I am thinking of selling my business – when is the right time?

Selling your business at the correct time can ensure that you maximise the value you receive. Appropriate timing is subject to both personal and commercial considerations.

CHW Small Business Bolton Accountants are experienced in advising on preparing businesses for sale and also managing the sale process.

If your business is facing problems, then you should think carefully about if it is the right time to sell. Often it isn’t – but conversely, if you believe that the difficulties may be unsolvable, delaying a sale could mean that the situation is only likely to become worse resulting in a hurried or forced sale which is unlikely to give you the best value.

Business owners should always bear in mind what their possible exit routes are and forward plan to enable them to sell at the most advantageous time.

The economic climate is likely to have a bearing on the number of potential buyers and on how long it is likely to take the business to sell. At times when business confidence is high, sale processes are generally quicker, whilst in times of economic downturn buyers are more cautious and business sales can take far longer.

Industry performance can also dictate when it is a good time to sell. For example, trade buyers are more likely to be better able to fund a purchase if their own business is doing well because credit from banks and other funders will be more readily available to them.

The financial management of your business is also crucial to the timing of any successful sale. Aim to sell when the business is profitable and you are able to demonstrate potential for future growth.

Ensure your equipment is well maintained, your tax affairs are in order, there are no unresolved legal disputes and your key contracts are up to date.

The timing of a sale can also be influenced by the tax consequences on the ultimate value you receive and any forthcoming changes to tax legislation.

Even if you are not considering the sale of your business now it is never too soon to think about how you may exit and be prepared when the timing is right to pursue your company’s maximum value and sell it on your terms rather than those of the market.

For advice about this or for any other advice regarding your finances contact the team at CHW Small Business Bolton Accountants on 01204 534031 or via our contact us page.


This article is for general guidance only. It provides an outline, and may not include points which are important to your situation. You should not depend on this blog without taking advice based on the full facts of your case. The information given was correct at the time of publication.

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