Checklist: How to Prepare a Business for Sale

by Geoffrey Chaney

Checklist: How to Prepare a Business for Sale

When preparing your business for sale, it’s important to remember that first impressions are critical to a prospective buyer and to ensure you pass the “curb appeal” test, follow this two-step process:

This is the quick list — for an in-depth look at each bullet point below, read the full article, Small Business Owner: Preparing Your Business for Sale

Get all of your documentation in order. This means everything from A-Z.

  • Non-Disclosure Confidentiality Agreement
  • Personal Financial Statement Form for Buyer to Complete
  • Offer-to-Purchase Agreement
  • Note for Seller Financing
  • Financial Statements for the Current and Past 3 Years (if applicable)
  • Statement of Seller’s Discretionary Cash Flow
  • Financial Ratios and Trends
  • Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivables Aging Reports
  • Inventory List with Value Detail
  • List of Fixtures, Furnishings and Equipment with Value Detail
  • Asset Depreciation Schedule from Tax Return
  • Supplier and Distributor Contracts
  • Client List and Major Client Contracts
  • Staffing List / Employment Agreements
  • Organization Chart
  • Photos of Business
  • Business Structure Documents
  • Corporate or Schedule C Tax Returns for Past 2-3 Years
  • Building or Office Lease
  • Equipment Leases and Maintenance Agreements
  • Business Licenses,
  • Professional Certificates
  • Insurance Policies
  • Patents, Trademarks and Other Intellectual Property
  • Outstanding Loan Agreements
  • Description of Liens
  • Product/Service Descriptions and Price Lists
  • Business Plan
  • Marketing Plan and Samples of Marketing Materials
  • Employment Manual
  • Procedures Manual
  • Other Documents Unique to Your Business

Next, get your location or locations in “inspection grade shape”. If it’s office space, remove all clutter, organize everything, and repair or replace anything broken, old and ugly. If you have a yard, clean it, if you have shop, organize it. As a quick example, if your business revolves around safety, make sure your lines are repainted and your signage is up to date.

Now that those two critical tasks are complete, your business is “prepped.”  To simplify this process and for more information on the process of prepping your business, go to

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