In line with the Mergers & Acquisitions theme of our latest Business Bulletin magazine published this week, Director of Acumen Accountants and Advisors, Ross Murray, reflects on the key considerations of selling a business.
Selling a business is a major life decision that requires lengthy consideration and due diligence. And it’s not just about the money - the emotional toll on a business owner can be significant. It’s not unusual to feel overwhelmed, anxious and uncertain during the process of mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Bearing in mind a few key considerations before taking the plunge and making the deal can go a long way to smoothing the transition:
The due diligence process can be intense for both the buyer and seller. Any buyer wants to ensure there are no skeletons in the closet, and conduct background checks and financial analyses to ensure the deal makes sense for their business. As a seller, you should be prepared for questions about your finances, operations, customer base and any potential legal issues that may arise. Providing accurate information is critical to acheiving a fair price for your business.
Selling a business can be an emotional experience. For some, it marks the end of an era - years of hard work have finally paid off and it’s time to move on to something else. Others may feel uncertainty about the next step, worry about having enough money to live comfortably, or being out of work. There can even be feelings of guilt or resentment if the sale doesn't go as planned or there were tough decisions to make. Acknowledging difficult emotions and seeking help where necessary is a critical part of the process.
Finances are a critical part of a business sale – you know how much you want from the sale, but are you willing to negotiate? You’ll also need to think about how long payment may take - some deals offer cash upfront while others involve paid instalments over time. Tax implications should also be taken into account - you'll need to consult with an accountant specialising in M&A transactions to understand what your taxes will look like after the sale is complete.
Selling a business can be complicated, with multiple considerations both practical and emotional. The process can be made a great deal simpler for both seller and buyer through a mutual understanding of due diligence, the potential for difficult emotions and the implications of financial agreements.
For over 30 years, Acumen has been providing accountancy support to SMEs across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. Now one of the region’s leading financial firms, their 36–strong team serves over 1,200 customers across Scotland and the UK from their office in Aberdeen. Their services include supporting clients through mergers and acquisitions, auditing, tax advice, outsourced accounting and general compliance work. Visit https://www.acumen.info or call 01224 573904 for more information.