Create a Cash Flow Safety Net for Your Business

Create a Cash Flow Safety Net for Your BusinessOne of the lessons that we learned from March 2020 was that far too many businesses were running without a cash flow safety net. They had made financial calculations (and taken financial payouts) that implied that things would pretty much only ever stay the same or get better. But as we were brutally reminded, that’s not living in reality. What is living in reality is making sure your business has what it needs to survive big downturns that have nothing to do with you and your business.

Credit and Insurance

Dig your well before you’re thirsty. Get a credit line with your bank and fill out all the paperwork they need so you have something to call on if you need. There’s no reason for a business that has been around at least a couple years and has clean financials to not have a line of credit with at least one bank.

You should also see if there are business interruption insurance policies that make sense for your business based on what you experienced during the pandemic.


We’ve talked about the importance of red-teaming your business before. In this use case, you’d want to create the absolute worst-case scenarios for your business so you could figure out what you’d have to do in order to survive. Come up with dramatically bad numbers to find out just what kind of beating your business can take. 

Not only is this a lot easier to do before a crisis, it also means you can create an “if this, then that” plan that corresponds to various levels of disaster.

Clean Books

Speaking of clean books, you can’t have a cash flow safety net for your business if you’re using it as a piggy bank for your personal life. One of the first things you want to do in a crisis is trim unnecessary or unneeded costs and it’s a lot simpler to do that before there’s a disaster.

Live Below Your Means

Living below your means isn’t just a good personal rule, it’s a solid business strategy as well. In their earliest days, inexperienced business owners often used “checkbook accounting” to measure the health of their business: money in the account is good, no money is bad. 

Hopefully as the business grew, business owners tapped their accountants to find ways to not only optimize tax strategy, but also to make sure that there are options available should a sudden and unexpected drop in business occur.

Those options could be anything from the business having a reserve of cash to identifying assets that could be sold quickly if needed. There are lots of ways to find cash and savings when you’re not under pressure.

Have New Products and Services in Development

Now obviously, adding new revenue lines is a part of normal business operations, but we saw so many businesses pivot to related and unrelated offerings when their regular business was impeded during lockdowns.

If you are working on new products or services, there’s no reason to wait until a disaster to launch them, but if you have a few ideas at least roughly sketched out that you don’t have the resources to pursue or develop right now, it makes sense to have them in a file that you can go back to and keep adding to over time so that if there is a crisis and you need to manufacture some new revenue, you can look back at some ideas that made sense when there wasn’t a crisis.

Do you want us to take a look at your cash flow safety net and offer suggestions and advice? We’d love to hear from you.

Seller Financing: What Buyers and Sellers Should Know

Seller Financing: What Buyers and Sellers Should KnowOne of the effects of rising interest rates, and worse, bank failures, is a move towards alternative forms of financing for business transactions. As interest rates rise in coming months, more clients will be looking at seller financing as a larger part of a transaction, rather than a pro forma aspect of a traditional SBA loan. Let’s examine what buyers and sellers should know about seller financing.


Some sellers offer seller financing as an option because they can’t get bank-financed deals. They haven’t kept clean books, or as we’ve heard once, they “don’t feel the need to involve the IRS in my cash business.” We don’t get involved in those sorts of businesses because we often find that the business isn’t really healthy enough to sell anyway.

There are four main draws for sellers to offer to finance their own sale:

  • Deferred taxation: instead of incurring a one-time liquidity event tax, they will be taxed annually at the capital gains rate on only the payments they have received that year
  • Higher premium: seller-financed businesses are known to sell at a premium above all cash deals
  • Faster sale: seller-financed deals involve a larger buyer pool, driving both the number and velocity of offers
  • Better rates: sellers might be able to get better terms for their money in a seller-financed deal than they can in the general marketplace

For sellers who are ready to sell but are neither anxious about the ongoing success of the business nor need a large payout, seller financing can be a solid option, even during times of great market and bank certainty.


Since there is no third party involved in the financing of the deal, sellers have to scrutinize buyers more closely. This can involve:

  • Pulling a credit report
  • Doing a background check
  • Interviewing references not only for character but for business experience, particularly in the industry
  • Examining the business plan
  • Hiring a private investigator

While the last one might seem a bit serious, it’s a small investment to “trust, but verify” on what will be an important transaction in your life.

