Planning can boost the sale price and your personal satisfaction
By Rachel Hartman | AARP
When he owned the Modern Sixties Wine Lounge in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Frank Ruppen spent his days placing orders and overseeing administrative tasks and inventory. His nights were full too, as he dedicated time to building relationships with customers. In 2017, Ruppen — who was 59 years old and ready to retire from the bar business — decided to sell the wine bar to an acquaintance.
“I got my life back,” Ruppen says.
Selling your business can do more than just free up time: The proceeds can fund your retirement. Yet hanging a “for sale” sign doesn’t guarantee everything will fall into place. Ideally, business owners should prepare for the transition well ahead of time, according to Joel Guth, CEO and founder of Gryphon Financial Partners, a wealth advisory firm in Columbus, Ohio, that helps business owners plan strategic exits. “A three-year window before exiting allows time to work on key issues,” he says.
“Selling your business isn’t the same as selling your vehicle or house. In addition to being an emotional decision for the founders, it’s a time consuming process and a massive undertaking involving many moving pieces – determining value of your business, getting your house in order before diligence, understanding tax implications, ensuring compliance with securities laws, drawing up and negotiating purchase and sale documents, and the list goes on.
To get the highest value for your business and to successfully get across the finish line, it is imperative that you hire a qualified M&A attorney and accountant who have the experience in such complex transactions and who can advise you every step of the way. ”