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The Exit Process
The Process of Exiting a Business

The process you will have to go through will depend on how you are exiting the business.

If you are selling the business there are several stages you will go through:

  1. grooming your business for sale
  2. valuing your business
  3. identifying and marketing your business to potential buyers
  4. negotiating with potential buyers
  5. completing legal due diligence
  6. finalising the sale and transferring ownership

Prior to the sale, you should get the business into shape by cutting overheads, reducing debts and excess stock and getting your finances into good order. You will also require detailed financial information, including audited accounts and forecasts. You can smooth the whole sales process by preparing this information in advance. You can read specific information in our guide on preparing to sell your business.

You should seek specialist advice on valuing your business from your accountant, solicitor or from a corporate adviser. They will be able to help you reach a realistic valuation, and identify and market your business to potential buyers. For more information on valuing and marketing your business and identifying potential buyers, read our guide on how to value and market your business.

For further information on completing the sales process, see our guide on how to complete the sale of your business.

Businesses planning a flotation will go through a similar process and will require a detailed business plan, prospectus and accounts which comply with specific accounting standards. For further information on floating your company, you will need to get specialist advise from a range of specialist advisors.

If you are simply closing the business, the process should be much simpler. You should contact the relevant authorities to advise them you are closing down and calculate and pay off any outstanding liabilities (such as VAT) and debts. See our guide on selling or closing your business - a tax overview.

If you have employed any workers you will also need to give them the proper notice and any outstanding pay and benefits. For further information on making employees redundant, see our guides on how to issue the correct periods of notice and on making an employee redundant.