Timeline for Selling a Business

As I’ve said before, selling a business isn’t like selling a house. Planning, preparation, and execution take a considerable amount of time.

While each exit is unique, the following gives you a general idea of how much time each stage takes:

Estimating And Building Value

3 Months To Several Years

The amount of time your client spends during this stage will depend on his objectives. If getting out quickly is more important than maximizing price and terms, he might not want to spend a great deal of time building value. If he wants to improve the chances of getting out on his terms, he will be motivated to put more effort into planning and preparation.

Marketing The Business

3 To 6 Months

It can take up to six months to conduct a thorough buyer search, prepare the Investment Teaser and Confidential Information Memorandum, and set up a data room with most of the information buyers will require.

Negotiating And Closing

3 To 6 Months

This stage consists of conducting management presentations for all interested buyers, reviewing and negotiating all letters of intent, due diligence, preparing the purchase and sale agreement, and other activities.