Questions to ask when selling your small business

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By: John M. Campanola,
Agent New York Life Insurance Company
Special to the Boca and Delray Newspapers

You have worked hard to get where you are today. Now you want to sell your small business and do something else with the next phase of your life.

There are dozens of questions you have to ask yourself, your family, and your trusted advisors in order to make the transition as smooth and comfortable as possible.

Do you want to sell your business outright? Do you want a relative or partner to take it over? Do you want to handle the sale yourself, or should you hire a business broker? Do you want to still be involved in the business, or are you planning to leave it completely in new hands? Do you want to stay on after the sale to help with the transition? Is this the right time to sell your business? Is it a growing or contracting enterprise? How are your competitors doing in this market? What is the value of your business? How much do you hope to make on the sale? How will the sale affect your taxes and estate plan? Will the business thrive without you? How will the sale affect your loved ones? What will you do next? How will the sale affect your trusted employees and their benefits? How will it affect your retirement savings, your medical coverage, your life insurance, and any annuities you may have?

There are so many issues to be considered—and you’ll need time to fully answer every question you have. Begin by creating a plan for yourself detailing what you wish to do once you are out of the business. Do you want to retire and spend time with your loved ones? Do you want to begin a new venture? Do you want to be involved part-time in the business? Do you want to stay invested in the business and draw an income from that investment? These are all very important questions to ask yourself and your loved ones.

You should begin to ask yourself these and many more questions a year or two before the sale. You should also gather all the documents you’ll need for the sale. You should consult your professional advisors, such as your attorney, accountant, business broker, appraiser, and insurance agent, for their guidance on the sale.

These and many more questions need to be asked and answered as you prepare yourself for this important transition.

This educational third-party article is provided as a courtesy by John M. Campanola, Agent, New York Life Insurance Company. To learn more about the information or topics discussed, please contact John M. Campanola at 561-642-5180. Neither New York Life, nor its agents, provides tax, legal, or accounting advice. Please consult with your professional advisor for tax, legal or accounting advice.