Confidentiality is KEY in maintaining the goodwill of your business and in minimizing the disruptions at the work place during the sale process. If employees, customers and suppliers learn about the potential sale of the business too soon through other channels, they could begin to look elsewhere for employment and services. It is usually best to wait until a transaction looks imminent before key individuals are told of a sale.
To help minimize exposure, specific information regarding your business should be revealed only to qualified prospective buyers after they have executed a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement. A qualified prospective buyer is someone that has established the following:
* A desire to purchase your business.
* Has sufficient financial capability to complete the transaction.
* Has the qualifications and resources necessary to manage your business.
* Has the willingness and ability to move forward in a timely fashion.
The information presented to a qualified purchaser after execution of a confidentiality agreement may include:
* A history of your business
* An overview of your business, including information about its products and services, operations information and personnel structure
* Information regarding your market, including customer mix, competitor, and industry trends.
* A list of the fixed assets included in the sale.
* Information regarding your facilities, including lease terms etc.
* Financial information that may include: balance sheets, income statements, details of liabilities to be assumed, equipment leases, etc.
* Details on the price, terms, and sale structure of which you are offering your business.
In-depth confidential information need only be revealed during the due diligence process.