Some business owners in North Carolina opt to sell their business because it’s no longer viable. Other entrepreneurs in the Tar Heel State might decide to sell because they view their business as an asset that can grow and build. In some instances, a business owner is randomly approached by an investor, an enterprising individual or another business wishing to make an offer to purchase all or part of their company or otherwise buy business-related holdings and assets.
Regardless of the circumstances involved, there are certain steps associated with buying and selling businesses that a company owner could take to increase the odds of all involved parties enjoying a successful transaction, such as understanding their motivation for selling before entertaining offers. For example, some CEOs only prefer to consider offers from perspective buyers who either agree to pre-established conditions or fit within their company’s culture. Also, because of the many possible ways to structure the selling process, it can be helpful for a seller to seek as much advice as possible from knowledgeable entrepreneurs before proceeding with their own transaction.
When business owners are looking to actively set themselves up for a sale, presenting evidence of a well-organized, well-prepared business may attract the right kind of attention. This process could involve detailed revenue generation plans for the immediate future, customer lists and marketing strategies. Business owners are also typically encouraged to have some patience and be mindful of the fact that it could take months or years before everything is signed and finalized. A slower sale often increases buyer confidence and reassures the new owners that they are likely getting their money’s worth.
An attorney may play a role in business transactions involving a change of ownership by overseeing negotiations and preparing or reviewing contracts before anything is signed. A lawyer may also prepare documents that spell out a business owner’s exit strategy, such as a clean break or a specified earn-out period. If a transition period is preferred, an attorney may suggest clearly establishing roles for all key players until the full transfer of ownership is completed.