How can I sell my business without everyone knowing about it?

When a business owner decides to sell a business, information leaks are a big concern. Owners worry about confidentiality. They don’t want it to be public knowledge until the deal is done, because if word gets out that a business is for sale, there are multiple exposure worries:

What if my employees find out? If employees think a business is about to be sold, they may decide to leave or give less than their best effort. Good employees are an asset that no business can afford to lose.

What if my customers hear about it? Even when you have the very best customer relationships, customers may start looking for another place to do business if they think you’re about to sell. Like employees, loyal customers are a valuable asset.

What if my competitors hear that I’m selling? Not only might competitors take the opportunity to hire away your employees, they may also go after your customers. Again, these are assets you don’t want to jeopardize.

What if my suppliers find out? You may face difficulty working with suppliers, especially getting favorable terms, if they think you are ready to sell your business.

It’s reassuring to know that business brokers that are members of the Business Brokers of Florida follow the same set of rules regarding confidentiality. You will want to make sure you understand how confidential the process will be at each step of the way.

When you consider any business broker for the sale of your business, you should ask about how much information will be revealed in any printed material or online postings when the broker begins to market your business. When we list a business for sale, for example, we do not post information on any business sellers’ website, blog or social media that would identify your specific business location or your ownership of the business. Any good business broker follows this procedure. We also make sure our sellers personally approve the content of any marketing material that is released for public view.

Business sellers like the fact that in addition to requiring potential buyers to sign a confidentiality agreement, in some cases we will go a step beyond and ask for a personal financial statement from them as well, before we share any important financial details about your business.

Experience is key. The best business broker can walk you through the issues and concerns you may have when you are ready to sell your business. In addition to my 11 years of experience as a business broker, I have been both a seller and a buyer of businesses. That gives me a unique perspective. I know the roadblocks and potholes that can stall a business deal from either side, and I know how to navigate complex selling and buying situations. My association with Transworld Business Advisors, the world leader in the marketing and sale of businesses, provides access to a wealth of resources.

I welcome you to contact me to schedule a free and confidential evaluation, whether you are thinking about selling your business now or are building an exit strategy for the future. I’ll be happy to answer your questions and help you learn more about hiring a business broker to sell your business.


bianca evansBianca Evans
Senior Business Broker, Certified Business Intermediary (CBI), Board Certified Intermediary (BCI)
Transworld Business Advisors
Member, Business Brokers of Florida
Certified Business Intermediary (CBI), International Business Brokers Association
Transworld Highest Dollar-Volume Award Recipient 2014 and 2015

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