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Even the Chancellor can struggle when it comes to selling

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In last week’s Mansion House speech, the chancellor George Osbourne announced, as many had expected, that the sale of the public’s stake in the Royal Bank of Scotland was on. 

Many people are surprised it has taken this long but the truth is selling a business is not easy – I know, I help businesses to do just that every day.

The key to a successful sale is preparation, preparation, preparation.

Buyers ask questions, lots of questions, and when your buyer has finished asking questions then his or her accountant and lawyer will have more questions. This is the due diligence exercise and a seller needs to have the answers. Nothing inspires confidence in a business more than full replies to due diligence questions backed up with appropriate documentation and conversely nothing can make a sale fall through faster than a loss of buyer confidence.

So my top tip for a successful sale – be honest about your business and get your paperwork in order. That’s where we at Brethertons can help. We have experts who can help you sort out all your paperwork – be it customer and supplier contracts, employment contracts or IT agreements – and put your business in the best possible position for sale.

Then, whatever your exit strategy – be it 5 years, 10 years or 50 years – I can help you through the tricky process of sale. 

The chancellor appears to have reached the end of his 5 year exit plan  - now all he has to do is find a buyer!

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