Managing Disclosure When Selling Your Business - VR Business Sales Blog

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Managing Disclosure When Selling Your Business

Peter King
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If you are looking to sell your business, you have to know that at some point in the sales process that someone inside or outside your organization will ask questions about your intentions – specifically, if the business is indeed for sale. The disclosure of appropriate information must be made to prospective buyers if serious discussions regarding the sale of business are to take place. Also remember that some discontent inside the business may be generated due to “unusual activity” and “visitors.”  

Disclosing the Intent to Sell without Stopping the Flow of Business
One of the primary tasks that will take place when you work with one of our VR Business Intermediaries is that we will help manage the disclosure within your business. 
In some cases, public announcement of your business’ intentions is customary such as when a company decides to sell a group of businesses that no longer fits into the overall objectives. However, most of the time, business owners are not willing to follow a particular course of action. Nor do they want others in their organization to become distracted by the possible implications of a changing of the guard.  
When you work with a VR Business Intermediary, we will advise you as a seller to prepare a response to the general topic of selling that is consistent with the growth and expansion of the business – especially,  if you own a closely-held middle-market business.  
Having the Buyer Sign a Confidentiality Agreement
Here at VR, we will prepare a confidentiality agreement for the prospective buyer to sign before they can receive information about your company. There should be no need for concern about having any prospect sign this document as most will be willing to do so if they are serious about buying. 
Facilitating Contact between Parties with the VR Business Intermediary
When working with a VR Business Intermediary, we will screen prospective buyers without disclosing your identity as a seller. We will facilitate the contact between the buyer and you the seller.  
You never want to contact the prospective buyer directly because this usually leads to a deal ending in failure, and information on your business will fall into the wrong hands – the competitor. Allow the VR Business Intermediary to handle the questions between you the seller and the buyer as well as both of your schedules to pursue a successful acquisition.  
Making the Most of Your Time during the Selling Process
When you are selling your business, the most valuable use of your time throughout the process is to run it and concentrate on producing profitable results. Operation management efforts will be disrupted enough by participating in meetings with prospective buyers and negotiations with the most qualified parties. It is important for you as the seller to remain above the action during meetings and negotiations.


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