With over 35 years of experience buying and selling businesses, both with and without real estate, Corporate Investment has developed and refined the business sales process to be confidential, professional and effective.

If you would like a free, no obligation consultation, contact Arnold Heckman, President of Corporate Investment, by email or call 301-572-6000.

All inquiries are held in the strictest confidence and there are never any up-front fees or expenses.

The Process of Selling a Business

We understand the importance of employees, competitors and other parties remaining unaware that a business is for sale.  Consequently, confidentiality is of the utmost importance during all phases of the business sale process. All of CIs brokers are sensitive to this and educate buyers about its importance. We make every effort to insure that all communications with buyers and sellers are kept strictly confidential.

Once a business owner decides he would like to explore the possibility of selling his business, we begin the process by determining its value.  The business valuation involves analyzing historical financial information such as business tax returns, balance sheets, and profit & loss statements.

Since accountants and tax preparers are tasked with minimizing business profit and taxable income, we work closely with a seller and/or his accountant to unlock the hidden cash flow in order to achieve maximum market value for the business.  Because of the way buyers value businesses, this re-cast or sellers discretionary cash flow analysis is critically important.  It is one of the primary tools buyers use to compare business opportunities, as well as determining how much money is available for debt service and a return on investment.  Once the financial analysis is concluded, we provide a recommendation of the fair market value for the business.  Ultimately however, it is a sellers decision as to what the asking price should be.

Once the sale price and terms are set, and a Brokerage Agreement is executed, we begin assembling a marketing package that properly represents the business.  This package normally includes a re-cast cash flow analysis that is extracted from the previous three years business tax returns and financials statements, an equipment list, leases, promotional materials, and any other relevant information.  We also prepare a concise and confidential  business summary that is presented to prospective business buyers as part of the marketing package.

Due to the number of brokers in our organization, and relationships developed over the past 29 years, we have a substantial number of pre-screened, financial and corporate buyers.  For larger businesses, with earnings and/or cash flows in excess of $1,000,000, we have found that publicly-traded companies are often great candidates.

Buyers are only introduced to businesses for sale after they are interviewed by one of our brokers and execute a Non-Disclosure/Confidentiality Agreement.  In the event a potential buyer is interested in learning more, we arrange a meeting, either at our offices, or at the business, depending on the sellers wishes.  After the initial meeting, we determine if the buyer would like to make an offer.  If so, we secure a Letter of Intent or Purchase Contract for presentation to the seller.

Once an offer is made, the real work begins.  The initial offer is just the beginning of a time consuming and complex round of negotiations. These negotiations require expertise and experience to give the business sale the highest probability of closing.

Once we have secured an initial agreement on price and terms, we assist with solving the multitude of other issues that can arise, such as:

  • Purchase contract preparation
  • Contract negotiations with the buyers legal counsel and/or advisors
  • Negotiating with the landlord for lease assignments, extensions, etc.
  • Securing financing
  • Franchise applications and approvals
  • Writing Business plans
  • Securing 3rd party approvals
  • Communicating with the buyers accountant
  • Anything else necessary for the preparation and scheduling of a smooth business sale closing.

Each issue requires experience and negotiating skills, and all must be successfully completed for a successful business sale closing.

For a free, no obligation consultation, email or call 301-572-6000.
All inquiries are held in the strictest confidence and there are never any up-front fees or expenses.