a business for sale represented by two happy businesspeople high-fiving each other

How to Prepare Your Business for Sale

Featured image by krakenimages via Unsplash

There can come a time when you’re ready to prepare your business for sale to someone else. You might be nearing retirement age and want to enjoy your golden years, or you might simply want to try something different as a career.

This can ultimately mean that you’re ready to put your business on the market. When you’ve made this decision, it’s time to prepare so you can enjoy a seamless sale and top-dollar price. Take the following actions to get your business ready for its new future owner.

Work with an Exit Planner to Prepare Your Business for Sale

Many business owners wouldn’t even know where to start when preparing to sell their business. They don’t necessarily know what potential buyers are looking at or whether their financial and operational position is favorable or not.

Exit planners can help you develop a business strategy, address revenue streams, tidy up standard operating procedures, and more. An exit planner’s goal is to see your business operating like a well-oiled machine so it can appeal to any savvy business owner looking to take over a company that performs well.

Work on Self-Sufficiency Before You Sell Your Business

Many business owners make the fatal mistake of creating a business that doesn’t operate without them. They alone have control over the business’s everyday processes and finances. If they’re not there, tasks aren’t completed until they return.


Business investors can spot this dependence a mile away. If they don’t believe a business will be successful without you at the helm, they may not be interested in purchasing it. As a result, working on self-sufficiency can be crucial when you’re preparing your business for sale. Create operating guidelines for all parts of your business to ensure everyday operations run smoothly without you.

Get Your Financial Records in Order

Most people make carefully calculated decisions when it comes to making significant investments. They likely won’t purchase a business without knowing its financial position and whether it’s turning a profit.


When considering whether to sell your business, get your financial records in order. If you’re struggling to know where to start, consult with a financial adviser. They can help you organize all financial information into an easy-to-read format for potential buyers.

Create Policies and Procedures

As a business owner, you know what your employees do and how your business operates every day. Future buyers don’t. However, if you have written policies and procedures, they can quickly fill your shoes and pick up where you left off.

Create clear job descriptions for all employees before you try to sell your business. Document your internal procedures and establish written guidelines in great detail—right down to using and maintaining business equipment. The goal is for anyone to enter your business and immediately operate it as you do.


Confirm Your Compliance Before You Sell Your Business

All businesses must follow the rules and regulations outlined by the governing body of their industry. These generally need to be audited and reviewed to ensure ongoing compliance with current regulations, such as health and safety regulations.

If it has been some time since you reviewed your compliance status, now would be the right time to do so. Potential new business owners can see that everything is in order before taking over when you sell.


Getting your business ready to sell can be overwhelming if you don’t know what prospective purchasers are looking for. Focus on the areas above to potentially improve your chances of appealing to the right buyers.