GUIDE ON HOW TO SELL A BUSINESS IN FLORIDA
CHOOSING A BUSINESS BROKER is the first step in selling a business in Florida. We know how to sell a business in Florida and as a our experience as a Florida Business Broker plays an integral role in the selling process. Your broker will free up time to keep your business up and running during the selling process. He or she will also provide access to qualified buyers, keep the sale confidential, know where and how to market your business, accurately value your business and work to get you the highest price possible for one of the most important assets in your life.
- PRELIMINARY DISCUSSIONS: When you first meet with your business broker, the broker will need lots of information about your business, and documentation such as financial statements, company tax returns, list of assets, copy of leases and a copy of franchise and/or license agreements (if applicable). The broker will also want to visit the place of business and should strive to fully understand your business and operating models so that he/she can purvey this passion about your business when seeking prospective buyers.
- LISTING AGREEMENT: You and your business broker will need to enter into a formal agreement, whereby you will appoint the broker to list your business for sale and find a suitable buyer. The agreement will set out the terms of the listing, the asking price, details of any financing offered by you to the buyer, restrictive covenants that you are prepared to offer the buyer and a period of time for which the listing will exist with the broker.
- CONFIDENTIAL SELLING MEMORANDUM: Your business broker should offer the business via a prospectus or confidential memorandum that brings together all of the information about your business in a coherent and professional manner, complete with Executive Summary, highlight of the Buyer’s Opportunity and a detailed financial analysis. Once the listing agreement is executed, your broker will prepare this memorandum.
- MARKETING TO BUYERS: Your business broker will conduct all of the marketing activities with your guidance and approval to find qualified buyer candidates. This will be through a variety of marketing channels including, but not limited to, online business MLS websites, various third party online websites, domestic and international trade shows, targeted ad placement, e-blasts and blog posting, direct mailing and local business networking.
- MEETING PROSPECTIVE BUYERS: Once qualified buyers are screened by your broker, you and your broker will meet with them to confirm their interest and financial capability and present your business. During this step, your broker will also negotiate on your behalf to ensure you receive a purchase offer and terms that you are satisfied with.
- LOI & CONTRACT: Once a prospective buyer has been chosen or decides they would like to move forward with the purchase of your business, they will agree to a Letter of Intent (LOI) to purchase the business or proceed directly to contract. At this time, the buyer will appoint a closing agent to hold earnest money deposits.
- DUE DILIGENCE: The purchase contract will call for a due diligence period where the buyer will be able to request detailed financial statements from you in order to perform an in-depth investigation of the business. The buyer will also want to inspect and value inventory and understand changes that will be required to employment or vendor contracts.
- ASSIGN LEASES: When the buyer is satisfied that their due diligence has confirmed the validity of preliminary information previously provided, the buyer will create a new Florida corporation with the help of their attorney. Then they can negotiate with the landlord in order to assign any leases to their new company.
- CLOSING: Now that your buyer has passed the buyer’s examination, it is time to complete the final steps before closing the deal, handing your business over, and embarking on your post-sale goals. The closing agent will prepare a Bill of Sale and transfer the business assets to the buyer’s new company, finalize deeds and lease assignments, and disburse the sales proceeds to the appropriate parties. You will need to consult with your attorney, CPA and other professionals to ensure that the closing can happen under the terms of the agreement.