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Keep It Confidential When Selling Your Michigan Business
An interview with Gregory Edgecomb – Broker/Owner Capital 1 Business Brokers, Farmington Hills, MI
Why is confidentiality important when selling your business?
As a seller you want only qualified buyers who agree to maintain, in confidence, the fact that your business is for sale. Secondly, you don’t want customers, employees, landlords or suppliers to feel that their interest is in jeopardy. Employees may think their job is at risk. Landlords may worry their lease is in peril and suppliers may worry about their account with you.
As a seller what should I say if someone asks me if my business is for sale?
I would probably tell them “maybe, everything is always for sale at a certain price.” I wouldn’t deal with someone if I didn’t know that they were qualified and they agree to keep everything confidential. I would want to know that they were financially qualified and that their business acumen was such that it would fit the business.
Do buyers react negatively to the concept of confidentiality when selling a Michigan business?
Generally not, especially if they do not have another motive and they are not a competitor trying to find out who’s for sale. If a buyer has a genuine interest in buying a business, they welcome it. Confidentiality also protects the buyer because the buyer is not going to want the word out to everyone that the place is for sale where perhaps the competition can move in a take away business.
What about advertising? Do you give complete information about the business?
No. We give general information. It depends on the particular business and the particular location how much information we’ll give. But we would typically refer to a geographic area. Before we would identify a city, there would have to be lots of those particular types of businesses in that city. The purpose of the ad is to get interest and to get the prospect to respond to us as Michigan Business Brokers and not to tell the location of the business.