How Long Does It Take to Sell a Business?

Hourglass showing that time is running out to sell your business

There is really no simple answer.

Selling a business isn’t like selling a house: put a price tag on it, list it, and wait for buyers to make offers. It is a complex process that takes a considerable amount of time. This is a brief summary of the process and the timelines:

Preparation: 3-5 weeks (estimated)

  • Preliminary meetings, valuation, determination of your objectives
  • Interviews to learn about your business
  • Gathering financial and other information from you
  • Preparing the Confidential Information Memorandum and Information Teaser

Marketing: 3-5 weeks (estimated)

  • Developing a marketing plan
  • Conducting buyer research
  • Qualifying buyers
  • Evaluating offers

Working with the Buyer: 8-12 Weeks

  • Negotiating the price, structure, and terms of the deal
  • Managing the due diligence process
  • Closing activities

Your Involvement

Since you are involved in many of these activities, the time it takes to sell your business also depends, to a great extent, on your commitment and available time. We realize you also have a business to run so it is understandable that your schedule may prolong the timeline.