How to Sell a Business

The Business-for-Sale Process

The Business-for-Sale Process

Over the next decade, six out of ten U.S. business owners plan to sell their companies - a noticeable increase over previous years. Many are baby-boomers, with an eye on selling their businesses to fund their retirement and as a result sale preparation and exit strategy are high priorities.

Start taking steps today to prepare your business for sale so you can maximize your long-term value and create a more profitable company.

Step 1: Deciding to Sell

Deciding to Sell Your Business

Deciding to Sell Your Business

Small business owners have many different reasons for selling their companies. For some, a business sale is the logical conclusion of a long and successful entrepreneurial career. But for the others, the sale may be motivated by a personal or family crisis, a new business opportunity or an unexpected change in business conditions.

Read our article on Inc.
Why Are You Selling Your Business?

Step 2: Preparing for your sale

Preparing Your Business for Sale

Preparing Your Business for Sale

Prospective business buyers won't simply take you on your word. You need to have documents ready to support every claim you make during the sales process. During the course of a business sale prospective buyers will expect to see "just the facts" about your business. Therefore, you will need to have all your documents completed and organized before the business ever hits the market.

Read our article on Inc.
Selling your Business? Get Your Documents in Order

Step 3: Determining your sales price

Determining Your Price

Determining Your Price

When selling a business, it's critical to get the asking price right. Set it too high and you won't get any buyer interest. Set it too low and you'll leave money on the table. So when you set a price for your company make sure that every penny of company value has been accounted for while also remaining realistic.

Read our article on Inc.
What's Your Asking Price?

Step 4: Marketing to & Qualifying Potential Buyers

Marketing to & Qualifying Buyers

Marketing to & Qualifying Buyers

It is a great feeling to receive interest from potential buyers when selling a business. Let's face it — selling a business independently can be a lot of hard work and a major time commitment, and when people show interest in what you are selling it can translate into a quick, painless sale.

Read our article on BizBuySell
Dealing with Your Prospects

Step 5: Negotiating and Due Diligence

Negotiating and Due Diligence

Negotiating and Due Diligence

Any owner can put a business on the market, but selling successfully is another story. With thousands of dollars hanging in the balance, today's do-it-yourself sellers need to learn the fine art of negotiation before it's too late.

Read our article on BizBuySell
Negotiation 101

Step 6: Closing the Sale

Closing the Sale

Closing the Sale

Once you and your business buyer negotiate the fine points of a deal, it's time to schedule the sale closing. A few easy steps will help you lay out what you need to do in advance, during, and immediately following the big day. Get our comprehensive pre-closing checklist of important tasks.

Read our article on Inc.
Checklist for a Smooth Closing

Free 100-page guide
to Selling Your Business

Sell Your Business Guide

This free guide provides a complete overview with actionable advice and step-by-step instructions to follow as you prepare for a profitable exit from your business.

Get the FREE Seller's Guide

Find an expert to help you sell your business

Selling your business with BizBuySell

With over 100,000 successful business sales, 12.3 million monthly page views and 150+ national distribution partners, BizBuySell is the #1 place to list your business for sale online. If you're ready to begin the sale process, get started here:

List my Business For Sale Get help from a broker

Seller Resources

Choosing Your Sales Team:

Getting Professional Assistance
How to choose the right team of professionals to sell your business

Finding the Right Business Broker
How a Business Broker can help market and sell your business

Selling Your Business Yourself
Some business owners prefer the Do-it-Yourself approach to selling. Here's how they can be successful

Preparing for a sale:

Are You Ready for Your Exit?
Questions to ask and insider tips to help determine your readiness to sell

Selling a Business Is All About Timing
Tips to get the best price for your business when market conditions are at their peak

How to Make Your Business Marketable
How to think like a buyer and make your business stand out in the crowd

Valuing your business:

Boost the Value of Your Business
Factors to consider as you seek to maximize your company's value

Valuation Rules of Thumb
Learn the basics on how the value of a business is determined

Selling your business:

Questions Every Buyer Wants Answered
Satisfy these 10 key concerns and you're going to sell your business, fast!

Keeping it Confidential
What steps should sellers take to ensure confidentiality? And, what should you say if somebody asks if your business is for sale?