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Keep These 4 Things in Mind Before Selling Your Small Business

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Selling a small business for the maximum value to the right purchasers on the right terms can be a tremendous challenge, even for experienced business owners. Buying and selling an existing company is a complex process, but one that should be demystified. At its most basic level, the process is straightforward, just like the purchase of a single item. The small-business owner sells the object (in this case, their own business) to a potential buyer for an agreed-upon price and mutually acceptable terms. Yet, as always, the devil is in the details -- in this case how the deal is structured.

With that in mind, here are four key things you’ll need to remember when it’s your company that’s being sold.

While every business sale has its unique features, we can outline a general process. As a preliminary matter, you determine the value of your business. This helps establish a range of reasonable prices for the company. Next, the seller (or, more often, the seller’s broker) reaches out to potential purchasers. They prepare an offering memorandum, or informal document that paints a basic picture of the business and what's included in the sale. (More on this in a bit.)

Once a serious candidate emerges,........

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