How long will it take me to sell my business?

It all really depends on how prepared you are. The key to selling your business is preparing to sell your business. Have a story to tell. Many businesses are attractive just because they are there. Sometimes, a business is attractive because a buyer will want to get rid of it to remove competition. Sometimes a business will enhance another business. Perhaps the most important thing for you, as a seller, is to know why somebody would want to buy your business.
  • Richard Malone

    Richard Malone


    Richard has been a Principal with Hillier Hopkins for 20 years. On a day to day basis, Richard as well as an Audit Principal spends time consulting with Owner Managed Businesses planning growth, tax and resource strategies to maximise the return from the business.

    Contact Richard at our Watford office

    Read more

Once you have taken the decision to sell your business, you need to consider whether it is in a fit state for sale. You should also consider whether you, as the owner and the seller of the business, are prepared to carry on working within the business. What sort of a deal would you be prepared to countenance? Are you prepared to sell on an earn-out?  Or would you prefer to sell and disappear?

Ask yourself how important you are to your business? Can your business survive without you? Are there natural buyers, for example, another tier of management? Have you consulted with us about preparing your business for sale?

Each of these questions probably gives rise to many more, however, the critical path for your business sale requires that you prepare, before you ever reach the market. Once you are ready to sell, there are many brokers who will be able to find potential buyers for you and it is helpful if you know the sort of person or company that might be interested. Remember that you know your business better than anyone.

The time it will take you to sell will depend on how attractive your company is, and how transferable it is.  Once you have a buyer, you should still be realistic in terms of timescales. Selling your business will undoubtedly involve solicitors and other advisors including tax advice. Most business sales involve some degree of aggravation at some point or another, just as selling a house does, as well. 

Our experience in assisting clients in selling their business can often smooth the way, and at least forewarn of the problems that are likely to arise.

To find out more, call us on +44(0)330 024 3200, and talk to one of our experts.

Get in touch today

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T +44 (0)20 7930 7797
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Herts WD17 1HP

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Milton Keynes

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Hillier Hopkins is a trading name of Hillier Hopkins LLP, which is registered as a Limited Liability Partnership in England & Wales, No. OC303707. Registered Office: Radius House, 51 Clarendon Road, Watford, Herts WD17 1HP. Registered to carry on audit work in the UK and Ireland by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales. A list of members of the LLP is available at the above address. HH and Hi logos are trade marks belonging to Hillier Hopkins LLP. © Hillier Hopkins LLP.