Selling a Business

Deciding to sell your business is a massive decision. A truly life changing prospect that can’t be taken lightly. If you’re currently asking yourself the question “How do I sell my business?”, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Hilton Smythe we’re expert business brokers.

Whatever your motivations for selling your business you’ll want to ensure that maximum value is achieved. It’s also important that your business is sold to the right buyer who can positively take it forward, whilst looking after any remaining staff.

Hilton Smythe are one of the UK’s leading business brokers and have helped Company owners, just like you, through the process of selling businesses and extracting their well-earned value for many years.


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“I would not hesitate to recommend Hilton Smythe to other business sellers. The service we received from Chloe, Sam and other members of the team at Hilton Smythe has been second to none. Special mention must go to Chloe as she has fantastic customer service skills and she has been extremely attentive every step of the way during the sales negotiation process. Thank you Hilton Smythe.”

Seller of Embroidery Shop, Preston


How Do You Sell A Small Business?

Selling a business as a going concern is an option most prospective sellers see as the perfect scenario. The business carries on, staff stay employed and the business buyer will have money making potential from day one.

Hilton Smythe have developed a strong, tried and tested, business transfer process, which has resulted in a completion track record that we’re very proud of.

This is the process we adopt to ensure a smooth business sale for our clients.

Our tailored marketing approach

No two businesses are the same. To get maximum interest and exposure we tailor a marketing package to suit your exact needs and business circumstances. Hilton Smythe work with some of the biggest business advertising listings in the UK.

When it comes to successfully advertising your business for sale, our wide reach and marketing network delivers excellent results. Our vast range of advertising options are designed with how to sell your business quickly in mind.

Where we advertise your business

1.3 million monthly buyer visits

11.1 million monthly page views

406,900+ monthly buyer visits

3.5 million monthly page views

7.2 million active views

266,617 enquiries received

Instruct us

When we’ve agreed an asking price, your preferred marketing options and any additional services that you require, we’ll be in a position to move the process forward. When it comes to selling a business momentum is of extreme importance. That’s why we get your adverts up and running within just a few days of instruction.

One of our Sales Negotiators will keep you posted on everything from advert performance and potential improvements, buyer interest, viewing arrangements and offer negotiations.

Arrange viewings

One of our Sales Negotiator will arrange convenient times for potential buyers to take a closer look at the business and will be on hand to provide clear and concise feedback after the appointment.

Depending on how the viewing goes, our Sales Negotiator will do one of two things. They’ll either negotiate an offer to try and get the best deal available for you, or provide constructive feedback as to how to improve your chances of selling your business.

Negotiate your offers

Our talented team of Sales Negotiators are adept to completing deals. Their experience in negotiating offers to get the best deal and deal structure possible for our clients is second to none.

One of our Sales Negotiators will be on hand to offer you expert advice. This guidance will make the most of the interest in your business and achieve a great value. They are also well connected and can help arrange the best legal advisors, along with other professionals you may need help from, during the sale.

Complete the deal

We can take you through the final parts of the sale with the help of our Sales Progression Team. They will help you move the sale through to legal completion as quickly and painlessly as possible.

There’s a saying that “time kills deals” so it’s important that momentum is maintained and the completion process runs smoothly. Rest assured, our Sales Progression Team has seen it all. If anything does hold things up or there are any snags along the way, we’ll come up with the right solution to keep everything on track.

That’s it. Job done. The best bit? The money from selling your business is now in your bank account!

When is the best time to sell your business?

There could be a number of factors to take into account when deciding on the right time to sell your business. Usually we’d say the best time to sell your business is when you’ve taken the time to prepare the business for sale and sell it in-line with a structured plan.

Depending on personal circumstances however, this isn’t always practical. Some of the more common reasons we see business owners deciding to sell their Company include:

A business sale always being part of the long-term business plan/management strategy

  • Retirement of one or more Directors
  • The desire to embark upon a new challenge
  • Relocation to a different area
  • Ill-health
  • Divorce or break-down of business partnership
  • Challenging trading conditions or unable to finance further growth

The best time to sell a Limited Company often comes down to personal choice. It’s natural that a seller will want to go through the sales process at a time to suit them.

Our advisors can talk to you in detail about your business and your exact circumstances. This support will help you understand whether now is the right time to sell your business.

No matter what industry you’re involved in or whether the business is corporate, commercial, retail or otherwise, we can handle the sales process and achieve a strong market value.

Why not book your FREE business valuation today?

How do you determine the value of your business?

If you’re thinking about exiting your firm this is probably one of the first questions to spring to mind:

How do I value my business?

There are many different techniques to successfully value a business. Understanding what the business is worth and what a buyer is likely to pay, coupled with the different deal-structures potentially available, can prove daunting.

