, and inspection of the business yields no significant weaknesses, then you're a good candidate to formally list the business. Refer to the "selling your business" section above to learn more about the process.

 

If you've already identified a potential buyer for your business, I can approach them and gauge interest and assist in negotiations. I will work with you and the buyer to reach a letter of intent to purchase your business. From that point, I can facilitate the buyer due diligence phase/discovery. Both buyer and seller will need a business purchase transaction attorney. I can provide referrals for qualified attorneys to both parties.

 

 

I am always happy to have an initial no-charge, no obligation conversation to help you decide if you need assistance. Sell side consulting service fees can be furnished on request.

Ready to sell? I offer expert guidance to assist and advice your selling decision.

Buy Side Consulting

Hire an experienced professional to help you navigate the pitfalls when buying a business. Doing so will help avoid mistakes that can result in a deal that isn't in your best interests.

If you've identified a business to purchase, I will be happy to have an initial no-charge, no obligation conversation to help you decide if you need assistance in facilitating the purchase.

There are multiple steps a buyer must complete between identifying a business and closing. I can help with any or all of them as you may require. If you're unsure about a fair value of the target business, I can provide a market opinion. Generally, preparation of a term sheet or letter of intent comes next. I can provide a template that includes a desirable structure for the purchase and, if desired, help with the final drafting of the document. After presentation of the offer to the seller, I can assist with negotiations to finalize the purchase price and the final deal structure.

Once an agreement to purchase has been executed, you will need to select your team of professionals to consummate the sale. I can provide experienced CPAs, attorneys, bankers, and retirement rollover specialists that I trust to help you with the transaction. Most sales include bank financing, and starting the process in securing a detailed bank loan commitment letter is the first order of business. Due diligence and comprehensive assessment of the business will start concurrently with the banking effort. For both processes, I can facilitate gathering of the required information.

Upon receipt of the bank commitment letter to fund your deal, it will be time to accumulate the funds for the agreed upon down payment. You may need to liquidate some assets, and you may work with a retirement rollover specialist if you need to access your 401K plan to fund the down payment. Concurrently, your attorney should commence preparation of the purchase agreement and ancillary documents that are part of the closing package. Most of these will be done by your attorney, however, a few are typically prepared by the seller's attorney. Ideally, the buy and sell side attorneys will cooperate on these documents. It is important for you to read these documents and ask questions in order to understand their practical effect.

Buy side consulting services are charged on an hourly basis. A rate quote can be furnished upon request.

Proceed alone at your own risk. Hire a guide to assist in a business acquisition.