Skip to content

How to sell your business

To part ways with the business of yours? We have broken down the important steps you have to take when selling the business of yours as a single trader, limited company or partnership, including finalising the taxes of yours and updating the team of yours.

Whether you have spent years starting the business of yours and are intending to take a step back, or maybe you are prepared to let go and try something totally new, promoting your small business is not a choice that is made lightly.

A profitable exit strategy takes a great deal of planning to make certain you secure the ideal valuation possible and a good customer to take over. Changing business ownership also provides many legal and tax concerns, that is the reason why the industry experts of ours are below to hike you through how you can market the business of yours.
Preparing the business of yours for sale made

You will initially need to assess how appealing the business of yours is usually to potential customers.

Do you’ve an expanding, loyal client base?
Have the profits of yours been increasing regularly?
Do you’ve a strong position in the sector of yours?
What’s the opportunity of yours for expansion?

These’re just some of the things which allow it to be simpler to find a buyer, therefore it is really worth investing some time ensuring the business of yours is in a great place before going to sell. Here are a few steps you are able to take to place your best foot forward for a sleek transition:

Organise the records of yours, , along with contracts paperwork
Make certain the profiles of yours are updated
Resolve some ongoing disputes

To value the business of yours

It is period for the numbers: just how much is the business of yours worth? A company is a lot more than simply the assets of its. Purchasers will be taking a look at the employees of yours, revenue, debts, reputation and much more, which makes settling on a cost harder. However, there is nobody size fits all principle for internet business valuation, but you’ll find many methods you are able to calculate the market price.

A very common valuation approach will be the cost to earnings ratio, commonly known as as the profit multiplier approach. For a prospective customer, this method provides a sign of whether they are more likely to make the investment of theirs returned within a particular period by assessing the yearly profits of the organization of yours.

You will have to think about things such as; what’ll happen to the staff of yours? What home do you’ve – in case it is leased in all probability you will require your landlord’s consent? What existing debts do you’ve? What constant contractual agreements do you’ve, and therefore are these being terminated or assigned whether the T+Cs allow?

If perhaps you’re a restricted business, you have to think about whether to perform an asset sale or maybe a share sale. But there are important differences between the 2 techniques, not least the impact on the tax you are going to have to pay. Obviously any prospective buyer might also have the own view of theirs on this.

Ultimately, you will want to locate a balance. You do not want to undervalue the hard work of yours, however overestimating the worth of its is able to make it challenging to locate a purchaser at the proper price.

Whatever sale price you decide on, you ought to be in a position to protect the valuation of yours to interested customers and be ready for negotiations. In case you are unsure, you will find independent workers who could value the business of yours and provide you with an expert judgement. This’s very advantageous in case you’ve a niche company or perhaps are running in a specialised segment.
To find a buyer

Then, you will wish to drop by market and locate a buyer. A business broker is able to support you in finding the proper buyer and advertise the business of yours through suitable channels on the behalf of yours. Generally be careful when selecting an agent to market on the behalf of yours, ensure you check them out thoroughly and read their conditions and terms thoroughly. The FSB authorized advice line often gets phone calls from users that definitely feel they’ve been miss sold these services, typically through an unsolicited strategy from the marketing agent in question..

At this stage, you might want in order to take measures to ensure confidentiality and also to protect the business of yours against any prying from the competition of yours. Additionally, you might wish to prevent term of the purchase getting out before you have spoken to the staff of yours, who might be worried about the job security of theirs and may begin looking elsewhere. Staying away from such scenarios are going to minimise some speculation about the potential future of the company.

You are going to need to perform considerable due diligence on the buyer of yours prior to committing to anything. This may include looking for references and doing credit-checks
Agreeing the conditions of the profit

You will wish to receive the specifics in white and black therefore all people have a clear understanding of the conditions. This may add the cost, assets when ownership is going to be transferred. This lessens the possibility of any potential misunderstandings later on down the line.

Are you getting paid out in full? In case you’re getting paid in instalments, what’s happening if the customer defaults? What security do you’ve when this happens? The solicitor of yours should have the ability to aid you with this.

Business sales of a partnership, or maybe the share of yours in the partnership, you need to check the partnership agreement of yours. There might be conditions and restrictions for the sale you need to stick to.
To complete a company purchase agreement

This particular agreement transfers ownership of the company on the customer. It must add the terms, price, any clauses and completion date agreed in the earlier step. As this’s a complex document with a lot of elements to take into consideration it’s usually better to instruct a solicitor just like you’d when selling a home.
To update the team of yours

In case you’ve workers as well as the company comes to a brand new owner, the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006, (commonly referred to as TUPE), might use. These Regulations guard an employee’s rights if the company they benefit changes ownership. Where TUPE applies, the employees of yours will immediately get to be the workers of the new employer of their current conditions and terms of work, unless a redundancy situation applies. There’s likewise some info regarding the transfer you’re needed to provide the personnel of yours, worker representatives as well as the brand-new employer by law, also feasible employee consultation requirements.

Conversely, the place that the purchase of the company leads to redundancies, a good redundancy consultation procedure must be used and also redundancy payments made to staff that are qualified .
Telling HMRC you have sold the business of yours

If you are saying farewell to self-employment, you have to contact HMRC to allow them to know and cancel the Class of yours two National Insurance contributions.

Based on whether you are a sole trader, in a director or maybe a partnership of a small business, you’ve various duties.
Sole trader

Complete the ultimate self-assessment of yours by the deadline.
Do not forget to add the day you stopped trading.
Pay National Insurance and some tax owed.


Fill out a self assessment by the deadline in case you are selling the share of yours.
Offering the entire partnership? You have to finish an individual self assessment as well as the nominated partner should also complete a partnership tax return.
Do not forget to add the day you stopped trading.
Pay National Insurance and some tax owed.

Small company

When you are promoting the whole shareholding, you will have to appoint brand new directors before you resign.
Notify Companies House of modifications.
Just selling a part of the business of yours? As we pointed out earlier, you have to let the staff of yours know about the changes in case they are influenced by the sale.

To pay the taxes of yours

When you generate an income whenever you market, you will have paying Capital Gains Tax (CGT). This might be lowered with tax reliefs like Business Asset Disposal Relief, previously referred to as Entrepreneur’s Relief. This’s a decrease in CGT, which means you will pay a lower number of ten %. You have to have owned the company for 2 years to become eligible.

The help was reformed instead scrapped in 2020, in part because of effective campaigning by FSB. The present lifetime restrict is £1 million.
How about VAT?

If you are VAT registered, you might be ready to transmit your registration number to the new owner.