Build a Team of Business Advisors

A successful outcome is probably extremely important to your client’s financial future, and working with experienced advisors reduces risk for both client and business.

Your client will need the help of a number of business advisors to ensure all bases are covered. Although your client may have a good relationship with current advisors, they may not have the specialized experience required. You can help build the right team by getting recommendations from people you trust and recommending advisors who are experienced with M&A transactions.

There are a number of business advisors who can help:

M&A Accountant

To make sure the business has good accounting systems, clean up the balance sheet, and remove any personal transactions from financial statements. Also, to carry out a review or audit if financial statements are not already audited.

M&A Lawyer

To provide a legal audit, from a buyer’s perspective, and make sure there are no legal issues that could hinder the sale.

Tax Specialist

To set up a proper corporate structure and implement other strategies to minimize taxes when the business is sold. This could be either a tax lawyer or tax accountant.

Financial Planner / Estate Planner

To ensure your client is prepared financially through investments and insurance, to ensure the client is financially flexible during negotiations, and to manage the proceeds of the sale.

The financial/estate planner, along with a tax specialist, should also develop a contingency plan for the continuation or sale of the business should the client’s health prevent him from running or selling his business.

Business Plan Consultant

To conduct research and analysis, formulate strategies for value enhancement, write the plan, etc.

Branding/Marketing Agency

To create a favourable first impression of the business and help increase revenues in the period leading up to the sale.

Business Consultant

To identify strengths and weaknesses in the business’s operations and administration, and provide recommendations for improvement.

M&A Advisor

Your client may consider selecting an M&A advisor at this point since they can work with the other business advisors and offer their unique expertise based on past experience with buyers and sellers.

Internal Help

The planning and preparation stage of selling a business takes considerable time and effort—more than your client may be willing or able to do. While it’s understandable that clients probably don’t want anyone to know they are planning to sell, it can be extremely helpful to have someone in the business help them with, or even spearhead, the work.

If your client has someone trustworthy, such as a CFO or controller, or a CEO or general manager, it could be wise to bring the person on board. Your client may wish to provide this person with an incentive for doing so and get a Non-Disclosure Agreement signed.