As a business owner, you have likely spent hours, days, months or even longer agonizing over whether to sell your business. While in a perfect world the hard part would be over, the reality is making the decision to sell is simply the first step in a complicated process.


Fortunately, there are ways to simplify the experience. To start, it’s a good idea to have a checklist of what steps to expect. While each business may be different, when it comes to selling a business, the basic preparation will be the same. It can also be helpful to have a seasoned business broker or advisor to support you in the process leading to the successful sale of your business. Transworld's Business Advisors have the experience and know-how to navigate through the sale transaction, making the experience easier on you while at the same time maximizing your return.

Step 1 — Determine the reason for selling

People decide to sell their businesses for a variety of reasons. Some may do so because they are ready to retire and leave the working world. Some are tired of the labor shortages in Canada, or the hike in interest for business loan is having an impact on their profitability. Others may need a way to extricate themselves from a partnership dispute. Some simply become bored and decide to seek out new opportunities and challenges in their work life. Whether you are considering selling for these reasons or others, the decision to sell a business is personal but should be acknowledged.

Step 2 — Confer with local professionals

Perhaps the single most important step of all, in terms of making the sale of your business easier, is selecting an experienced business advisor to guide you through the exit strategy and the entire sale process. A seasoned business broker or advisor can help you get everything in order, while screening qualified buyers and ensuring you get the highest possible price for your company, all while keeping the sale as quiet as possible to avoid upsetting your employees, vendors and clients. Best of all, an advisor frees up your time so you can continue to keep your business up and running and not worrying about the sale on the daily basis.      

Step 3 — Organize your financials and properly package your business for sale 

Part of the assistance provided from an experienced advisor is giving you sound advice or connecting you to other professionals who can help you organize your business’s financials for the upcoming sale, depending on the state of your financial statements. 

It’s important for you to understand the financial position of your business, which requires knowledge of financial statements, projections, and key metrics for your industry, such as:


  • What’s the company’s relative growth in gross sales and net income?
  • What adjustments need to be made to normalize earnings?
  • Do you own or lease the property where your business is located?
  • What is customer base, and do you have any concentration issues?
  • What about the value of tangible and intangible property?
  • What equipment and inventory will be included in the sale?
  • Are there any outstanding liabilities or legal issues?
  • Who are your key suppliers and vendors?

Answers to these questions are needed, as well as ensuring your books are in order.

  • Do you have your latest tax documents?
  • How are you financial statement prepared?
  • Are they in the:
    • Notice to Reader format
    • Review Engagement
    • Or is it better to prepare fully audited statements for the current year?

Step 4 —  Understanding the value of your buiness in the current Canadian market

To sell your business, you need to understand how much it is worth. Remember valuation is part science and part art. Multiple factors will come into play as you determine what your company is worth such as the business’s financial health, industry trends, the current market demand and the location of your company. Transworld’s experienced advisors will value your company by presenting you with a full detailed valuation document called Broker Opinion of Value (BOV). We price our BOVs competitively, and once we sell your business, we will credit you back the BOV cost. Having done 1000s of BOVs, we understand how to position your business for sale at the appropriate price to go to market.

Step 5 – Confidentially Market your business in the Greater Montreal Area, in Quebec, in other provinces, and globally!

The final step in selling your business is to get the word out albeit confidentially. But successfully marketing a company for sale has many nuances. Transworld’s business advisors are experts at creating competition for your business thanks to our ability to advertise your business to our worldwide network. We have access to hundreds of thousands of buyers, and we spend more money on advertising than anyone in our industry.

Over the next few months, we will share more information about the actual experience of the sales process, as well as go into greater detail on how to properly market the sale of your business.



All in all, selling a business can be an exciting but long and stressful time. Learn more about how Transworld Business Advisors can help you speed up the process and sell your business by scheduling a free consultation today.