Starting a franchised business and generating a profit is fantastic, however, what do you do with the business when you want to retire, or fancy a career change or even if something unexpected forces you to need to take time off? The earlier you start making arrangements for exiting your business the better. Call it a goal, what do you want to achieve from your business? For most people, they would want a return on investment. The only way to achieve that is to plan for it.
In most cases, the terms of exiting the franchise will be written in your franchise agreement. However, it is important to understand that the franchisor will have the ultimate say on who will buy your franchise. The person buying the business will need to be right for the franchisor and have the skills necessary to carry on running a successful business within the particular franchise. The earlier on in the process your franchisor is notified the better, you don’t want to find yourself a buyer only to have them turned down by the franchisor at the last minute.
When you do decide to sell your franchise, prospective buyers will want to see a ‘neat and tidy’ business. In order to sell your business for the best price, you will need to be open and honest about your business. A Prospectus of Sale will need to be written which should include; a description of your franchise, the price you wish to achieve, your turnover and adjusted profit history, copies of accounts and up to date management accounts, will be required along with full details of any equipment owned/leased and information regarding key contractual information (e.g employee, suppliers, landlords).
When it comes to valuing your business you have to be objective. The value of a business is viewed differently by the person currently running it to that of the prospective buyers. Buyers want to see that the business can generate and maintain earnings/profit. If you decide to sell your business then you must be able to show this, so putting it on the market and then not continuing to work on the business could mean you will lose out. The formula to determine the price your business will be sold at will be determined by the sector you operate in and the current market conditions. To get the best possible price you need to have planned for your exit and worked hard to implement your exit strategy.
Deciding whether to sell your business as an Asset Sale or a Share Sale. If you run your business as a limited company a big decision for you is to sell the assets of the company or the shares of the company? If you decide to do a share sale, you will sell the limited company and so there is no need for a formal transfer of assets. If you decide to go down the route of an asset sale you will only need to formally transfer all the assets to either the buyer or a new limited company. There are pro’s and con’s to either route but this is something that you will need to decide with your accountant before you agree on a sale.
Selling your franchise does take time. There are lots of things to consider, but it will be easier if you have made these decisions beforehand and are prepared for your sale. When selling a franchise not only must you keep running your business, you also need to find a buyer, liaise with the franchisor and buyer, then once you have franchisor approval and a price agreed there will be a need for solicitors to become involved. Balancing all of these things can be tricky and when emotions get high, things can go wrong very quickly.
By instructing a dedicated resale broker to handle your sale you can focus on running your business in order to get the best price possible. Here at Franchise Resales, we will take you through the whole process. We will value your business, create a web advert and advertise your business to find the right buyer, create a prospectus of sale, liaise with you, the franchisor, the buyer and all the solicitors right through to the sale completion.
If you would like more information on selling your business call Keith on 01522 246811 and get a FREE Market Appraisal.