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What Documents Are Needed To Sell A Business?

Documents needed to sell a business

Selling your business isn’t quite the same as selling your products and services to the buying public. Even the owners of thriving eCommerce companies can find that marketing their small business to prospective buyers takes a dramatically different skill set. For any seller eager to put their online business up for sale, a great place to start would be by reaching out to a professional brokerage firm like Website Closers, where 50 professional business brokers have contributed to the sale of $1 billion worth of transactions.

There are plenty of important steps to take before making your business available for sale, including getting a Business Valuation and knowing what legal documents are needed to sell a business. Having your documentation firmly in place, with every t crossed and I dotted, will put you in a much better position to get top dollar for the company you worked so hard to build.

Let’s review the process of selling your business, including the documents needed to sell a business, the legal documents needed to sell a business, and the important question of what do I need to do to sell my business.

First, what documents are needed to sell a business?

In order to attract qualified buyers, it takes more than slick advertising. Buyers will be eager to see documentation that demonstrates your business is operating profitably, can be scaled and has a solid future. There are legal documents you’re going to need that will effectively demonstrate that.

The most important Legal Documents needed to sell a business include a Non-Disclosure Confidentiality Agreement. This form is enormously important for both the seller and the buyer. For the seller, it protects their interests by prohibiting any prospective buyer from sharing sensitive data about your company.

For buyers, after signing the NDA, it gives them access to significant information about the company they’re interested in acquiring. Before they make a significant investment in owning a business, prospective buyers want to know all they can about the eCommerce company’s financials and day-to-day operations. That’s why a non-disclosure agreement is crucial. Brokers also use this early stage of interest to pre-qualify the buyer to ensure they have the right finances to complete the purchase.
Other important legal documents to have include:

  • – A Personal Financial Statement Form that buyers complete
  • – A Note of Seller Financing
  • – Several years’ worth of Financial Statements
  • – Information on the Seller’s Discretionary Earnings and Cash Flow
  • – Reports on Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable
  • – Review of financial trends
  • – An Inventory list

A Letter of Intent is an important document to prepare since it lists the conditions and terms of the deal and other important information such as the amount of the sales deposit and relevant terms being applied in the agreement. Some buyers have their own Letter of Intent for seller approval.

Finally, there is an Offer-to-Purchase Agreement, a legally binding contract that governs the sales agreement between buyer and seller which covers the price and conditions of the purchase. But keep in mind that until you have the documents needed to sell a business and the legal documents needed to sell a business, you’re not likely to get serious attention from buyers.

A lot of sellers may be unfamiliar with the legal documents needed for a successful sale, which is why they are well advised to seek out the professional assistance of an experienced business broker like the ones at Website Closers. Having familiarity with the most important legal documents needed for a sale is going to make the actual sales process a much smoother one. It also allows for more purposeful planning during the sales process.

If you’re reviewing this list of documents and don’t have a legal background, you may be wondering who can draft these important documents for you. This is another prime example of the role that professional business brokers play in the sales process.

Selling a business, attracting qualified buyers, and getting the right price for your business requires the assistance of experienced M&A professionals. The business brokers at Website Closers have handled the sale of more than $1 billion worth of transactions and can ensure you have all the right documentation needed for the sale. Our brokers can help you attract potential buyers, including ones who have been pre-qualified and can help you determine the right purchase price for your business and serve as your negotiators during the sales process, which includes overseeing the terms of the deal.

What’s the role of these Documents in the Selling Process?

During the sales process, the seller and buyer will get to know one another, and proper documentation is a significant way to demonstrate to the buyer what a great deal the acquisition will be. Legal and financial documents demonstrate the seller’s due diligence in preparing for the sale, and it’s important to keep in mind that every document being presented is going to be carefully scrutinized by the buyer. If there are any grey areas in any of these documents, the buyer will likely request more information.

Many of the documents you present – including the NDA – are designed to protect you, your business and your financial interests in the event of a no-buy.

If you feel overwhelmed by how much paperwork goes into a sale, a skilled business broker can ease those concerns considerably.

Starting your sales journey with the brokers at Website Closers is the ideal way for you to ensure the paperwork you submit is thorough and exact, and that you have a skilled negotiator at your side during the entire sales process protecting your interests