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selling a business

selling a business

Selling a business may well be the biggest sale you’ve ever made. You need to have a good team around you and Mitten Clarke can help.

We’ll work together to identify what it is you’re actually selling, and the reasons for the sale. You may want to continue in some capacity in the future, or you may want to sell the entire business.

Understanding the rationale for selling is essential so that we can help you develop the best strategy.

what’s your business worth?

You need to have a realistic guideline of what your business is worth and we can perform this valuation for you.

We’ll take into consideration your recent financial performance, forecasts, management team, quality of customer base, niche products, how efficiently it runs without you and much more.

Once you have this valuation, you can then make an informed choice as to whether you’d like to proceed with the sale, or take some time to get the business in better shape.


You need to be able to demonstrate that it’s readily transferable to the buyer and the business will run successfully without you.

Pre-sale planning is extremely important once you’ve decided to sell. For example, you may have property or a pension fund in the business which you need to extract.

how do I approach a buyer?

You should not approach potential buyers directly – instead you should use an intermediary like us.

If you disclose too much at this stage, careless talk will cost you money. Initial contacts need to be handled sensitively and you don’t want to be seen to be ‘trawling the market’.

the negotiating stage

We will help you negotiate:

  • the highest price
  • the best terms and
  • the extent of your liabilities once the business is sold.

We act as a buffer between you and the buyer who’s likely to appoint advisers to conduct a due diligence exercise. This should be performed in a controlled, restricted manner.

How you receive payment varies from deal to deal and may typically include a mixture of cash, shares, loan notes etc.

You may be expected to receive payment, at least in part, on an ‘earn-out’ basis. This is because the buyer may need to keep you onside, to allow sufficient time to transfer goodwill. If this is the case you need to be able to work together and it’s worth bearing this in mind during the negotiations!

tax planning

Good tax planning advice is essential. The structure of the sale will make a dramatic difference to the amount of tax you pay, and when you pay it.

Our Staffordshire based tax specialists will review your circumstances at the outset and advise you on the best structure for you.

For help making a successful transaction, contact our team for expert, no obligation advice. You can get in touch via our contact form or email our directors confidentially at!