Updated: 20 June 2017
There are a few important things that a business owner will need to consider prior to instructing an agent to sell their business.
Commercial Energy Performance Certificate
The majority of businesses that operate from commercial premises, including a shop, restaurant or office will require a Commercial Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to have been commissioned prior to going to the market. There are certain exceptions to this requirement and we can advise you further, however this is a necessity for most business owners.
Reasons for the Sale
The first question that any potential buyer will ask when they view your business is, “Why are you selling?” You need to be able to answer this question clearly with a strong reason for disposing of your business. A few common reasons for selling a business include retirement, illness, wishing to 'slow down' or having a new career or opportunity to pursue.
Profit and Loss Accounts
If you are selling a business, a potential buyer will want to have sight of basic profit and loss accounts for the business, following a successful viewing. Typically a purchaser will request three years accounts and if these figures are not available many buyers will decide to look elsewhere. Therefore it is important to ensure that your accountant has prepared this information and that the figures are up to date.
Additional Documentation and Information
At the commencement of the marketing process there will often be a number of viewers in a short time period and it is important that they are provided with basic information as quickly and efficiently as possible.
If you are selling a leasehold going concern for example, one of the first documents that any buyer will wish to view is a copy of the current lease. Further information that is regularly requested include an inventory of fixtures and fittings, the value of the stock if applicable and details of any staff and employees that you may have along with how many hours they work and their basic salary details.
It is very important that your business premises look clean and tidy and are well presented prior to viewings taking place. This could not only lead to a quicker sale but could also mean achieving a higher sale price for the owner. You need to ask yourself if the business appears clean and well-ordered to a buyer and are there any straightforward improvements that could be made to improve the desirability of the premises. For example, do the walls or woodwork need painting, are there any obvious outstanding maintenance jobs like broken light bulbs or dripping taps. Many buyers will notice neglect and it may negatively impact on any offer that they submit for your business.
If you would like further advice on how to sell your business please contact our business transfer specialists.