Buyer and Seller Expectations

Here are some reasonable expectations that both buyers and sellers should prepare for:

  • Sellers may want to maintain access to financial statements for the duration of the deal; their money is tied up with the success of the business, and they have a reasonable right to monitor the situation.
  • Sellers will want to create strong promissory notes with clear clauses for non-payment and late payments and should consider a general lien on the business for the duration of the note.
  • Sellers may demand a significant down payment, sometimes as much as 50% of the deal and will offer repayment periods between 3-7 years.
  • Buyers should remember that seller financing isn’t a forever situation: as market conditions improve and they are able to establish a clear financial history for the business, they may be able to obtain traditional bank financing during the term of the seller-financed note and pay it off early.

We’ve been around a long time at Apex and we have experienced times when banks weren’t even returning calls! Being familiar with seller financing before you need it only strengthens your position if it ends up being a significant part of your transaction.

Are you interested in offering seller financing for your business? Give us a call.

Depreciation Recapture: Plan and Prepare

Depreciation Recapture: Plan and Prepare One of our watchwords around the office is “have a plan.” The thing is, there are so many items that live in the world of business transactions that a business owner could be forgiven for saying, “What the heck is that?” when we tell them about something. One of those items (that gets that reaction) is depreciation recapture.


If you have a sinking feeling as you’re considering the self-explanatory term, you’re not alone. But bear with us as we spell it out: depreciation recapture is the monetary gain from the sale of an asset at the ordinary income tax rate. 

This could be less than you think, because, after all, we are usually talking about a used asset here. But in other circumstances, as with collectibles or real estate, we’re often talking about appreciation, and all that profitable gain beyond what was written off in depreciation is taxed at the capital gains rate.


To clarify for those who aren’t entirely clear on depreciation, it’s the wear and tear and operating expenses of a capital asset necessary for your business. It can be something as simple as a printer or as complex as a CNC machine.

There isn’t one way to calculate depreciation, though the one most are familiar with is the no-mystery-there “straight-line depreciation,” in which you take the difference between the original cost of the item and the value at the end of its usable life and divide that by the number of years the item will be in service.

An alternative to this is declining balance depreciation, which uses much larger amounts of depreciation early on in the item’s usable life. This is often used for tech purchases which can sometimes be capital-intensive.


We don’t make the rules, but if you follow the logic, it’s a way for the IRS to recoup a portion of taxable revenue it didn’t receive because of a depreciation declaration against gross revenues.

Is It Avoidable?

Yes, but only for real estate, and only using the well-known 1031 exchange.

“But what if I don’t use depreciation?” We love that line of thinking, but someone must have tried that already because the tax code says that this applies to the depreciation that “was allowed or allowable.” So even if you don’t take it you’re going to be treated as if you did.

How Will This Affect My Transaction?

One of the first lessons new workers learn in the job market is that the amount of their salary isn’t what they get to keep. Business owners can be the exact same way when they talk about valuations and what they want out of a sale. The government is always going to get its take as well. And there’s even more at stake in regards to how all this is calculated, using terms like cost basis and adjusted cost basis and inputs like gross annual income of the business itself. That’s where the accounting part of your dream team comes in to help you calculate what your tax burden will be in relation to these assets and what kind of bite that takes out of your expected take-home from the sale.

Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know about depreciation recapture! There’s all sorts of stuff you might not know about business transactions. That’s where we can help. Give us a call.

How to Navigate an Unsolicited Buy Offer for Your Business

How to Navigate an Unsolicited Buy Offer for Your BusinessYou get an email or a phone call wondering if your business is for sale. It certainly wasn’t. In fact, you hadn’t even thought about selling your business for years to come. But then… an idea starts germinating. What if I could sell my business? Unsolicited offers for businesses are made every day, and this article will help you do a bit of preparing for what happens if you get that call.

Feeling Good

Part of the magic of getting such an offer is feeling good. Running a business is a challenge and such an offer is a validation of your hard work. But, an offer isn’t always an offer. Sometimes it’s a fishing expedition. So too we as brokers sometimes make calls to businesses we find interesting, not necessarily with an offer, but with the question of, “Have you ever thought about selling your business?”

Wheels Start Turning

These sorts of phone calls, even if answered with an emphatic “No,” lead to wheels turning. Entrepreneurs weigh up how they’ve been feeling about the business lately. They think about a number that they would like to sell the business for. They think about what they would do with the money from that sale and the free time they might have.

We can’t tell you the number of times that a relationship started with a client because someone called them with an unsolicited offer. Whether that offer was genuine or fishing, whether it happens or falls through, a snowball has started in the potential seller’s mind.

