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How to hand over your business to new owners

May 5, 2018

There comes a time in every business owner’s life when they must relinquish the reins and hand over control to new owners. Whether it be because you’re seeking a new challenge or no longer feel up to managing the day-to-day running of your company, parting ways can be a challenging time for anyone.

After locating the right buyer and agreeing on a final price, it might seem like the hard part is over – but there are several more details which need finessing before you can move on and start afresh. Here is a handy checklist of what to complete when handing over a business to new owners so that you don’t forget anything in the confusion and chaos of the moment.

  • Staff information

It’s important to pass on a detailed list of all employees of the company, with a full name, email address, role within the business, salary, bonus, contract length and any other salient information.

  • Customers

Ideally, your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system will be up-to-date and easy to access, containing all of the relevant information on your current customer base, including names, contact information and purchase history.

  • Partners

Whether it be suppliers or service providers, it’s essential to provide a comprehensive list of every business partner your company works with, as well as information on the services or products they provide, the prices involved, the length of the contract and how to reach them.

  • Accounts

All outstanding invoices and balances with both customers and partners must be passed on to the new owners so that they have a clear overview of the company’s finances at the time of acquisition.

  • Security measures

All passwords, codes, keycards, alarm systems and other forms of safeguarding both the physical premises and the intellectual property of the data on your company’s systems must be communicated to the incoming owners, as well as instructions on how to go about changing those protocols.

  • Inventory

A complete inventory of all of the company’s assets, including both hardware and software, should be provided to the new owners. Receipts for all of those assets are also necessary.

  • Process breakdown

Although not strictly essential, the new owners will greatly appreciate the effort on your part if you are able to give them a thorough breakdown of all processes undertaken by employees on a day-to-day basis at your business. This will allow them to get a grip on the running of the company and facilitate any changes they may wish to make, and will minimise the chance of them disturbing you with bothersome questions after the sale.

 

Get the ball rolling

Of course, the first step in any business handover is finding a buyer. At Hilton Smythe, we have a highly experienced team of brokers who are able to secure the best possible price for your business with the buyer most suited to your particular circumstances.

To get the ball rolling, why not take advantage of our free valuation service, with no cancellation fees and no 12-month contract tying you down? Give us a call on 01204 556 300 or drop us an email at enquiries@hiltonsmythe.comto learn more. We’re waiting to hear from you.

 

Watch our video on selling a business the Hilton Smythe Way.