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Selling: Steps in the Process

The First Step

Sign an agreement of representation with JSBS to assist and counsel you throughout the sale process.

Initial Contact

JSBS contacts researched, qualified buyers, and provides a few salient features of your company to determine initial buyer interest. Your name is not revealed until a Confidentiality Agreement is executed by the potential buyer.

Confidentiality Agreement

If there is interest, the potential buyer signs a Confidentiality Agreement. The Confidentiality Agreement prohibits the potential buyer from disclosing any information about the operations of the seller's (your) business, or that a sale is in progress.

Preliminary Information

Preliminary information is provided to the potential Buyer. This will contain some basic outline information on the business such as: financial highlights, operating areas, reason for sale and other major items of importance. From the preliminary information the Buyer will determine their level of interest and whether they want to proceed.

Detailed Documentation

Buyer requests detailed documentation and possibly an on-site visit.

Typical documentation:

  • Sales
  • Contracts
  • Third Party Contracts
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Customer lists (without names)
  • Business growing or contracting
  • Profit and loss statements
  • Concentration of business
  • Pricing
  • Product mix
  • Commissions
  • Asset schedule
  • Family compensation and perquisites
  • Large one-time expenses
  • Vehicles
  • Leases
  • Tax returns
  • Computer system

Offer to Purchase

The buyer makes a written or verbal offer which will include the purchase price and terms. Upon agreement, the buyer will generate a Letter of Intent (LOI). If you agree and sign off on the LOI it will become the basis for the Purchase Agreement.

Due Diligence

This is the procedure wherein the buyer verifies the information the seller has presented.

Purchase Agreement

With seller's (your) agreement, the buyer's attorney draws up the Purchase Agreement. This may occur concurrent with due diligence. The Purchase Agreement may be signed contingent on successful completion of due diligence, or it may be signed after due diligence is satisfactorily completed.


This is the final step. It may be done in person with attorneys present or over the phone. Documentation is exchanged, funds are paid and the buyer is the new owner of the business.

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