Most business owners don’t know what real estate options are available to them when it comes time to sell the company.
Understanding the value of the real estate and the tax liabilities associated with it is important, according to a December 2018 article in Divestopedia describing options for business real estate when selling a company. Understanding one’s business real estate options will ultimately help in achieving “the goals desired in a transaction.”
There are two main options:
- Sell everything including the real estate.
- Hold onto the real estate for the rental income.
If you, as the business owner, personally own the real estate in a separate entity, then you are good to go, according to Divestopedia. You should have a “clear path to valuation.”
However, if your company owns the real estate, then things get a little more complicated. In this situation, you should have a third-party appraisal of the real estate so that its value is clear. If your business is a C-Corp and your business also owns the real estate, then it’s a good idea to talk to your accountant as there will be differences in taxation.
Every situation is different. Many buyers will prefer to acquire the real estate along with the business. On the other hand, many buyers may prefer a lease, as they don’t want everything that comes along with owning real estate. Communicating with the buyer regarding his or her preference is a savvy move.
If you do plan to retain the building, then you’ll want to be certain that a strong lease is in place. Ask any business broker about the importance of having a strong lease, and you’ll get some pretty clear-cut feedback. Namely, you always want to have a strong lease.
Issues such as who repairs what and why should all be spelled out in the lease. It should leave nothing to chance. One of the best points made by the Divestopedia article is that you will want a strong lease for another key reason. When the time comes to sell the property, you want to show you have a lease that is generating good income.
Real estate and the sale of your business are not one-dimensional topics. There are many variables that go into selling when real estate is involved. It is important to consider all of the variables and work with a business broker who can help guide you through this potentially complex topic.
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The process of selling a business can be very complex. Whether you’ve sold a business in the past or are selling a business for the very first time, it is imperative that you work with an expert. A seasoned business broker can help you navigate through what can be some pretty rough waters. Let’s take a closer look at four issues any seller needs to keep in mind why selling a business.
Number One – Overreaching
If you are both simultaneously the founder, owner and operator of a business, then there is a good chance that you are involved in every single decision. But that can be a significant mistake if a business owner wants to be involved in every aspect of selling their business. Trying to sell your business while operating can lead to problems or even disaster.
The bottom line is that you can’t handle it all. You’ll need to delegate the day-to-day operation of your business to a sales manager. Additionally, you’ll want to consider bringing on an experienced business broker to assist with the sale of your business. Simultaneously running a business and trying to sell has gone awry for even the most seasoned multitaskers.
Number Two – Money Related Issues
Once a seller has decided on a price, he or she usually has trouble settling for anything less. The emotional ties that business owners have to their businesses are understandable, but they can also be irrational and serve as an impediment to a sale. A business broker is an essential intermediary who can keep deals on track and emotions at a minimum.
Number Three – Time
When you are selling a business, the last thing you want is to waste time. Working with a business broker ensures that you avoid “window shoppers” and instead only deal with real, vetted prospects who are serious about buying. Your time is precious, and most business owners are unaware of just how much time selling a business can entail.
Number Four – Don’t Forget the Stockholders
Stockholders simply must be included in the process whatever their shares may be. A business owner needs to obtain the approval of stock holders. Two of the best ways to achieve this is to get an attractive sales price and secondly, to achieve the best terms possible. Once again, a business broker serves as an invaluable ally in both regards.
Selling a business isn’t just complicated; it can also be stressful, confusing and overwhelming. This is especially true if you have never sold a business before. Business brokers “know the ropes” and they know what it takes to both get a deal on the table and then push that deal to the finish line.
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