How To Keep Confidentiality When Selling A Business

How To Keep Confidentiality When Selling A Business

Whether you want to transition industries, retire from the business, or cannot fund your business anymore, you have your reasons for wanting to sell your business.

Maintaining confidentiality while selling a business keeps the business transfer smooth and professional.

To keep confidentiality when selling a business, you must:

  • Advertise your business generally.
  • Tell employees about the sale at the right time.
  • Have the buyer sign a confidentiality agreement.

Keeping strict confidentiality standards is important for your business legacy to live even in the hands of a new owner.

Advertise Your Business Generally 

Blind advertising will keep the confidentiality of your business while only showing off the general information for interested buyers. Include the following information in your selling advertisement:

  • Industry in which your business operates.
  • How many employees are affiliated?
  • Your city and state of operation.
  • A way that the buyer can contact you that isn’t known to the public.

Do not include any information that would tip off competitors in knowing that you are selling your business. This may cause them to try to acquire your business to expand their brand.

Keeping the information general can attract buyers interested in entering the industry so that they can carry on your legacy. 

Tell Employees About the Sale at the Right Time 

Informing your employees of the sale of your business could be a difficult process.

Talk with your interested buyer to set an agreed-upon time in which employees will be informed of the sale. The best time to tell employees about the sale of your business is when the business purchase agreement has successfully closed.

You do not want to tell your employees about the sale of your business before the deal is closed because an agreement could fall through at any time before closing.

If employees catch wind that you are selling your business before it happens, they could voluntarily relinquish their position in your company for fear that they will be laid off anyway.

Not every business merger and acquisition will result in layoffs. Each business transfer depends on the parameters laid out in the purchase agreement.

Have the Buyer Sign a Confidentiality Agreement 

Stage one of the buying process is the initial review. Having the buyer and the seller sign a confidentiality agreement is the last step in the first stage of the buying process.

A confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement will reassure you that your business identity is not revealed during the selling process. The buyer cannot discuss the buying process with anyone outside of the business circle.

For the document to be legally binding, it must be signed and notarized via a local notary company, a notary at a bank, or a certified notary by trade.

If the selling transaction were to be discussed amongst the buyer’s family and friends, it could cause the purchase agreement to fall through.

Confide in A. Neumann & Associates for Mergers & Acquisitions 

Confide in A. Neumann & Associates to help you with business mergers and acquisitions while keeping everything confidential. With 30 years of experience in the field and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau for almost 20 years, count on us for a smooth business transfer.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.