How To Transfer Business Ownership

Negotiating with clients

There are thousands of people starting businesses every day in the United States.  Some start from scratch, some buy franchises and others purchase existing businesses from others.  The latter requires a business transfer.  If you have someone interested in your business, you will need to learn the basics on how to transfer business ownership. 

There are several different methods of transferring business ownership:  Sell it, lease it or sell it over a period of time.  All these conditions can lead to a transfer of ownership.  The key is finding which one fits your needs and financial state.

If you sell your business outright, you will receive payment and the transfer will take place immediately.  The advantage to this type of transfer is that you get immediate cash.  With today's economy, many small business owners are looking to make a quick sale.  Perhaps the business has not performed to their expectations.  In that case, they need a quick exit.  An outright sale would be best in this situation.

Leasing is another option for transferring business ownership.  If you decide to lease your business to another individual, a contract will need to be drawn up with all of the conditions.  You will receive a monthly payment from that person for whatever time period is worked out.  You can also offer an option to buy and have it worked out in the contract.  That way you set a definite time period for the new person to take over the business.  Businesses that handle large equipment often lease to others who want to run their own business.  A lease is not a loan.  A loan that someone takes out which pays a business owner full price is still an outright sale.

Some business owners decide to sell their business over time.  For example, a health food store owner may have to move out of state and need to have someone run the business.  They may opt to work out a monthly payment deal until the business is paid in full.  This type of business transfer is very flexible and works well for both parties.  The person who can't get financed now has a business.  The individual who had to leave town is still receiving a cash flow from the business.

Whichever option you decide on, make sure you have an attorney look over your contract - and don't forget, learning at least legalese is a good idea for you in any case. Online business law classes can definitely help you with this.


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