CPA/Business Advisor: Close The Deal And Transition Your Client’s Business To The New Owner
by Martin Hansen
You and your client are at the finish line because:
- You assisted your client with getting their business location(s) looking their best, inside and out
- All of your client’s basic business documentation is now in order
- You and your client have agree to a range of value for the business
- There is a qualified buyer for the business
- A term sheet has been negotiated and signed
- Final due diligence and the necessary documentation has been completed
You and your client are now ready to close the deal and transition ownership to the “buyer” — the new owner.
First, close the deal. This process will vary greatly depending on the type of counsel used to get the documents completed. If your client has done the work themselves or with LegalZoom or Rocket Lawyer, then the deal can be completed anywhere your client and the buyer choose. However, if your client and/or the buyer is working with an attorney, the deal will be probably be signed and closed at one of their offices.
The process is actually quite simple: all parties will decide on a day and time, and the attorney(s) will have all the documents in order and ready to sign. All parties will meet, and the seller and buyer will sign the documents and close the deal. Immediately thereafter, the consideration (money or value) will be transferred to the seller. This can be in the form of check, wire, assumption of debt, or any other form of payment (value) to which both parties have agreed. Congratulation, your client’s deal is now done! Well…almost.
Now, you must assist your client with the transition of the business to the new owner.
Many times, sellers are uncomfortable with holding an employee meeting prior to the close. If this is the case, the meeting should be held shortly after the close. The purpose of the meeting is to inform the employees of the change in ownership and to answer any questions about the transition and, quite possibly, plans for the future. As the client’s trusted business advisor, you can assist with this step if you are comfortable with the task.
You and your client, along with the buyer (new owner), should build a complete transition list . DealMaker360 includes a comprehensive workflow for handling the transitional matters that need to be reviewed and managed for a smooth transition — if you’re ready to start that process, create an account to get started.
Below are just a few potential transitional matters that may be applicable:
- Transfer of utilities
- Assumption of leases/contracts
- Transfer of key codes, physical keys, etc.
- Introduction to key vendors
- Introduction to key customers
- Transfer of passwords for all software, alarm systems, etc.
- Transfer of DMV or other titles
Advise your client that the transitional period may be measured in just days, or may be as long as months…every business is different, as is every business owner. Be patient with your client, as well thorough, through the transition of the business to the new owner. This transition process is critical to the success of the business going forward. So, if your client is holding a promissory note or other obligation that has value, they have real “skin in the game,” and have every reason to make sure the new owner is off to a great start…which begins with a smooth transition.
Congratulations — to you and your client — you both have successful sold a business and have completed a transition plan. Now that the deal is complete, it’s time to focus on a future tax and wealth plan for your client.
For more information on transition plans and a software that takes you though the entire deal process go to www.dealmaker360.com.