by Terry Edwards, Director

What would you do if you suddenly had to sell your business? It may seem unlikely, but the unexpected happens all the time. Indeed, I’ve seen it. You may suffer critical ill health, you or your business partner may die, or an unsolicited offer to sell may arrive without warning. And while you obviously can’t plan for the unexpected, you can certainly prepare contingencies.

The most compelling reason for your business to be sale-ready is this: a sale-ready business is a stronger, better business.

While none of us like to contemplate events that may trigger a sale, we ignore them at our peril. Even if you don’t ever anticipate selling, you should nevertheless be prepared to do so. If you don’t have appropriate insurances or buy-sell agreements in place, the consequences could be dire. If your business affairs are not organised in such a way that allows the business’ true value to be realised, you could be forced to sell at a substantial discount.

There are significant benefits to being sale-ready: Being prepared allows you to make strategic exit decisions without having to react to circumstances. Preparation also gives you the time you may need – depending on the characteristics of your business – to properly present it for sale.

Should you be obliged to sell, being ‘sale-ready’ will enable you  to realise its maximum price so that you may make the most of all your hard work. Planning also puts you in a position of control, that will allow you to negotiate without delay and capitalise on the real opportunity that arises when a buyer wishes to purchase your specific business.

Most importantly, preparing your business for sale enables you to look beyond the business itself and to consider the futures of those significant family members and others whose futures may be affected by the outcome of any sale.

At DLA Partners, we have developed a staged and logical process for preparing a business for sale. We guide and collaborate with business owners who want to make their business sale-ready. The process is complex, encompassing all elements of the operation – from financial to procedural. We rely on our deep understanding of how these elements impact on the value of a business as perceived by prospective purchasers.

If you would like to talk further about preparing your business for sale and its implications for your personal financial situation, we invite you to contact us. Please call DLA Partners on (07) 3863 9444 or email