When selling your business, it pays to plan ahead. Don't
forget these important – but sometimes overlooked
– strategies for maximizing value and deal certainty.
Clean up! I learned a great lesson from a
great chef: "You consume 70% with your eyes". Just like
the artfully plated dishes that would emerge from his kitchen, the
appearance of your premises says a lot about your outlook,
attention to detail and dedication. It's easy to let things
slip when you're focused on day-to-day emergencies, but invest
the time to inspect and refresh your offices and other premises.
Dump the dog-eared National Geographics from the reception area,
purge the dusty promo materials from the corner of the conference
room, replace burnt light bulbs and – let's face it
– a fresh coat of paint probably wouldn't kill you.
Prospective purchasers will notice.
Organize for Due Diligence – Most
prospective buyers will dig deeper than the proverbial kicking of
the tires. In fact, most buyers will deploy a team of eager lawyers
and accountants to pour over a mountain your company's key
business, legal and financial records. Organize this information
early, and spend the time to update your corporate minute books,
government filings and other records. Buyers and sellers often want
to move fast, but a messy and disorganized due diligence process
can drag out the timeline, frustrate the parties and lower a
Resolve Lingering Legal Issues – To
the extent that you can do so on reasonable terms, now's a good
time to resolve any lingering legal issues, such as shareholder
disputes, employee grievances and tax claims. These matters will
certainly come to light during the due diligence process, and the
conversation with prospective buyers will go much more smoothly if
you've managed these issues in a diligent and reasonable
Align Key Shareholders – It's
critical to take stock of the company's other shareholders and
determine the likely degree of alignment or dissent before any
potential buyer is at the table. Consider whether you need to
shore-up other key shareholders in support of your exit plan.
Presenting a united and like-minded shareholder-base is attractive
Stay tuned for my next post and we'll look at a few more
things you can do before selling your business.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Under the Income Tax Act, the Employment Insurance Act, and the Excise Tax Act, a director of a corporation is jointly and severally liable for a corporation's failure to deduct and remit source deductions or GST.
Under the Income Tax Act, the Employment Insurance Act, the Canada Pension Plan Act and the Excise Tax Act, a director of a corporation is jointly and severally liable for a corporation's failure to deduct and remit source deductions.
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