Have a Conversation

Even if your answer is “Yes, I’d like to sell my business,” you need to bring in help. First-time sellers in particular have no sense of how much time it will take to close the sale and can underestimate the importance of having an unemotional negotiator by their side with lots of experience in business transactions.

Interview some business brokerage firms and let them know the situation. The best ones will do a back-of-the-envelope valuation with you to level-set before pushing for a professional valuation. Once that’s done, they can engage with the original unsolicited buyer about a now-established price and find out how serious he/she is.

That initial process might also uncover some opportunities. A broker might note areas that could be improved that would drive up value significantly in a short amount of time. Instead of pursuing a transaction with the unsolicited buyer, the company could be put into a process that will have it ready to go to market and court multiple buyers, not just one.

However, these conversations may also reveal that a business owner isn’t ready to be a seller…yet. But armed with more information, he/she now knows what needs to be done before a sale and now has a broker to periodically check back in with to find out what market conditions are like and what buyers have been sniffing around their industry.

So, if you get an unsolicited offer (or a cold call from a broker), a cautious congratulations! You’ve gotten some attention. You’ve built something that might be worthy of a sale. But now it’s time to look under the hood yourself and ask some searching questions about your life. And confer with your trusted advisors and a broker. It might just be that the unsolicited offer leads to a wonderful exit. Or if not, it gets you mentally prepared for the future.

Want some advice on those unsolicited offers or how to prepare for that call? 

We can help! Give us a call.

Deal Fatigue: Causes and Solutions

Deal Fatigue: Causes and SolutionsDeal fatigue is exactly what it sounds like: negative feelings around a transaction that, in the worst case, can lead to the deal blowing up or not happening. While deal fatigue isn’t always preventable, it is easily treated. We’ve included a few warning signs and corresponding treatments in this article to help you deal with a case of deal fatigue.

Causes of Deal Fatigue

Deal fatigue is most often caused by time delays:

  • Communication is poor or inconsistent: parties and counterparties do not have a consistent rhythm or tempo in responding to queries
  • Deal points get renegotiated: some parties use the preparation of final legal documents as a time to renegotiate terms of the deal
  • No support staff: neither buyer nor seller have access to a subject matter expert to help them through a particular aspect of the transaction
  • Complex deal structure causes a “hurry up and wait” effect

These challenges lead to buyers and sellers feeling frustrated, hopeless, and at times, angry.

Solutions for Deal Fatigue

Remember when you are feeling frustrated to take a moment and remind yourself why you are going through this transaction in the first place. Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, whether this is your first transaction or one of many, it helps to remember that very rarely do business sales go off without any hitches whatsoever. 

If you’re still feeling frustrated, call your broker. We’re here to be that sounding board and to hear all your frustrations. But when you’ve finished venting, we’re going to focus on solutions.

  • To combat poor communication, set up regular updates to let everyone know what the status of the current work is and what upcoming milestones there are. Be responsive when it’s your turn to deal with a task or query.
  • To avoid misunderstandings in communication, don’t overly rely on email. Remember that some things are better said by telephone or video call or in person and a lot more can get accomplished during those types of meetings. Email has its uses, but speed is not one of its virtues when working on a challenging part of the deal.
  • To be better prepared for anything that might come up, have your due diligence paperwork ready (if you’re a seller) and have your dream team (accountant, lawyer, tax advisor) ready (if you’re a buyer) to evaluate paperwork and give advice.
  • To stave off renegotiation attempts, remind the counterparty of the LOI. That was the time for negotiation. Unless diligence has revealed something substantially at odds with the assumptions in the LOI, there shouldn’t be extra time spent at the end of the deal renegotiating what was agreed at the beginning of it.

One of the ways we as brokers prepare our clients at the start of the process is by reminding them that this isn’t our first rodeo and that we’ve had to deal with deal fatigue ourselves at times. But as long as you follow a process set around reasonable expectations with parties acting in good faith, you can get to the finish line, even with a bit of deal fatigue. If you don’t deal with deal fatigue when you spot it, the likeliest outcome is the deal dying before closing.

Want to prepare for a transaction with minimum deal fatigue? The Apex team is here to help. Reach out today.

7 Rules for Keeping a Deal On Track

Keeping a Deal On TrackThere are ways that business deals can get off track that occur due to chance or something unexpected. But very often deals blow up because either the buyer or the seller fails to follow an unwritten rule. We’ve put together a short list of those rules to help you keep your transaction where it belongs: on track to a closing.

