Selling a company

Selling a company is all about keeping your company ready for the sale at all times, along with finding the suitable buyer when the time is right. We have gathered all the useful information so that you can succeed in selling your company.

Make sure your business creates value throughout its life cycle

A successful sale is the result of consistent value creation throughout the company’s life cycle. Our best advice to business owners is to make sure your business is always ‘ready to be sold’ – this way you’ll maximise its value even if you don’t have immediate plans to sell it. The value of your company is based on its profitability, competence and prospects. A business that creates value for its stakeholders grows in a profitable way and is therefore a stable partner for its customers and partners, a good employer and perhaps also a good taxpayer. At the same time, it provides value growth for its shareholders.

Preparing to sell your business

Preparing to sell your business

If you’re planning to sell your company, you should begin the preparations well in advance. The most important thing is to ensure that your business is profitable and that your financial statements also reflect this. You can lighten your balance sheet by selling assets that are not essential to your core business, such as investments and large real estate holdings, to make the transaction price more affordable for the buyer. The profitability of your business is measured by EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation). It’s mainly driven by, sales and turnover, but you should also be mindful of your costs and avoid unnecessary expenditure. 

In addition to the financial aspects, it’s important that you have clear and well-documented processes on the operational side of your business. You should also document all agreements, customer relations and products and ensure that your financial administration is running smoothly. When everything is in order, a buyer will be able to evaluate your business more easily and your operations will be less dependent on the tacit knowledge in the organisation. Entrepreneurial businesses are, by definition, reliant upon their owners so you need to make sure your business is ready for the change in ownership and management. A buyer will often want to ensure that the target company is capable of operating in your absence. Selling your business will also be a big change for you personally and you need to be prepared to give up control of your company.

Selling the business: assets or shares?
Finding a buyer for your business and types of buyers

How to successfully sell your business


A successful sale largely comes down to careful preparations and finding the ideal buyer. It can be a long process but be patient – the first potential buyer may not be the right one for you. A good deal relies on sound business logic. Both the buyer and the seller should be able to see that blending the two businesses will create value for the company and its stakeholders in the long term. The transaction price should also reflect the good return to be expected, and the customers and employees of the target company should benefit from the merger. The transaction price is based on a valuation, which takes into account several financial performance metrics. The actual price will be the result of negotiations and depends on which qualitative factors the buyer values. Therefore the "right" price always varies from buyer to buyer.