Selling your business: The need for documentary evidence

Selling Your Business: The Need for Documentary Evidence

You've done the hard work and built up a business - now you're thinking of selling it. You only get to sell your business once; and a well-prepared sales document can make all the difference.

Often referred to as an information or sales memorandum, it's designed to do just as it suggests: sell your business. In essence, you need to view your sales document as a business plan, but in reverse. Preparing it can be one of the most time-consuming parts of the sales process, but this document is often the only way for a potential purchaser to judge whether to proceed to the negotiation stage.

Yvonne McDougall, director of corporate finance at Deloitte & Touche, offers advice: 'You need to highlight salient points and cut out the waffle - it saves a lot of time. Outline the unique selling point of the company product or service, and include information on the quality of management, company track-record, financial history, markets, customers and suppliers. Outlining future prospects is also a good idea.' The content of your sales document will depend on whether you are considering a trade sale (approaching a business of a similar nature) or a sale to institutional investors (such as private equity providers), with or without management involvement. With a trade sale, it's not necessary......

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Other topics covered in this article

Sales Document - what to include

How to prepare for due diligence

Advice from Industry experts

Common mistakes