Seller FAQs

We appreciate that selling your business is an important decision and so you will no doubt have lots of questions. We’ve tried to cover some of the most common questions here. However, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like any further information or advice and we’d be happy to help.

How can a business transfer agent help me to sell my business?

Selling a business for maximised value requires considerable skill, knowledge and expertise. Unfortunately most business owners have little experience when it comes to selling a business. This means they often fail to identify the right buyers and are either unable to sell their business or they simply walk away with a price far below full market value. This is where a good business broker or business sales agent can prove invaluable. They will remove all the time, hassle and workload out of selling your own business, guiding you with expert advice and handling all the formalities for you. They will use their knowledge, contacts and experience to access premium and ‘hard-to-reach’ buyers whilst negotiating the very deal structure for you.

How much is my business worth?

Whilst certain factors such as past profitability, asset value, goodwill and projected future performance are all essential tools in the business valuation process, there is, in fact, no ‘absolute’ method in determining what your business will sell for and invariably the market will decide. However, at Merrill Hays we have extensive combined experience of selling businesses together with in-depth knowledge of the sectors we represent. This makes our business market appraisals accurate and informed. We back this up with industry-leading comparison models and market research. To find out how much your business is worth, simply contact us today to arrange a free business valuation.

When is the best time to sell my business?

The best time to sell your business is almost always when the business is thriving and there is effectively no pressing ‘need’ for you to sell. A business that is forced to sell, especially due to financial or internal difficulties, will rarely, if ever, enable the seller to secure the best price or deal terms. Planning the sale of your business in advance is therefore key to ensuring that you exit at the right time to secure yourself the best terms. Merrill Hays can offer free advice in helping you to achieve the most profitable and timely exit.

How long will it take to sell my business?

The length of time it will take to sell your business will depend upon a range of factors including the state of the market, the location and type of business you’re selling together with your pricing strategy. Put simply, every business is unique. Some businesses can sell in a matter of days whilst others can take over a year. Because we carefully manage the number of businesses we represent at any one time - enabling us to devote a high level of resources to every sale - we’re typically able to achieve sales quicker than the Industry average. Simply get in touch with us today and we would be happy to offer you free advice as to the likely time it will take to sell your particular business.

Will my business sale be given full priority?

Yes, absolutely. We recognise that there’s nothing worse than placing your business for sale with a business broker who is juggling so many other listings that yours simply gets pushed to one side and ignored. This never happens at Merrill Hays because we only ever work with a select number of clients at any one time. This ensures that the sale of your business is given utmost priority and that you benefit from our full and in-depth scale of resources. It's one of the key differentiators that sets us apart and underpins our high success rates.

Will I need to do anything to prepare my business for selling?

This will depend entirely upon the type and size of business you’re selling together with its market ‘condition’ and your pricing aspirations. We are happy to provide a thorough and complimentary market appraisal of your business with specific advice on how to maximize the value by 'grooming' your business for sale.

Do you charge any upfront fees?

No. Unlike most business brokers we charge no upfront fees nor do we request any contribution towards our marketing costs. We simply don’t feel this is necessary, so we pay all these costs ourselves. Instead, you simply pay us a ‘success fee’ on the sale of your business which will be agreed with you in advance. This results-orientated fee structure ensures we’re 100% committed to achieving a successful sale of your business.

What general costs will I need to consider in selling my business?

This will depend upon the type of business that you’re selling but will typically include legal and accountancy costs, taxation liabilities and agents' fees. If your business sale includes premises (whether freehold or leasehold) you will also require an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for which there will be a small charge.

Do you vet prospective buyers?

Yes. This is an essential aspect of the work we undertake. It ensures that we maintain a high degree of confidentiality about your business whilst presenting you with serious and proceedable buyers who understand your business and are able to move ahead towards proposed timeframes.

Do you help to negotiate the offers for me?

Yes. We use our extensive business sales experience to handle negotiations and to achieve the very best possible deal for you. This includes establishing the position of buyers, their source of funding, timescales and the proposed deal structure.