A major reason for using a trusted business broker is to determine the correct value of your business. Here at Hilton Smythe we value businesses on a daily basis and have an excellent track record of completed sales.

Our team of expert valuers will meet with you to have a free, no-obligation, conversation about your business. They’ll discuss current market conditions, assess the potential value of your business and talk through the best marketing approach to help you realise maximum value.

Book your FREE business valuation now!

How much do you sell a business for?

The initial valuation of your business should give you a good idea of what to expect from any offers that come your way. The worth of a business can vary for a wide range of reasons. We’ll talk you through the different options and whether a share sale, asset sale or merger is best for you.

When somebody is buying a business they’ll want to perform due diligence to make sure all the information they’ve been provided stacks up and is in order. Our team will help you, as a seller, prepare this information and ensure the process moves quickly.

Having all the details a buyer could want to see in the due diligence process readily available will help you maximise your value and avoid any unfortunate breakdowns in agreements.

Something else that’s very important to consider is the structure of the deal. There are various different deal structures out there, all of which with pros and cons, however some of the most common include:

  • Cash purchase
  • Earn Out
  • Deferred Payment Structure
  • Seller Financing

When negotiating an offer, your dedicated sales negotiator will talk you through the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ and will work with you to try to achieve the optimum deal to complete the sale of your business.

How can I sell my business fast?

We understand that sometimes time is of the essence. Particularly when sales are forced due to ill health or other circumstances that could require a fast business sale turnaround.

Of course, an attractive asking price is always one way to ensure lots of interest straight away. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll extract maximum value from the sale though.

Luckily, if you need to sell in a hurry, we do have other ways. Hilton Smythe work with all the leading business for sale online advertising portals. That means we can get your business additional exposure through premium adverts.

With over 3,000 emails a month coming in from prospective buyers looking for their new business we also have a fantastic network to proactively approach with details of your business listing.

Also worth consideration is whether you need to exit the business fully or are happy to remain in the business for a period of time. It can make a purchase more attractive to a buyer if there’s a full handover period. This can speed things up whilst still ensuring you’re extracting profit from selling to the new owner.

Hilton Smythe will always work to maximise the value you receive from your sale. If you need a quick turnaround we’re perfectly positioned to help.


Is there capital gains tax on selling a business?

When you sell a business there could be extra tax reliefs available that could benefit you financially.

You might be able to qualify for entrepreneurs relief. If you do, this means you’ll be able to pay Capital Gains Tax at the basic rate of 10%, up to the first £10m that you make. It’s worth noting this allowance applies to each person, rather than each business you sell.

Do I qualify for entrepreneurs relief when I sell my business?

To qualify for entrepreneurs relief you should meet one of the following requirements:

  • If you’re a partner or sole trader selling some or all of your business or assets.
  • You control a minimum of 5% of the Company’s net assets and are entitled to at least 5% of it’s distributable profit.
  • You sell assets within 3 years of closing a business down.

There are a couple of extra conditions to also think about. Firstly, entrepreneurs relief doesn’t apply to property portfolios held under a Company structure. Secondly, you need to be within qualifying circumstances for at least 12 months. That ensures people can’t buy or inherit a business and then immediately sell it to gain advantage of entrepreneurs relief.

What if I don’t qualify for entrepreneurs relief when I sell my business?

Capital gains tax can also be paid in the same way as selling any other asset if, for whatever reason, you or your business doesn’t qualify for entrepreneurs relief.

You’d start by calculating the gains you make when you sell your business. In simple terms that means once you have your agreed sale price, deduct what you paid for the business or any investments made into the business. You can also factor in any costs for buying or selling the business, including our fees.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll deduct your personal allowance. You’ll pay Capital Gains Tax above the minimum threshold, with the basic rate being 10% and higher rate being 20%.

If you need any advice about Capital Gains Tax and its implications when selling your business, give our team a call and we’ll happily talk you through your options.

Choose Hilton Smythe to Sell Your Business

We have an experienced network of local valuers who are in tune with businesses across all sectors within your region. That means Hilton Smythe has an unparalleled understanding of selling businesses and achieving their accurate worth.

With over 3,000 enquiries from potential buyers coming in each month, we’ve developed one of the strongest databases of active, credible, business buyers in the UK.

The Hilton Smythe team is professional and committed to making the process of selling a business completely stress-free.

If you’re ready to take the next step towards the future and sell your business, we’re here and ready to help.

Watch our video and hear what our customers think about selling a business with Hilton Smythe…

Get in touch

Looking to sell a business, then get a FREE business valuation?

Looking to buy or finance that business you’ve always dreamed of buying?

Then get in touch and let us know what Hilton Smythe can help you with.


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