Business owners in North Carolina and elsewhere who plan on selling their companies should start preparing for the sale as soon as possible. Being proactive about the process of selling a company allows an owner to exert more control over it. In most cases, it will take about a year to complete the transaction. Ideally, a company will have an outside accountant prepare formal financial statements that a buyer can review.
While it’s not mandatory, it is usually a good idea to provide audited statements as the information is more reliable. Businesses will also need to compile a detailed list of all the assets that are included as part of the deal. For example, a buyer will want to see a list of all the clients a company has or learn more about how much any equipment the organization owns is worth. It is typically a good idea to have real estate or other valuable tangible assets appraised before the sale process begins.
It is important to understand how the transaction will be structured before accepting a deal. In most cases, the current owner will need to remain with the company for a year or so after the deal closes. The buyer might also ask to pay in installments as opposed to making a lump sum payment to acquire the organization.
Anyone who is contemplating the sale of a business will likely want to do so with the help of an attorney. Legal counsel may be able to help a person prepare financial statements or organize other key information related to the sale. This may allow the deal to close in a timely manner. An attorney might also help a business owner resolve any disputes that arise during the sale process or after the sale process concludes.