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What is the next step after I receive an offer for my business?

What paperwork do I need, contracts to produce. Government Requirements?

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Answers (3)
William A. Price
Business Lawyer
DuPage County, IL

The offer could take the form of an acquisition agreement, an informal phone call, a "term sheet", or some other communication suggesting willingness to deal. Your first step is to understand what the offer means. A signed contract doesn't bind you until you accept it, but could go away if you don't accept, and if the terms are satisfactory, you may want to sign and communicate that acceptance fast. Non-binding term sheets are more common, with most elements negotiable, and they stay non-binding even after your deal terms are generally understood by both sides, since the seller needs to do "due diligence" to verify your sales are what you say they are, your customers will continue to deal with them after sale, the employees they need will still be available, all taxes are paid, there are no environmental cleanup or other liabilities you haven't disclosed, etc... A final agreement is usually signed at closing, and you get the down payment if you negotiate an earn-out, or the full cash value of your shares or assets, if not. Your accountants, lawyers, bankers, business valuation people, and your environmental or other consultants (if there are liabilities to work out) should all be experienced in business purchase and sale, and should be able to help you through the process.

Hope this helps,

Bill Price

Mar 26, 2013
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Keith Lynch
Sarasota County, FL


Congrats on receiving an offer on your business! That's the hard part. :) If you have an attorney or a business broker, consult them about the necessary steps. Every transaction is unique and may require it's own unique docs and agreements. Best of luck!

Mar 18, 2013
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The BAF Group LLC

Get an Attorney.

Mar 8, 2013