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Preparing Your Business for Sale

When selling your business you will want to take some time to map out a plan to maximize the value of your transaction.  Remember selling a business should take time and focus to achieve a successful outcome.  Buyers are looking for strategic fit and cash flow and there are a number of things a seller can do to maximize their appeal.  Take the time before your sale to make the changes necessary to maximize your value.

Financial Statement Refinement

The financial statements of your company are likely to minimize your tax liability but statements useful to buyers maximize your cash flows from continuing operations creating a valuation challenge.  Most buyers will seek to adjust your audited financial statements for out of the ordinary and one-time expenses but their proforma statements are only as good as the “add back” information provided.  Seller must plan well ahead and keep carful record of nonessential items expensed (i.e. country club memberships, corporate jets, anything that does not improve the operations of the business).  If carefully monitored during the years prior to a sale a seller can accurately provide the buyer with the true earnings of the business

Reexamine the Expense Structure

Buyers will pay good multiples for your operating income but they will not pay for the improvements they will make.  The most direct way to maximize your value is by minimizing your expense structure.  Compare and assess your financials to your competitors or your 20 group.  If you are having difficulty with this process, hire a seasoned consultant to examine your financial statements. Remember that maximizing the value of your business is the goal and every dollar of cost savings results in an additional several of goodwill.


In the dealership business the manufacturer requires certain facility standards and keeping compliant with these is a costly process. Perform these upgrades prior to sale. Buyers want a turnkey operation.  Upon sale sellers can expect to receive the appraised value, recouping the cost of facility improvements.  Noncompliant facilities can be subject to conservative buyer cost estimates which directly affect a goodwill offer.


When possible attain a recent phase I environmental study from a national firm to minimize the time and environmental scrutiny the property will be under. Given that environmental due diligence will be required during any transaction is it better to know the impact prior to due diligence rather than holding up the closing.

Independent Valuation

As a seller you may want to get an independent valuation to gather a sense of a achievable value and confirm in advance whether or not it makes financial sense to sell the business given current market conditions.

Tax Implications

Know the tax implications of a sale.  Most purchasers prefer an asset sale and knowing your exposure to taxes, especially if your corporation is a “C” Corp is this step can be critical to the sale process.  Knowing your tax implications prior to sale will help estimate your after sale proceeds and your net walk away price.

Qualified Advisors

When moving to market, insure yourself the right advisory team by assembling a knowledgeable CPA, an attorney with transactional experience and an experienced M&A intermediary.  A poor team of advisors or inexperienced team may seem inexpensive but the costs of small transactional errors can be the most expensive price to pay.

Contact Global Marketing Enterprises

If you are thinking about selling your business, please call Global Marketing Enterprises to learn about our comprehensive services.