1. No Surprises

Surprises are fun in real life. Not when you’re going through a business transaction. Disclose everything you think you should and when in doubt, ask your broker. When you uncover a “surprise” in getting the paperwork ready, disclose it as soon as possible so that everyone can make a decision to carry forward (or not) with that knowledge in mind.

2. Silence Isn’t Golden

A transaction is a process built on momentum and part of that momentum is having an open line of communication. This doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to get an item requested for due diligence right away, but it does mean suddenly going radio silent for a week or two in the middle of the deal is unacceptable.

3. Speed Matters

Yes, there’s a mountain of paperwork required for due diligence and for the banks. Yes, getting these bits of paperwork put together faster rather than slower makes a big difference, not just for your own stress, but for the confidence of the other party.

4. Emotions Don’t Help

While you might be very attached to your business — understandably so, as it often represents years of blood, sweat, and tears — you need to set any emotion you have about the business to the side when having conversations about it. 

Don’t take requests or questions personally. This is part of a process that many have gone through before you and many will go through after you. Stay professional.

5. Beware of Texts and Emails

There’s an old rule that says if you think something would be better said by voice or in person, do so. Email and text will always lack the nuance of voice tone or the reality of body language. Mitigate this by refusing to deal with critical, possibly emotional (see Rule #4) issues by email and text, opting either for voice memos, phone calls, or even a Loom video.

6. Face-to-Face Meetings Win

While it’s not always possible to meet face-to-face, the normalization of video meetings because of the pandemic has given us an extra tool to keep both parties talking and seeing that everyone is on the same page. 

When possible, do meet in person as this will help establish rapport that can help you get through tougher parts of the transaction or when you want to hammer out deal points.

7. No Such Thing as a Stupid Question

We all know the hackneyed line about why we don’t “assume” things. Lean into that in a business transaction. If you have a question, ask it. If you have several, ask those. The more clarity there is about every aspect of the transaction, the easier and smoother it will be when it’s time to finally cross that finish line.

We’ve saved a few rules for our clients. Interested in becoming one? Give us a call.

2022 Trends in Business Transactions Continuing into 2023

2022 Trends in Business Transactions Continuing into 2023Interest rates, buyer confidence, inflation…these are statistics that don’t care about a new year. They will continue whichever way they want whether a ball drops in New York at midnight or not.. But humans do see a lot of significance in a new year, and that invisible line between December 31st and January 1st can be an accelerant for a seller to get a deal closed or a final push for a buyer to finally get serious about buying a business in a new year.

Interest Rates

Interest rates are on a trend line up, which means that the cost of operating a business is going up. So, unless sales are up and margins are staying the same, profitability will be down which means valuations will be down…unless proper steps are taken.

Remedies: work with your bank on strategies to deal with interest rates, whether it be on your line of credit or even a loan you might have.

Buyer Confidence

Before the rain comes you can often smell it or sense it. Market forecasters don’t entirely agree about what is going to happen or when it’s going to happen. That uncertainty translates into “feels like rain” so that is leading to a dip in buyer confidence.

Remedies: Sellers need to continue to stress their fundamentals and brag about their performance in 2020 or 2021, if there’s braggable material there. Unless buyers think whatever is coming next will be worse than extreme Covid lockdowns, they may be able to see through their feelings to the hard, cold numbers.


Prices are going up in almost every sector. That means if you haven’t raised prices, you are likely making less money, because your costs have gone up. Some businesses have held the line on pricing in part not to shock customers, in part not to lose market share. But two years on with inflation continuing on, those businesses are seriously considering a price change.

Remedies: raise prices. Raising your prices periodically is a healthy business practice anyway, but even more so when inflation is not a secret. You can also find creative ways to offer customers more perceived value, whether that might be offering a discount on a larger advance purchase than they are used to or asking them to renew a contract for a longer period before you raise prices. Remember that keeping a solid profit margin isn’t just about your business surviving and thriving in the short-term, it’s about a narrative of value in the medium and long-term, particularly if you want to sell.

Seller Fatigue

When we look back at this period in years to come, we might lead the narrative in this way, “And then this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened.” We saw in the last two years that some business owners were already contemplating a sale, but Covid made them tap out sooner. As the issues we mentioned above continue on, many are looking at 2023 with the thought that they don’t want to be in this same position this time next year.

