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How long will it take for you to sell your business?

When you have created a successful business, it is more than just the revenue it generates or the jobs it sustains. Your business has intrinsic value on its own.

An established brand is almost always more valuable than an idea, making it smart for entrepreneurs to buy an existing company instead of trying to start their own business. If your company has achieved success or cornered the local market, then there may be investors interested in purchasing the business when you are ready to move on to a new industry or to retire.

How long will it take to sell your business?

Transaction lengths vary drastically depending on the circumstances

If you intend to list your company for sale, it may take you several months to get ready. A professional business valuation, a review of your employment contracts and even repairs to your existing machinery and facilities can all be important steps to take before you try to sell your company.

Once you know what the company is worth and you have tried to make it as attractive as possible, you then need to reach prospective buyers, a process that could take many months. Finally, you will have to negotiate the sale terms and likely provide transitional support. It is common for people buying an existing business to expect executives and owners to help with the transition for anywhere from a few months after a purchase to a year or maybe longer in highly specialized businesses.

Understanding how long a business transaction may take to complete will help you keep your eyes on the prize and focus on the long-term profit of the transaction, rather than jumping at the first offer you receive.