Business Seller’s Frequently Asked Questions
Prior to reading through the FAQ’s below, please visit “The Selling Process” page which usually answers most questions you may have. And please don’t forget you can always submit a chat request at any time. Thank you for visiting!
Q: Are there any upfront fees?
1. First, any up-front fees are credited to you at closing.
2. Appraisal and Marketing – Our Company, just in the past year, has been through three episodes where the decision-makers of multi-million dollar clients decided not to sell after we exhausted literally hundreds of hours of work on their behalf. The reason we ask for an up-front retainer is that believe it or not, many clients have seller’s remorse, choose not to sell, sell behind our backs, or break our agreement early and list with another Broker after we have spent considerable time and money preparing statements and marketing materials. That is the primary reason for the $1,000 to $5,000 (depending on complexity of client) appraisal and marketing preparation fee – used just to cover upfront preparation costs. When a client has no skin in the game, this happens often as there are just as many “tire-kicking” Sellers as there are Buyers.
3. There are plenty of Brokers/Intermediaries out there that will list your company for free, bypass confidentiality regularly (creating concern among vendors, customers and staff), screen Buyers irregularly (wasting your time with conference calls and meetings), mis-educate the Buyer, or plain disappear.
4. When we market your company, be sure to have your bags packed as we put on a full-court-press until your company closes.
Q: What are your fees?
A: When the sale closes and funds transfer to you, we then receive our Success Fee of 10% of the first $1M in Transaction Price (less your upfront fee which is credited at this time), 8% of the second Million, and 6% of the balance. If there is a Seller Note involved, we still expect payment of the Success Fee. However, if there are contingent payments, we will receive our Success Fee on that portion as you receive the payments.
Q: How long will it take to sell my business and how long is your contract?
A: According to the Business Brokerage Press, the average time for the sale of a small business was 212 days from the date of listing to the day the seller received a check. At , some deals come together within 60 days, others take quite a bit longer. Due to these statistics our average contract runs from 6-12 months. Only a careful analysis of your company will allow us to more closely project the time required.
Q: Can I engage SellMyCompany and still sell the business myself?
A: Due to issues of confidentiality, works with exclusive contracts only. If you have identified a potential buyer, we will arrange for a reduced success fee for that one particular buyer.
Q: How will you market my business while maintaining confidentiality?
A: VERY CAREFULLY…… is a trade name NEVER used once you become our client. When we contact you via email, phone, or fax, it will be “Jay from SMC” or George & Company, our parent company. We will obtain and review very specific directions on communication with you and/or your trusted staff members with whom you have confided with.
One of our contemporaries once stated that our job was very difficult because our clients want to be sold right away but they don’t want us to tell anyone that they are for sale! has dozens of methods to introduce your opportunity into the buyer community without compromising confidentiality. First and foremost is tapping into our database of over 2,200 active, qualified buyers, updated regularly by dedicated staff. Blind postings (with very broad geographic range) on tens of web sites, trade publications, national financial publications, direct mail and countless other means are utilized and only after approval of the client.
Q: Do my employees need to know I am selling my business?
A: Each company has different needs but typically employees are not told of the sale until such time that the seller and buyer agree the time is right.
Q: Do I get to keep my cash on hand and accounts receivable?
A: Most business sales are asset sales where the seller does keep all cash and receivables at closing. This is a negotiable issue that is discussed prior to bringing the company to market.
Q: Will I need my lawyer and accountant?
A: ABSOLUTELY….The success of any business transfer is directly related to the team effort put forth. Your attorney and accountant will be instrumental in creating a win/win deal and should be made part of the team as soon as possible. If your attorney is not experienced in business transfers, we are happy to provide a list of experienced M&A lawyers for you to choose from. Tax implications will be critical and your accountant should be conferred with early on in the process.