Remedies: explore selling. It’s okay to admit that you’re tired and want to give up. Nobody is supposed to run a business forever. That doesn’t mean we’re going to be able to list and sell your business before the new year (though stranger things have happened) but you should talk to us now so that we have a plan for the new year. When everyone comes back from the holidays you will be ready to go with your listing and be energized that an exit plan is in place.

Pondering other trends we didn’t mention here? We’d love to talk to you about them. Give us a call.

Understanding Buyer Types

Understanding Buyer TypesWhen business owners put up their companies for sale, there’s not really any way to guess what type of buyer may end up acquiring it. But to be better prepared to negotiate and communicate during the sale process, sellers should be familiar with four typical buyer types, who vary in goals, spending power, and needs.

Individual Buyers

Individual buyers are often people looking to be owner/operators. They may be seasoned business owners, but may also be long-time employees who’ve finally decided to take the plunge into entrepreneurship. They represent the type of buyer we most often see here at Apex.

Individual buyers will often:

Sellers should find out: 

  • what is the motivation of this type of buyer?
  • what are their financial means?
  • do these buyers have the support of friends and family?

Strategic Buyers

Strategic buyers are usually companies (not individuals) looking to expand their operations by acquiring an existing business.

Strategic buyers are:

  • not at their first rodeo — if they are in acquisition mode it’s because they already know how to run a well-oiled company
  • worthy negotiators — because this isn’t their first rodeo, you’ll need strategies for how to encounter deal points
  • likely to be in your industry or near it — sometimes they can be a vendor or customer

Sellers should find out: where does this acquisition fit in with the greater plan?

Additional things to consider:

  • Your brand may disappear
  • Your employees may be let go
  • Financing will usually not be a problem
  • Some form of Seller financing or earnout is still likely

Financial Buyers

Like strategic buyers, financial buyers are also companies, but they are less interested in expanding into local markets and more interested in digging into your numbers to look at your ROI.

Financial buyers are often:

  • Private equity groups
  • Hedge funds
  • High net worth individuals
  • Not excited about risk

Sellers should find out: what sort of returns are these buyers looking for in the short, medium, and long term?

Sellers should also expect forensic due diligence from this type of buyer. Like strategic buyers, they may look to “trim fat” by making changes to your business right away. 

Family Offices

Family offices could be either strategic or financial buyers, depending on what their philosophy is. But all family offices are generally on the lookout for highly profitable ventures offering attractive long-term returns.


It doesn’t happen often, but we have helped employees buy companies. They offer a unique opportunity.


  • Know the business better than any outsider could
  • Are incentivized to grow the business 
  • Are preserving continuity for themselves while taking on a risk they feel comfortable with

Employees are likely to have a profile that overlaps with individual buyers. If financially qualified, banks love this type of buyer.

Sellers should find out: would an ESOP help develop this type of option or be a hindrance in a sale to the other types of buyers?

Final Thoughts

By being familiar with the types of buyers, you can have discussions with your broker about what is likely to be the best type of buyer for your business and then market your business accordingly. While it’s important to have a wide buyer pool, being prepared for specific types of buyers will pay dividends during the go to market phase.

Not sure which type of buyer is best for your business? Give us a call and we’ll share our expertise.

5 Items that Belong On Your Business Sale Closing Checklist

5 Items that Belong On Your Business Sale Closing ChecklistEvery business is going to have its own particular set of documents that it’s going to need at closing. But there are a few that need to be on everyone’s checklist and a couple that often get forgotten or don’t get due consideration. In this article we’ll share those items and what you should know about them.

But before we get to them, you have to realize that a closing date is an expression of intent. It’s not a guarantee. There are things that both buyer and seller can do to move that date around. Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, you don’t want your actions to be the reason a transaction is held up. Make sure these items are handled so that closing can happen as scheduled.

Work in Progress (WIP)

The reality is that sellers are going to be delivering goods and services to your customers right up until and beyond the moment of the transaction. Both buyers and sellers will want there to be as little interruption as possible to normal business operations. This means creating a document of work in progress and figuring out how that WIP is incorporated into the sale price.

For example, if you have taken in work that the seller has already received payment for, but the employees or contractors will not complete (or get paid for) until after the sale, you have to work out who is going to pay. Will the seller make separate payments to those employees and contractors for that WIP, or will it be deducted from the sale price, leaving the new owner to take care of it? That’s one way of looking at it, and there’s no “correct” answer, but it’s not something you want to leave to the last moment.

Building Lease

We can’t tell you how often business transactions have been held up (or blown up) because of failure to deal with a lease issue. If you have a lease, you need to make sure long before closing that a new lease can be contracted with the buyer or that the seller can pass on the lease. 

