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How to sell a family business

Some North Carolina baby boomers who own a business might be thinking of selling it and retiring. In many cases, these may be small businesses run on a small budget. As a result, the owners may have worked with advisers and accountants but not with attorneys or other professionals who specialize in mergers and acquisitions.

There are a number of considerations for the business owner preparing to sell. Among these are whether the owner wants to retire as soon as possible or continue to run the business for a while, whether the sale will be to a family member or someone else, whether the owner will assist the business in its transition and whether the sale is enough to fund retirement. Knowing the answers to these types of questions will help in structuring the sale in a way that reaches the owner's goals.

The owner then needs to line up advisers who can assist with the sale. Among these professionals may be brokers or bankers, accountants, appraisers and industry associations. Another consideration is whether the owner needs an adviser or a trusted employee to assist with the transition so the owner can run the business. An attorney may be a useful professional at this stage as well.

Both buyers and sellers of a business might want an attorney. While this may be particularly true for people selling businesses they have owned for years, there are a number of reasons for using an attorney even if both parties are experienced. Any legal documents might be prepared correctly, and even minor errors could make them invalid. An attorney may also be aware of potential pitfalls that the buyer or seller may not know about. Furthermore, if a dispute arises in the process of buying or selling, having an attorney involved from the start may be helpful.

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How to sell a family business | Britton Law, P.A.