Selling a Business


The decision to sell a business is often a difficult one because of the profound personal and financial impact. Many different influences bring business owners to this decision, including:

  • Worrisome exposure to business risks often aggravated by personal guarantee on loans.
  • Possible failure of the business if one or more owners become seriously ill or disabled.
  • Personal preference of the owners to retire.
  • Divorce or dissolvement of partnership.
  • Owner’s desire to pursue other business interests which may be more challenging or less stressful.
  • Lack of sufficient working capital.
  • A need within the company for new skills, new resources, or a new philosophy to cope with ever changing economic forces, government regulations, and competition.

These valid reasons and many others, for considering a sale do not imply failure or willingness by the owner to accept less than a fair price for the business.


A business enterprise, like any asset, is worth what a buyer is willing to pay.

Buyers ask countless questions, but they are primarily concerned with a fair return on their total investment. In addition, prospective buyers make many judgments about market position, proprietary know-how, competitive strengths, quality of the assets, growth potential, and risks of the business.

To accurately determine the true worth of a business, the company’s accounting reports, prepared primarily for tax purposes, must be restated to reflect the true financial performance of the business.

Capital Business Advisors helps the business owner determine the true value of the business and, most importantly, can help prospective buyers understand the reasons for such value and structure a sale for the maximum benefit of buyer and seller.


Sound working relations with employees, customers, suppliers, and bankers are important factors to a company. Any premature indication of a possible change in ownership could disrupt these relations and weaken the company’s competitive position. For these reasons, and many others, confidentiality is critically important at all stages. With the proper procedures, it is possible to minimize the risk of an untimely disclosure.

In every transaction, there is an appropriate time to reveal that a sale may be imminent. Proper timing of these sensitive announcements can contribute to a smooth transaction and reinforce the buyer’s willingness to proceed to a closing.

Capital Business Advisors helps to ensure that information is kept confidential throughout the entire selling process until it is appropriate to reveal that a sale is forthcoming.


Usually the best time to obtain the highest price occurs when sales and earnings are good and trending upward. A solid earnings trend will enable a buyer to pay a higher price and still meet his return of investment criteria. A history of good performance also gives the buyer confidence in projected future earnings.

However; market conditions for business sales also signicantly affect the sellability of a business. Todays market is the best we have seen in the last five years due to a large number of serious buyers in the market, bank financing is readily available, and the recent reduction in capital gain taxes nets the owner more cash at closing.


For most companies, there are several categories of prospective buyers. The most obvious are other companies in the same business for whom the acquisition would be a logical expansion with potential economies of scale. Consideration should also be given to suppliers and customers of the business.

However, our experience has been that approximately 80% of the prospective buyers are individuals who want to control their own future. Many of them will be moving into the area from other states and countries. They will consider retail, service, wholesale or manufacturing businesses.

Capital Business Advisors is in continuous contact with all categories of buyers. We utilize effective search procedures to find and screen those who are best qualified to buy your business.


Capital Business Advisors can help, by utilizing our experience and know-how to guide the client through all of the complex steps required to sell a business. The first step will be our review of the company’s history and the client’s objective to make sure that a sale is the best course of action. This review includes an opinion of a range of selling prices of the business in today’s market.

If the client decides to proceed with the sale of the business, Capital Business Advisors then prepares custom-tailored presentation documents, develops buyer prospect lists from its contact files and other resources, makes the proper approaches and screens the buyer prospects, and introduces only serious, qualified buyers to the client.

Capital Business Advisors will handle the entire transaction from the initial introduction of the buyer through closing, including coordination with attorneys, accountants, landlords, leasing and utility companies, and title companies.

An owner may ask: “Why can’t I sell it myself?” There are several reasons why most owners choose not want to:

  • An owner representing himself cannot maintain anonymity and the lost confidentiality could seriously hurt the business.
  • An owner may not be knowledgeable in current areas of law, accounting, taxes, and marketing of businesses.
  • An owner typically does not have the ability or time to contact, screen and qualify a large group of prospects to find a qualified buyer who is serious and will offer a fair price.
  • An owner’s talents are much more effectively utilized in running the business than in trying to sell the company.
  • An owner generally would not have the experience, knowledge, and negotiating skills needed to sell his company efficiently and for the best price, particularly in a highly emotional negotiation such as the sale of a business where the buyer’s objectives are totally opposite of the owner’s.

Capital Business Advisors are trained professionals who are knowledgeable and skilled in profitable and timely business transfers. Call us today to find out how we can help.

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