Preparing Your Business for Sale

Setting up files in preparation for selling a businessOnce we’ve gotten to know each other and have signed an engagement agreement, it’s time to get to work. It’s important we know your business inside and out so we can prepare a thorough Confidential Information Memorandum (CIM), and discuss your business with prospective buyers and your other advisors.

The more information you are able to provide, the better job we can do presenting your business to buyers. We’ll also be able to accurately represent you and your business in our discussions and negotiations with buyers, without having to pester you more than necessary throughout the process.

Preparing for the sale is extremely important and involves:


We will schedule several interviews with you to ask a lot of questions about you and your business. It’s crucial that we understand where you’re coming from, your goals for the sale and the transition, and all aspects of your business. We will cover many topics including:

  • Business sale and transition objectives
  • Organization structure, history, strengths, weaknesses
  • Vision, mission, and values
  • Clients
  • Marketing and sales
  • Operations
  • Market and competition
  • Management and employees
  • Opportunities for growth

Information gathering

We will also ask you to provide us with a significant amount of information, both financial and qualitative, including but not limited to:

  • Your financial statements for the past five years and current year to date
  • Copies of all your marketing material
  • Photos of your facilities, management and employees (where possible), and your products
  • Analysis of sales by product, service, and/or clients
  • Employee list
  • Asset list

At this stage we might also suggest an analysis of your business by a tax specialist.  After all, it’s not how much your business sells for that’s important; it’s how much of the proceeds you get to keep after tax.