Closing the Sale and Securing the Deal

Once the seller has found a suitable buyer for the business and both have agreed upon the final terms of the deal, it’s time to get organized and plan for the big closing day. For an easy transition, certain steps must be taken before, during and immediately after the deal has closed. Work with your broker, if you’re using one, and your attorney and accountant to confirm all the necessary details for a smooth closing.

Pre-closing Preparation

Schedule your closing meeting, preferably in the morning during business hours, and when all parties are available. It’s important to schedule a time when banks or government offices are open in case you need to reach them. It’s also helpful to schedule the meeting at the end of the quarter, month or pay period in order to simplify preparation of monthly expenses that transfer with the sale.

Documents the owner needs to prepare for the closing meeting:

Finalize the Deal in the Closing Meeting

The closing meeting should be attended by the owner and any other owners of the business; the buyer(s); any third-party loan guarantors (if any) unless they previously signed personal guarantees or provided powers of attorney to the in attendance; the owner's attorney and the buyer’s attorney; the escrow agent (if any); the broker and others whose signatures will be required.

The closing meeting is primarily a time to review and sign all the necessary documents to complete the transaction. The primary documents include: 

Post-closing Transition of the Business

The business has now been passed on to the new owner, but before the former owner moves on to the next phase in their life, they must close the loop on a few actions to transition the business operations to the buyer. The former owner's attorney and broker will assist in this final post-closing process.

Turn over all items to assume business operations:

Dissolve the business entity:

Complete forms and actions to cease operations of the business entity:

At this point the deal is complete! The new owner can now notify the employees and make an announcement to to customers, suppliers and the general public. Congratulations!

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