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Selling an enterprise: Yes, there is a lot to think about

Are you a New York business owner preoccupied with thoughts about selling your business? Or are you perhaps an entrepreneur who ran with an idea, turned it into a profitable venture and now have a creative spark and itch to move beyond the business and use the profits to fund a new opportunity?

Company principals seek to sell their businesses for varied reasons, notes a recent article on selling-related considerations. Still, they should all be firmly aligned in one thing. Namely, that is a stark appreciation that following through with the process should be preceded by "at least two years of preparation."

That is an estimated yardstick, of course, but even an approximate gauge relevant to pre-sale evaluation and groundwork is useful for underscoring the many tasks that need to be timely attended to before a firm sales decision is made.

Will the business look promising and profitable to a potential buyer? A number of factors will collectively determine that (e.g., customer lists, sales data, pricing formulas, litigation risks, intellectual property issues, existing contracts, regulatory compliance matters and more). Are there clouds on the imminent horizon that spell a robust or diminished market, respectively? How will a would-be purchaser ultimately assess your business in an opportunity-versus-risk evaluation? Might it actually be optimal for you to engage in a move that avoids the outright sale of your company?

The bottom line concerning any prospective business sale is that there is a proverbial ton of homework to be done by company principals entertaining the thought. Experienced business law attorneys working closely with management on matters such as valuation, contracts, market conditions, liability/risks and other key factors can provide materially important input and also make professional referrals as appropriate to best ensure success.

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