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Congratulations, someone wants to buy your business! Now you have two options: hire a broker to handle the negotiations and paperwork, or learn how to sell a small business without a broker while keeping a higher percentage of your profits.

How To Sell A Small Business Without A Broker

How To Sell A Small Business Without A Broker

By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have a good understanding of how business 💼 sales works and where to find advanced resources on certain parts of the process.

Workshop: How To Sell Your Small Business

I am not a legal professional, accountant or business sales broker. This article is only intended to give you a basic understanding of how to sell a business.

Substitute for professional legal or financial advice. If you choose to sell your business without a broker, please still seek legal advice on drafting and finalizing contracts.

The first thing you need to understand is what brokers do and what you should do if you decide not to hire one.

A business broker 🤝 is someone who helps you understand the value of your business, screen potential buyers, negotiate the terms of your sales contract, and transfer your business to a new owner after the sale is complete. They also ensure that your sale complies with local laws and regulations. In most cases, they don’t require anything up front; they take the fee from the sale itself.

Biggest Things Small Business Owners Do Wrong

They know what clauses to look for in contracts to make sure you’re protected and getting the best deal possible.

If you work in a specialized industry, you may know more about market values ​​for similar businesses than they do

You should do a lot of research to understand your business value, the current market, and local laws and regulations

How To Sell A Small Business Without A Broker

Still looking to sell your business? You can do this with this five-step process:

Selling A Small Business: The 8 Step Guide

To properly determine its value, you need to have a solid understanding of your business’s financial position over the past few years. Plus, once negotiations begin, your buyer will review those documents with their CPA. You want to make sure it’s easy for them to get the information they need and process your documents before the sale.

👉 There are five types of documents a buyer will want to look at before making their first offer:

Once an offer is negotiated, a 30-day due diligence period begins, during which time the buyer will want to look.

Financial documents for your business. This includes things like receipts, invoices, and leases. We recommend working with a CPA to arrange these documents in a buyer-friendly manner.

Steps To Sell More From Your Small Business Website

👉 For more information on how to organize your financial documents, see Morgan & Westfield’s guide to preparing financial documents for the sale of a business.

In either case, remember that the rating is just a guideline. Your buyer is ultimately the one who determines the value of your business when they decide what they are actually willing to pay. The buyer also wants to make a profit, meaning the amount they are willing to pay will usually be slightly less than the estimated value. Begin negotiations by understanding how much you are willing to compromise on price.

This next step may not seem important if you already have a buyer lined up, but interest is not enough to make a successful business. Plus, you owe it to the business you’re building, your reputation as a business owner, and any employees to make sure the person buying your business is fit to run it going forward.

How To Sell A Small Business Without A Broker

In most cases, buyers will need to finance part of the purchase with a loan. Don’t be shy about asking what type of loan they will be using and if they are pre-qualified for that loan.

Small Business Owners Plan To Exit, But Aren’t Exit Planning

Have they been in business before? Do they have the necessary technical and managerial expertise to operate? Do they understand your industry well enough to work in it? Ask these questions in advance and don’t hesitate to ask for a resume to confirm it.

If the buyer has no intention of continuing the business long-term or is not interested in keeping your current employees during the move, you may want to find another buyer.

Screening your buyer with these questions can ensure your business is in good hands going forward.

A Letter of Intent (LOI) is a document that defines the buyer’s intent to purchase a business, along with the terms and conditions of the sale.

How To Sell A Small Business Without A Broker

A confidentiality agreement may also be issued prior to the LOI to keep the details of the sale confidential. See BDC’s guide to LOIs for more information. You can also find Letter of Intent templates online, although I strongly recommend working with an attorney to draft this document.

Now that you have the basic structure of the sale laid out, it’s time to discuss the details in the Definitive Agreement. This is a larger legal document that finalizes the details of the purchase and transfer of ownership, including:

Definitive Agreements are also often supported by various other documents, such as non-competition agreements and leases or leases for any property transferred.

How To Sell A Small Business Without A Broker

Due to the complex nature of Definitive Agreements and ancillary documents, you will need to work closely with both your own solicitor and the buyer’s solicitor at this stage. This will ensure that all terms are fair and also comply with local laws and regulations.

How To Sell A Small Business ‘by Owner’ In 2023

When you sell your small business, going through a broker can help you get the highest possible return on the sale of your business, especially if you already have a buyer lined up. However, even if there is a buyer, you will have to do a lot of work to make the sale go smoothly 🧑‍💼. Here’s a template plan you can use when closing a deal:

Most importantly, make sure you take your time and do the paperwork properly with the help of an attorney and CPA if needed.

Dianna Gunn is a freelance writer specializing in business, marketing and productivity. She blogs about creativity, writing and mental health at

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When it comes time to sell a company, owners can hire a small business broker to sell their business, much like a homeowner hires a real estate agent to sell their home. However, some small business owners may decide to sell their company without the help of a business broker. This has both advantages and disadvantages.

How To Sell A Small Business Without A Broker

Business brokers are similar to real estate agents in many ways. They sell properties for their clients and receive a commission on the sale. They usually handle the paperwork and marketing of the sale, but these fees can add up. According to, some business brokers may charge up to 10% of the total sales price.

Why Do Small Businesses Fail To Sell?

Before selling your business, you should ask yourself if now is the right time. Here are a few signs that it’s time to sell your business:

If any of these situations apply to you, it may be time to consider selling your company. In this case, you need to make sure that your business is in good condition to sell. It must meet these criteria:

Selling a small business is no small feat. You will be in a better position to sell

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