If you own a business and are ready to retire and begin a transfer of ownership agreement, need help with a sale, or are considering mergers or acquisitions deal, hiring a lawyer to sell a business is your best choice.
To sell an entire business entity or a division, or segment, of a business entity, you’ll need to identify a method of valuing tangible assets and intangible assets. But, again, using a lawyer to sell a business can take the pressure off your shoulders and make sure the transaction goes smoothly.
Common forms of business that can benefit from a lawyer selling a business include:
What Kind of Lawyer Do I Need to Sell a Business?
When selling a business, you'll need to work with a lawyer specializing in business law. This type of lawyer can help you navigate the sale's legal aspects, such as drafting the sales contract and ensuring that all the necessary paperwork is filed. When choosing a lawyer to help sell your partnership or part, you will need a lawyer for a partnership agreement. You will also need to gather certain documents in preparation for the sale, like your business plan, so prospective buyers have an idea of the solvency of your business.
Hiring a lawyer to sell a business is the best way to formalize an agreement such as this, as they will help you with technicalities like drafting the terms and conditions governing the sale and helping to identify what intellectual property goes with the business and what is your intellectual property when you leave.
You’ll want to find a lawyer with experience handling business sales, as a business agreement cost will be associated with drafting the documents. You want to make sure you get the best value for your money.
Here is an article discussing why to hire a lawyer to sell a business.
What is the Structure of Selling a Business?
The process of selling a business can be divided into four main steps.
- Valuation. You’ll need to determine the value of the business.
- Find a Buyer. You’ll need to find a buyer for your business.
- Negotiations. Then you'll need to negotiate the terms of the sale.
- Paperwork. Finally, you'll need to complete the paperwork to finalize the sale.
Here is an article with 7 steps to selling your business.
Benefits of Working with an Attorney to Sell a Business
There are several benefits to working with an attorney to sell a business.
One of the most important benefits is that an attorney can help ensure the sale goes smoothly. They can help to draft the sales contract, transfer the business ownership, and file the necessary tax paperwork.
Another benefit of working with an attorney is that an attorney can help to protect your interests during the sale. They can help to negotiate the terms of the sale, such as the price and the payment terms, and help you resolve any disputes that may arise during the sale.
Lastly, an attorney can help to provide peace of mind during the selling process. Selling a business can be a stressful experience, but working with an attorney can help to ease some of that stress. In addition, hiring a lawyer to sell a business can help you answer any questions you have about the sale and can guide the process.
Here is an article about reasons to use an attorney when selling a business.
How Do I Sell an Existing Business?
If you're interested in selling an existing business entity, there are a few things you'll need to do.
- Determine Value. Determining the value of your business is an important part of the selling process. You'll need to consider several factors, such as the value of the assets, the business's revenue, and the business's profitability. You can use a business valuation calculator to help you determine the value of your business.
- Find Buyer. After you've determined the value of your business, you'll need to find a buyer. You can market your business to potential buyers through online listings, business brokers, and word-of-mouth.
- Negotiate Terms. Once you've found a buyer, you'll need to negotiate the terms of the sale. This includes negotiating the price of the sale, the payment terms, and the timeline for the sale.
- Paperwork and Closing. Finally, it is time to button up the details and paperwork once the terms have been negotiated. Again, hiring a lawyer to sell a business will make this part a breeze.
Selling a business entity can be complex, but working with a lawyer to sell a business can help make the process go smoothly.
Here is an article with easy-to-follow steps to sell your business.
How Much Should I Sell an Existing Business For?
When selling an existing business, you'll need to determine the value of your business. In addition, you'll need to consider a few factors, such as.
- Value of Assets. Assets are things that a company owns or controls. These can include buildings, computers, tangible assets, and intangible assets such as a patent or trademark associated with the business.
- Revenue of Business. The revenue of a business is the total amount of money it has earned during a certain period. For most businesses, this is over a year or even several years.
- Profitability of Business. The profitability of a business is not just what’s in the account but what’s not in the account. So the first step in determining which areas of your business are profitable is calculating your net profit margin on each product or service.
Here is an article that summarizes how to determine the value of your business so you can sell it.
What Legal Documents are Needed to Sell a Business?
The decision to sell a business is a big one, and many factors must be considered. Hiring a lawyer to sell a business is your best first step. Next, you'll need to gather your legal documents to provide to the buyer.
- Business License. You'll need to provide the buyer with a copy of your business license.
- Tax Returns. The buyer will want to see your business's several years' worth of tax returns.
- Contracts. If you have any contracts with customers, vendors, or employees, the buyer will need to see these.
- Leases. The buyer must assume these leases if you lease any office or retail space for your business.
- Insurance Policies. The buyer will need to see a copy of your business insurance policies.
- Intellectual Property. Suppose your business has any intellectual property, such as a patent, trademark, or copyright. In that case, you'll need to transfer this to the buyer.
- Employee Records. The buyer will need to see their records if you have any employees.
- Customer Lists. If you have a list of customers or clients, the buyer will need to see this.
Here is an article outlining the important documents needed to sell a business.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Lawyer to Sell a Business?
The cost of hiring a lawyer to sell a business can vary depending on several factors, such as the size of the business and the lawyer's experience. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 to have a lawyer handle the sale of your business.
Here is an article outlining the costs of selling a business.
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