Structuring the purchase of a business is an issue that should be faced early
in the selling decision. Ultimately, the final structure of the sale will be
determined by actual negotiations between buyer and seller, but the seller
must still answer the following questions-
- What is the lowest amount of cash acceptable from the sale?
- Has consideration been given to paying off all unsecured creditors and
a portion of the closing costs? (Both are, in most cases, the seller’s responsibility.)
- Is there any long-term or secured debt that can be assumed by the buyer?
(This may make more cash available to the seller.)
- What is an acceptable interest rate for the seller-financed sale?
- Will the business be able to service the debt and still provide a return
acceptable to a buyer in relation to the down payment required? (This is
a particularly important question for the seller to address.)
- What are the tax consequences of the sale?
The professional business broker is a good source for assistance in structuring
the sale of a business. Although they are not able to provide legal advice,
business brokers are the experts of preference when the arena is the business
marketplace. Brokers will use their knowledge of previous sales, current market
conditions, and outside financing strategies, if applicable or available.
A business generally represents a seller’s largest financial asset. How the
sale is structured may mean the difference between the success or failure of
the transaction. The best sale structuring will result in the best deal possible
for both buyer and seller. A business broker can be the key player in accomplishing