Selling a business in the UK can be an exciting journey for those looking for opportunities to expand their portfolio.
From securing the best deal to navigating complex tax laws and regulations, it’s important to plan ahead and secure expert advice from qualified professionals who understand the marketplace.
Taking the time to make sure all your bases are covered will help you achieve a successful sale.
Prepare for the sale
Just like selling a house, the business needs to be in excellent order, so prepare early.
Any disputes within the business should be settled. Make sure the premises are tidy and in good repair and ensure contracts and leases are in order.
Properly done, these could increase the value of the business.
Any buyer seriously interested in your business will want to carry out rigorous due diligence to ensure they’re getting a good deal.
Be prepared for this – any holes or glitches will quickly turn them off, so it’s worthwhile getting an accountant to manage this step for you.
Prepare to negotiate
When you have offers coming in, the first step to take is to make regular contact to avoid losing the deal before you’ve had the chance to negotiate.
Invest in the future
Finance can often make or break a deal.
Sellers should consider providing finance to facilitate payment in instalments and a period of ongoing support to the buyer of their business to increase confidence and ensure the likelihood of future success.
If you make a profit when you sell your business, you’ll need to pay Capital Gain Tax (CGT) on anything over your tax-free allowance.
However, some tax reliefs can lower the expense:
- Business asset disposal relief – as long as you’ve owned the business for two years as a sole trader or business partner, you could pay a lower rate of 10 per cent in CGT
- Business asset rollover relief – delay paying CGT when you sell some assets if you’re using the money to buy new assets within three years.
Take care to put everything in writing. Follow up discussions made over the phone with an email that you can refer back to, should there be any disagreements further down the line.
If you have found this article useful, it is the latest in a series of blogs on business advice.
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