Almost a third of family business owners plan to exit the business by selling the business whether it be to the highest bidding third party, through a sale to a bidder who will carry on their ethos and values or through a management buy out. It is then surprising how many conversations I have when people say the plan is to sell, but they have given no consideration to how this will happen and the things they could be doing now to maximize their returns.

I recently sat down with a business owner with one limited company, which contained a number of separate business interests, a meeting in which I nearly fell of my chair when I learned of the plans in the imminent future. The business was in no position to be sold, certainly not in the way the owners expected to, which included retaining parts which had to be kept for the family.

Whether it is a case of making sure the structure suits the proposed plans, the tax consequences are mitigated or simply that the business results are maximised to boost the value of the company, if your plan is to sell you should be working on this constantly. If you plan to sell but have never looked at anything mentioned above, what is stopping you??