Frequently Asked Questions
When you own shares in your company, you may consider selling the company to different potential buyers, such as a business partner (if you have one), other shareholders, or a third-party external buyer. Another option could be to transfer the shares to a family member. It's important to carefully evaluate and assess the various methods of transferring ownership, taking into account your specific business and personal situation, before deciding to sell the company.
The method of selling your company or transferring ownership can vary based on your position in the business. If you are the only director and shareholder, your choices may differ from those available if you have business partners or co-owners. It is essential to assess the particular dynamics of your company and obtain professional guidance to identify the optimal approach for your specific circumstances.
The length of time required to sell a company is challenging to estimate as it depends on various factors, such as the company's attractiveness in its industry, location, revenue, cash flow, timing, and unexpected events like pandemics. Moreover, the level of preparation conducted to prepare the company for sale is a critical factor in determining the duration of the sale process. Nonetheless, a comprehensive assessment of these factors and thorough preparation can enhance the likelihood of completing a successful and timely sale of the company.
The possibility of continuing as a director or retaining partial ownership after selling a company depends on the negotiated terms with the new owner. It is not unusual for the former owner to serve as a director for a specific period or to keep some shares in the company. This approach can facilitate a smoother transfer of ownership, offer stability for employees, suppliers, and customers, and reduce risk for the new owner by preserving continuity and maintaining relationships with essential stakeholders.
Instead of selling your UK limited company shares, you have the option to sell its individual assets, such as equipment, fixtures, furniture, accounts receivable, investments, inventory, and goodwill. The purchaser can directly buy these assets from you. Moreover, you might be eligible to claim Business Asset Disposal Relief, which can lower the tax liability resulting from the asset sale. This approach can be a viable alternative to selling the entire company and might provide more flexibility when negotiating the sale terms.
When selling a company, it's essential to consider the transfer of liabilities to the new owner. Most often, the new owner will assume the company's liabilities, which might include unpaid loans, credit card debts, taxes, accounts payable, and salaries of retained employees. It's essential to conduct a thorough evaluation of your liabilities before finalising the sale agreement to ensure that you are aware of all outstanding obligations and can make suitable arrangements to transfer them to the new owner. This practice can minimise financial risks and facilitate a smooth ownership transfer.
Selling your business, whether as a whole or just its assets, can be a complex and time-consuming undertaking. It's important to understand the differences between these options and determine which one is best suited to your particular circumstances. Your choice can have an impact on the sale's value, tax consequences, and other factors that can affect your financial position. As such, it's advisable to seek professional guidance and conduct thorough due diligence before making any final decisions.