This is an example of an item that is out of both the buyer and the seller’s control, so the more time that is allowed to deal with this, the better.

New Entity

The buyer is often going to need to create a new business entity and once he/she has that EIN, will need it to open business bank accounts and credit card merchant accounts. That shiny new bank account will also be a good place for the buyer to drop in some working capital.

We’ve also mentioned the need for buyers to make sure they have the proper licensing with the appropriate authorities in order to have a seamless transition. Often a new entity will be needed to obtain those licenses.

Employee Meeting

You need to keep lips zipped when it comes to a business transaction (if you don’t believe us we shared some recent stories on our podcast). Ideally most (if not all) of your employees should find out about the transaction on the day it closes.

How the meeting goes and what is covered is something for buyer and seller to work out, but the three feelings your employees should have coming out of the meeting are:

  • Security: they aren’t getting fired.
  • Positivity: this is a good thing.
  • Optimistic: there are some exciting possibilities ahead.

Find ways to give your employees these feelings at the meeting, and you’ll have succeeded.

Closing Meeting

This might seem like the most obvious item, but there’s a logic to when this meeting occurs as well. Things to consider:

  • Make the closing for the morning so that the parties can go to banks or government offices afterwards.
  • Scheduling the closing at the end of a quarter, month, or pay period to simplify calculations. Bottom line – close when all parties are able to do so. Any day will work. 

We’re here to make your closings simple. Give us a call to see how we can help you with your next business transaction.

Build Your Business Sale Dream Team Now

Business Sale Dream TeamNo matter how many years you’ve been in business, you only sell that business once. That’s why a sale deserves at least some of the care and planning you put into building that business all these years. And yet, we still (more often than we’d like) get the call with the equivalent of, “I’d like to list my business on Friday and sell it on Monday…maybe Tuesday at the latest.” 

If we could go back at least six months (ideally twelve months or more) with that caller, we’d talk to them about putting together their Dream Team for this sale. 


Business brokers think of ourselves as team captains. This isn’t our first rodeo and we know how to bring the best out of all these players who may never have met each other before. We’ve got a playbook that works and when we don’t personally know the answer to a problem or challenge we have resources to the tune of hundreds of years of experience (and hundreds and hundreds of transactions) in our office.

Financial Advisor

Particularly for those business owners who are looking to retire after this business sale, numbers really matter. Questions like “how much do I need?” and “what is the business worth?” have to be asked and answered.

A solid financial advisor will not allow you to come up with an impossibly high “what do I need” number which includes every possible contingency for life. He/she will also not take your word for what the business is worth. These advisors will get a valuation for the business and/or ask you to explain your reasoning for the business value. Having what the business is worth line up with what you need on retirement is the most important math equation to solve before the sale. And it’s not something you can just wish into existence. We also can’t tell you the number of times we’ve heard, “Well the business has to be worth that much because that’s what I need to retire.”

Wrong answer.


As the financial advisor asks the larger questions, your company CPA can answer the question every buyer will have: are the books clean?

If they are not, they need to get clean some time before the sale. We aren’t talking about weeks or months. We are talking about years. Unreliable books for 2-3 years and one good year isn’t just a bad recipe for getting bank financing, it’s also unlikely to hook interested buyers.

While the best CPAs will have warned you for years against too many addbacks, ones fit for your dream team will get your books clean as soon as possible and put systems in place to ensure they stay that way for the future owner.

Tax Advisor

So you’re going to have a liquidity event when you sell that is going to create tax problems to solve. You need someone experienced in these issues to help you structure a deal that makes sense for your plans (this means talking to your financial advisor, too) but also doesn’t give more to the government than you are legally or morally obligated to.

A dream team tax advisor will have helped more than one business owner structure a deal before, perhaps even helping to create a deferred sales trust when that made sense.

Deal Attorney

While you may have been working with a number of great attorneys over the years, when it comes to your transaction, you should look at experience over a relationship. This transaction isn’t about friendship, it’s about business, so find someone with experience to help you get the most out of it.

We’ve said before that inexperienced attorneys can exceed their remit in business transactions so if you’re short on recommendations in your network, we’ve got a number that have consistently shown themselves as dream team players in transactions with us.

Looking to build your dream team? Don’t wait until you’re ready to sell. Start building it when you’ve built something saleable and know that you’d like to sell it one day. The best prepared get the best results.

And remember, you’re only going to sell this business once. So make it count.