Most Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need a business broker to sell my business?
Answer: When it comes to buying or selling a business, a business broker acts as the middleman between the buyer and the seller. Brokers are trained professionals that help both parties through the entire process, from the initial selling request through to the closing deal.
Read our useful guide: A simple guide to using a business broker.
Why do I need an EPC?
Answer: It is now a requirement of European Law that the majority of commercial properties must hold a valid Energy Performance Certificate before it can be advertised or sold.
Read our useful guide: Why you need an EPC to sell your business.
What information will I need at the valuation meeting?
The more information we have at the valuation, the better! But as a minimum, we require trading accounts, and if you are leasing your premises, we need a copy of your lease. If you are a franchise business, we will need a copy of the franchise agreement. Any other information about the business is always a bonus. However, it’s worth noting that we will also need a few additional pieces of documentation to comply with Money Laundering Regulations (see question on ID Checks and money laundering).
How do you value a business?
Valuing a business is quite tricky and more of a science than an art. However, we do use the industry-recognised methods of indicating the value of the business, which are based on the assets of the business, its profitability and turnover. We then compare this against our own sold data. We will also take into account additional factors, such as how long the business has been established and its location. Ultimately, a business is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay. Yet we are confident that we have developed strong systems over the years for placing the best value on a business.
How do I instruct you? What are your terms of business?
We have a standard agreement that contains our terms of business, which we will go through in great depth. We encourage you to read the terms at your convenience and ensure that you are happy with everything. Our agreement is sent electronically, allowing you to sign it after you have reviewed the terms. However, if you require further assistance or clarification, we will be on hand to assist you further. As soon as our agreement is signed, you will receive a copy by email for your reference.
Can I instruct multiple agents to sell my business?
Although you are able to instruct multiple agents to sell your business, you should carefully read and check the arrangements for fees. It may be the case that you will have to pay multiple agents, including any that only listed your business, without being the ones to sell it. We work on a sole agency agreement, so if we are instructed and under contract when the business sells, we will expect to be paid our fees. We would like you to be fully aware and comfortable with this.
If you are instructing us after you have instructed other agents, we can, if you request us to do, insert an exclusion clause so you don’t pay us the success fee if the other agent sells it. To take advantage of this, simply let us know when you are ready to instruct us; you will see the exclusion in the amendments section of our agreement. If the other agent does sell the business for you, simply send us the invoice for their agency or success fees to us.
I am already in talks with a purchaser, can I still instruct you?
Yes, by instructing an agent like us you have two options in relation to your purchaser, we can either take over the negotiations on your behalf and advertise the business to the open market in the same way or we can include an exclusion clause in your agreement that will mean you can continue to negotiate with the purchaser, and will not have to pay our success fee, if that purchaser buys the business from you.
Just let us know when you are ready to instruct us and you will see the clause in the amendments section of our agreement.
How do I get the best possible price for my business?
If you are able to plan your exit from the business over a period of time, we would advise that you make the business as profitable as it can be as this will help to increase the value of the business. There are additional factors that can help us to get the best price, such as ensuring the premises are kept clean and tidy when photos are being taken or when viewings are taking place. Additionally, it’s a good idea to ensure that everything in your business is in good working order and is being fully utilised. This includes your social media accounts, any customer reviews, as well as overall processes and procedures.
Think as a buyer would do and try to consider anything and everything you would expect to find when purchasing a business.
What sort of advertising do you do?
We have a simple strategy when advertising your business: we will get your business in front of as many buyers as possible. We will advertise your business on all the expected websites, and unlike most of our competitors, we will advertise your business on Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location at no extra cost (unfortunately we cannot do this for discreet or confidential instructions).
Can I just give the business, lease or assets away? Maybe to a friend or family member? Without paying a fee?
As per the terms of our agreement, if the assets, lease or the business is gifted/ transferred, our success fee would fall due. However, we would ask that if you are planning to do this, you let us know. We are here to work with you and will take into account all of your circumstances, to deliver the best outcome for you.
What should I do if a purchaser comes directly to me? Do I still pay a fee if I do it myself?
There are occasions where purchasers may come directly to you after seeing one of our adverts. We stress to purchasers that they should arrange everything via ourselves. But, if someone does come to you directly, please get their name and contact number and pass them on to us, so we can deal with them on your behalf.
It’s only fair that during the period that we are advertising your business, if someone does in fact make a purchase, we should be paid our success fee.
What if I go on to sell to someone that you sent me or enquired, after I have cancelled?
It would be against best practice and would be unfair to us, after having performed the work required to find a purchaser, only not to receive a fee for doing so. So, if someone who has enquired through us and they go on to buy the business, even after our agreement has ended, we would need to be paid our success fee. If, after your agreement with us has ended, a person who we have sent to you goes on to approach you again, please simply get back in touch with us so that we can assist.
How long after I have signed up will my adverts go live on the internet? Can I change things on the adverts?
We will work as quickly as possible to get everything live for you, but as a guide, it can take around 5 days from when you have sent us all the information needed. We will send you a copy of your advertisement as we place them on the internet and really encourage you to have a good read over and make sure you are happy with everything. If you do want anything changing, give us a call, we can make as many changes as you like at any time.
What happens when someone enquires on my business?
Once we receive enquiries from potential purchasers, we will try to contact them through any method possible, offering various times to discuss their interest in your business. If we believe that they are serious and credible, we will get them in touch with you for a meeting or viewing. We may provide them with further information prior to this, in the form of answering any enquiries or by providing details about the trading accounts or lease. We will try our very best to strike the balance between making sure we send you enough serious buyer.
How do you vet buyers?
It’s never our intention to send buyers to you who are not serious. We obtain their contact details and ask them questions about their experience in business and ability to purchase the business from a financial point of view. We take this information in good faith and will relay this information to you. We will also ask purchasers to be ready to provide their proof of funds in conjunction with an offer.
Do you attend viewings?
We do not attend viewings, but we will be in touch shortly after the viewing to find out how everything has gone and answer questions or send further information.
Do I need a solicitor to sell the business?
We recommended that you do use a solicitor. However it is entirely up to you; we do have a panel of solicitors we can recommend.
Are solicitor’s fees included within the success fee?
No, this would be an additional cost; solicitors’ fees can vary depending on the how the offer is structured.
What if I don’t sell?
You have our commitment that we will continue to advertise your business until it is sold.
Do assets get added onto the valuation?
It really does depend on the business, but usually your assets are needed to make the business run, and most times you wouldn’t be able to run the business successfully without said assets. So, assets are usually included within the valuation price.
How long does it take to sell a business?
This is a very difficult question to answer; we have had sales complete within days and sales take years to complete. However, on average, we work to a timeframe of roughly 6–12-months.
What happens if my figures increase or decrease?
You can send us the new figures so we can reassess the valuation to reflect a true marketing price.
Where are the terms & Conditions before I sign up?
In the proposal that we have sent to you, there’s a section titled ‘Instruct us,’ next to it you will see a ‘Click here’ link. This is where the terms & conditions are found.
When is the listing fee payable?
Upon instructing us to sell your business.
Do I have to do a handover period?
It’s entirely up to you but most people do, and agree something with the new purchaser.