Preparing for due diligence from a seller’s point of view

It’s a buyers’ market out there and, as a result, many business owners could see a sale as the obvious next step for them. So what can sellers do to ensure their businesses stand out as a safe bet during buyers’ due diligence processes?

The key to ensuring the sale of your firm goes through smoothly is to avoid any snags once the due diligence process begins. Even the keenest buyer can easily be put off if they uncover something unexpected at this point. This is why some simple housekeeping, carried out at the right time, is essential to iron out any creases in your operation.

Contracts are a good place to start. Make sure they are all up to date and have all the necessary signatures. Any disputes - legal or otherwise - involving suppliers or employees, for example, need to be worked out before the sale process begins to ensure that the dust has settled well before the buyers start searching for problems.

When it comes to the company’s assets, intellectual property is valuable and should be documented and recorded carefully to enhance the prospect of a sale going through. Physical equipment and assets should also be in good working order - now is the time to sort those little things that could devalue your office facilities, machinery, vehicles etc.

Any failings on this level could result in a renegotiation of the terms of the sale - and this is the best-case scenario. If selling is on the agenda for you, it really is worth putting your buyer’s hat on and looking at your business critically to uncover, and swiftly deal with, anything that could put your buyers off.

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