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Sole Proprietor: Getting Ready to Sell Your Business

Whether you’re ready to retire or just want out of the proverbial “rat race” for a while, you need to move carefully when preparing to sell your business. Consider starting out by asking others if they believe you should sell the entire operation “as is” -- or if you should consider selling off parts of it separately to maximize your profits. Next, find out what the going rate in your part of the country is for a business like yours. Give serious thought to asking your Peachtree City business attorney for help in researching this type of information.                               

Once you know whether you should sell the entire business as one unit (or break off parts of it and sell them separately), you should speak with a tax attorney to make sure you’ll be minimizing your tax burdens. You should also ask this professional about the precise IRS paperwork that you’ll need to file.                                                                                                            

Of course, before you open up your books to prospective buyers, it’s a good idea to obtain an independent audit of them. Should the audit turn up any problems, you can correct everything in an honest fashion before moving forward.                                                                         

Here are some of the other steps you should take in order to comply with all applicable laws and to basically protect yourself.

Additional Steps Involved with Selling a Business As a Sole Proprietor

  • Do your homework before accepting any final offers. It’s important to investigate every potential buyer’s reputation and financial stability. Be sure to ask each potential buyer why you should choose his/her offer over all of the others. If any of them are willing to make important concessions – assuming all other factors are equal, consider going with the most flexible party in this regard;

  • Ask your Peachtree City business attorney to draft an “airtight” sales agreement that fully complies with all relevant laws and protects your interests. (This can prove especially useful if the other party defaults in any way);

  • Handle your closing meeting efficiently. Prior to this meeting, ask your lawyer to help you create a checklist that notes everything you must handle before attending this meeting – as well as during it. Be sure to have a notary present so that all fully executed documents become legally binding when you transfer your ownership of the business;

  • Check with all necessary state and federal tax authorities – as well as all parties that have issued you permits or licenses for your business. Do whatever is required to document that you no longer own this business. Be sure to also remove your name as its owner after the sale is finalized. Likewise, if you’ve been operating the business under a “dba” (“doing business as”) name, make sure you cancel out the existence of that entity.

     

To obtain help with handling all of your Georgia business planning needs, please contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith today.  You can schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate planning attorney by calling: (770) 487-8999.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia