Kim Eells, Senior Vice President and Small Business Administration (SBA) Business Development Officer for Georgia Primary Bank, discussed new SBA guidelines on dealing with Paycheck Protection Program loans when selling a business at the Nov. 10 GABB meeting. Kim is an Affiliate Board member of GABB.
The SBA issued guidelines on Oct. 2 that provide a framework to determine whether SBA consent is necessary when selling a business or other entity that has received PPP funds.
She recommended that sellers with PPP loans should ask forgiveness, a process that could take up to five months, but in practice usually takes less time. The SBA is also issuing a new form, 3508s which will make it easier for entities with PPP loans under $50,000 to apply for forgiveness.
If a business has an EIDL loan, she recommends postponing an application for PPP forgiveness.
GABB Affiliate attorney Wendy Kraby said that for the sale of a business with an SBA loan, “I am seeing the banks want to see very specific language in the Purchase Agreements detailing the requirement of an Escrow Account. The bank then wants to see that Agreement (before it is signed) to make sure it meets the bank’s requirements. Because of this, it is very important to contact the bank at the very beginning of planning for sale AND before a PSA is signed.”
Ms. Kraby described a typical provision to handle a PPP loan in a Purchase Agreement. “The Seller has taken out a Paycheck Protection Program loan in the amount of $______________with XXX Bank. Seller has completed and submitted a PPP Forgiveness Application along with all supporting documentation. At Closing, Seller shall deposit into an Interest Bearing Escrow Account controlled by XXX Bank Corporation an amount equal to the outstanding balance of the PPP loan pursuant to the Escrow Agreement, attached hereto as Exhibit “D.”
The Georgia Association of Business Brokers, or GABB, is the state’s premier organization devoted to buying and selling businesses and franchises, and operates the state’s only real estate school dedicated to business brokering. For more information about GABB, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, call or text 404-374-3990.
“The PPP has provided 5.2 million loans worth $525 billion to American small businesses, providing critical economic relief and supporting more than 51 million jobs,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin in a press release.
The SBA specifies that “There are different procedures depending on the circumstances of the change of ownership, as set forth below. In all cases, the PPP Lender is required to continue submitting the monthly 1502 reports until the PPP loan is fully satisfied.”
- 1.The PPP Note is fully satisfied. There are no restrictions on a change of ownership if, prior to closing the sale or transfer, the PPP borrower has:
- Repaid the PPP Note in full; or
- Completed the loan forgiveness process in accordance with the PPP requirements and:
- SBA has remitted funds to the PPP Lender in full satisfaction of the PPP Note; or
- The PPP borrower has repaid any remaining balance on the PPP
- The PPP Note is not fully satisfied. If the PPP Note is not fully satisfied prior to closing the sale or transfer, the following applies:
- Cases in which SBA prior approval is not required. If the following conditions are met for (i) a change of ownership structured as a sale or other transfer of common stock or other ownership interest or as a merger; or (ii) a change of ownership structured as an asset sale, the PPP Lender may approve the change of ownership and SBA’s prior approval is not required:
- Change of ownership is structured as a sale or other transfer of common stock or other ownership interest or as a merger. An individual or entity may sell or otherwise transfer common stock or other ownership interest in a PPP borrower without the prior approval of SBA only if:
- A. The sale or other transfer is of 50% or less of the common stock or other ownership interest of the PPP borrower3; or
- B. The PPP borrower completes a forgiveness application reflecting its use of all of the PPP loan proceeds and submits it, together with any required supporting documentation, to the PPP Lender, and an interest-bearing escrow account controlled by the PPP Lender is established with funds equal to the outstanding balance of the PPP loan. After the forgiveness process (including any appeal of SBA’s decision) is completed, the escrow funds must be disbursed first to repay any remaining PPP loan balance plus interest.
- In any of the circumstances described in a) or b) above, the procedures described in paragraph #2.c. below must also be followed.
- Change of ownership is structured as an asset sale. A PPP borrower may sell 50 percent or more of its assets (measured by fair market value) without the prior approval of SBA only if the PPP borrower completes a forgiveness application reflecting its use of all of the PPP loan proceeds and submits it, together with any required supporting documentation, to the PPP Lender, and an interest-bearing escrow account controlled by the PPP Lender is established with funds equal to the outstanding balance of the PPP loan. After the forgiveness process (including any appeal of SBA’s decision) is completed, the escrow funds must be disbursed first to repay any remaining PPP loan balance plus interest. The PPP Lender must notify the appropriate SBA Loan Servicing Center of the location of, and the amount of funds in, the escrow account within 5 business days of completion of the transaction.
- Cases in which SBA prior approval is required. If a change of ownership of a PPP borrower does not meet the conditions in paragraph #2.a. above, prior SBA approval of the change of ownership is required and the PPP Lender may not unilaterally approve the change of ownership.
To obtain SBA’s prior approval of requests for changes of ownership, the PPP Lender must submit the request to the appropriate SBA Loan Servicing Center. The request must include:
- the reason that the PPP borrower cannot fully satisfy the PPP Note as described in paragraph #1 above or escrow funds as described in paragraph #2.a above;
- the details of the requested transaction;
- a copy of the executed PPP Note;
- any letter of intent and the purchase or sale agreement setting forth the responsibilities of the PPP borrower, seller (if different from the PPP borrower), and buyer;
- disclosure of whether the buyer has an existing PPP loan and, if so, the SBA loan number; and
- a list of all owners of 20 percent or more of the purchasing entity.
If deemed appropriate, SBA may require additional risk mitigation measures as a condition of its approval of the transaction.
SBA approval of any change of ownership involving the sale of 50 percent or more of the assets (measured by fair market value) of a PPP borrower will be conditioned on the purchasing entity assuming all of the PPP borrower’s obligations under the PPP loan, including responsibility for compliance with the PPP loan terms. In such cases, the purchase or sale agreement must include appropriate language regarding the assumption of the PPP borrower’s obligations under the PPP loan by the purchasing person or entity, or a separate assumption agreement must be submitted to SBA.
SBA will review and provide a determination within 60 calendar days of receipt of a complete request.
- For all sales or other transfers of common stock or other ownership interest or mergers, whether or not the sale requires SBA’s prior approval. In the event of a sale or other transfer of common stock or other ownership interest in the PPP borrower, or a merger of the PPP borrower with or into another entity, the PPP borrower (and, in the event of a merger of the PPP borrower into another entity, the successor to the PPP borrower) will remain subject to all obligations under the PPP loan. In addition, if the new owner(s) use PPP funds for unauthorized purposes, SBA will have recourse against the owner(s) for the unauthorized use.If any of the new owners or the successor arising from such a transaction has a separate PPP loan, then, following consummation of the transaction: (1) in the case of a purchase or other transfer of common stock or other ownership interest, the PPP borrower and the new owner(s) are responsible for segregating and delineating PPP funds and expenses and providing documentation to demonstrate compliance with PPP requirements by each PPP borrower, and (2) in the case of a merger, the successor is responsible for segregating and delineating PPP funds and expenses and providing documentation to demonstrate compliance with PPP requirements with respect to both PPP loans.The PPP Lender must notify the appropriate SBA Loan Servicing Center, within 5 business days of completion of the transaction, of the:
- identity of the new owner(s) of the common stock or other ownership interest;
- new owner(s)’ ownership percentage(s);
- tax identification number(s) for any owner(s) holding 20 percent or more of the equity in the business; and
- location of, and the amount of funds in, the escrow account under the control of the PPP Lender, if an escrow account is required.
PPP Loans Pledged in Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility (PPPLF)
If a PPP loan of a PPP borrower associated with a change of ownership transaction was pledged by the PPP lender to secure a loan under the Federal Reserve’s PPPLF, the lender is reminded to comply with any notification or other requirements of the PPPLF.
SBA Procedural Notice: SBA PPP Loans and Change of Ownership
The Georgia Association of Business Brokers, or GABB, is the state’s premier organization devoted to buying and selling businesses and franchises, and operates the state’s only real estate school dedicated to business brokering. For more information about GABB, please email email@example.com, call or text 404-374-3990, or contact GABB president Dean Burnette at firstname.lastname@example.org or (912) 247-3209.
There is a direct relationship between the asking price and the amount of cash on the table at the time of the sale. Buyers and sellers alike should keep one fact in mind. Most businesses involve some level of seller financing. It is customary for both buyers and sellers to have concerns regarding this kind of financing; after all, sellers don’t want to take their businesses back from the buyer. Buyers want to generate enough money to help the business thrive and make a living. One proven way to ensure the successful sale of a business is to turn to the experts.
Screen out Window Shoppers
The simple and very established fact is that when you choose to work with the professionals, it can streamline the entire sales process. Business owners are typically very busy people. That means they don’t have time to waste with window shoppers. They also don’t want to divulge confidential information to parties that don’t possess the means to actually follow through with a successful sale.
Business brokers and M&A advisors know that most prospective buyers are just dreamers or will ultimately fail to qualify. When you work with the professionals, it means that you have a shield to protect you and your valuable time. Experienced brokers have a range of techniques that screen out unqualified candidates and match you with buyers who are the best fit.
Anyone who has ever sold a business, or even contemplated selling a business, knows all too well that confidentiality is of the utmost importance. Sellers need to know that the information they reveal will not spill out all over the web. Brokers are experts maintaining confidentiality and impressing upon prospective buyers the tremendous importance of honoring the agreements they sign.
It is important to note that leaks regarding the sale of a business can cause a range of often unexpected problems. Key employees may get nervous about their future prospects and begin looking for a new job, competitors may begin attempting to poach employees, or customers and key suppliers may get nervous and turn to your competitors. In short, serious buyers and sellers alike benefit from maintaining confidentiality.
Matching the right seller with the right buyer is truly an art and a science. Many factors are involved ranging from financing to psychology. When the right match is made, then it is possible to move through the process of seller financing more quickly and with fewer roadblocks or complications. Working with a business broker or M&A advisor is the single most important step that any buyer or seller can make to help ensure that seller financing, and in fact the entire sales process, progresses as smoothly as possible.
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Only a small percentage of the population is able to go through life without using some form of financing at some point. Most people have little choice but to finance everything from their home and car purchases to their college education. Now, most business owners would love to receive an all-cash offer for their business. But the reality of most transactions is quite different. Owner financing is very common, and sometimes it is the only way to put a deal together.
Sellers have to be ready and willing to entertain the idea that they may, ultimately, be called upon to handle some aspect of financing if they want to sell their business. It surprises many to learn that if a seller is not willing to finance the sale, then buyers begin to worry and may even see this as something of a “red flag.” The reason for this is that many buyers feel that if a business is a solid investment, then the business will be profitable and repaying the seller should be no problem.
Buyers may worry that if a seller isn’t willing to help with financing there could be a “hidden” problem with the business. They may think this means sellers are “jumping from a sinking ship.” Sellers should keep this important aspect of buyer psychology in mind when deciding whether or not they are willing to finance.
Buyer psychology plays a major role in another aspect of seller financing and that comes in the form of collateral. Sellers may want to have some form of outside collateral to secure the loan on their business. While this may seem perfectly understandable to the seller, buyers can have something of a nervous response to this issue as well. Just as buyers worry that a seller’s refusal to provide financing is a red flag, buyers see the same red flag when sellers seek collateral. Once again, buyers think that if the business is healthy and thriving there should be no need for collateral. The buyer is left wondering, “What is going on here? How worried should I be? Why do they need collateral if this business is so great?”
Typically, buyers are “maxed out” when buying a main-street business. They are allocating most of their available funds to the down payment on the business. That means they will be unlikely to “push all their chips in” and gamble everything by also putting up the home, retirement funds or other collateral in the process. Sellers need to see the situation from the buyer’s perspective and remember that a collateral requirement could mean that if the business fails, the buyer could be left with nothing.
Navigating the complex interaction between buyers and sellers is no easy feat. It requires a careful balancing of several different skills, ranging from understanding finance to psychology. Working with an experienced business broker can help buyers and sellers connect and find workable agreements so deals can get made.
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