Tips for Selling Your Existing Business

Dec 23, 2010

Selling an existing business is considered an art form in some circles.  Entrepreneurs have found creative ways to make their businesses seem more valuable to potential buyers while keeping their P&L statements low enough to avoid high tax liabilities.  But one thing all business brokers agree on is this – the best advice for selling an existing business is to price it correctly from the start. Of course, there are dozens of other tips for selling your existing business, which are outlined below, but focus on the price first and the rest will quickly fall into place.

Tips for selling your existing business:

  • Contact a Certified Financial Planner who has experience with business transactions and capital gains. Structuring the sale to avoid unforeseen tax consequences can save you a lot of money over time.
  • Make sure all of your records are in order for the past few years, including tax forms, employee records, leases, equipment purchases, real estate transactions and other financial documents pertinent to the business.
  • Have your business valuated by a third party, if possible, who can provide a more objective and less emotional snapshot of your business to potential buyers.  Not only will this be more credible than your own “sales pitch”, it will speed the transaction and help you sell it for close to your asking price.

Market your business through a For Sale by Owner online directory before taking it to a business broker.  Sites like can help you connect with a targeted audience of potential buyers without the need for a middleman.  This site will also provide you with useful tips for selling your existing business.