Selling your company is an important moment in your life. You've probably thought about it carefully. After this 'mental button' comes the practical aspect: how exactly does that work? What you need to know? What should you do yourself? And what can someone else do for you? We have already listed the most important steps for you if you want to sell your company.

Reasons to sell company 

Let's get started: there are countless reasons why entrepreneurs choose to sell their company. One of the most common reasons is the lack of a suitable successor. Finding a (capable) successor can be an enormous challenge and this can cause many concerns for an entrepreneur. That is why it is sometimes wiser to transfer the company to an external party.

Another common motivation is the search for new business challenges. In other words: the entrepreneur is simply 'done with it' and ready for something really new. As an entrepreneur, you can indeed decide to sell your current company and then start over in a different way.

The reason to sell your company can also be a combination of personal reasons (personal circumstances, retirement age, etc.) and business reasons (strategic reorientation, increased competition, etc.) that make an entrepreneur decide to sell his company.

What we also regularly encounter at No Monkey Business: unexpected interest comes from a party. This could be a competitor, but also a partner, supplier or customer with certain expansion plans. It could just be a reason to consider a company takeover.

We would also like to point out that it is very important to clarify for yourself what your personal reasons are for selling your company. Be honest with yourself. It will form the basis for all further steps.

Selling your company: what should you pay attention to? 

There are many different phases and steps when selling a company. These all connect together and for good reason: it provides guidance for buyer and seller.

The first principle is that you will have to make your company 'ready for sale'. This means that you have to ensure that someone else can successfully run your business. If all essential business processes and knowledge are only in your head, sales will be difficult (perhaps even impossible).

When preparing for sale, you ensure that all knowledge, processes and procedures are recorded.

Also important: you will have to ensure the financial health of your organization before you make a sale. Provide a solid business model that is attractive to potential buyers. For example, recurring income is a lot more interesting than one-off sales. Together with us, you will look very critically at your business model for maximum value.

The next step in the process is determining the value of your company. Obviously it is a crucial factor in the sales process and this is also the moment that you as an entrepreneur hear what this entire process can ultimately bring you. Now it suddenly becomes really concrete… A professional one valuation is essential to determine a realistic asking price.

All your knowledge recorded? Company ready for sale? Value determined? Then you will now actively look for potential buyers.

Due diligence investigation: a look behind the scenes

During the due diligence phase, the (potential) buyer of your company investigates everything that is important. You give a glimpse into the kitchen. In fact, all cupboards will be opened and the other party will thoroughly examine all aspects of your company.

You will eventually upload all the documents that come with this in your virtual data room (VDR). Of course, you do this in a clear manner so that the right documents are easy to find.

Honesty and transparency are extremely important in this phase. So play your card openly. Everything you try to conceal now can cause many problems later on and may even ruin the potential deal.

How can you sell your business? 

Finally, we will look at different ways in which you can sell your company. As always, each way has its own pros and cons.

A common option is a merger or takeover, where an external party takes over the company.

An alternative approach is a Management Buy-In (MBI), where an external person takes over the company and assumes its management. In contrast to this is the Management Buyout (MBO), where the company is taken over by someone who is already active within the organization.

An interesting variant is the 'earn-out' scheme, where part of the sales price depends on future performance. This arrangement is often applied to an MBI.

It is essential to thoroughly consider why you want to sell your business and which method best suits your goals and circumstances. By approaching this process carefully, you increase the chance of a successful sale of your company.

In our takeover dictionary you can read more about the different components you will have to deal with.