Selling A Business

Everything Business Sellers Need to Know

Connecting Sellers To Buyers

When you engage a business broking firm are you going to be passed off to a contractor or commissioned agent?

At Merchant Business Brokers you will deal with the owners from start to finish.

When you engage the services of Merchant Business Brokers you benefit from having a very experienced team who won’t simply tell you what you want to hear. You will get honest and supportive advice to suit your circumstances, your business, your industry and what is happening in the current market. When listing a business,  achieving the best price is very important but not at the expense of a great overall result. Managing the sale price, the terms and conditions, the time on market, the confidentiality and the ultimate experience are all equally important factors. 

The way we work with our sellers from the start ensures we are well prepared when our marketing attracts the buyers. 

A good broker will start with the end in mind when listing your business and pre-empt not just the process but what obstacles and objections might arise. An experienced broker will know what information to have ready, when to share it, how to manage the buyer and the process to protect and preserve confidentiality and work with the most qualified buyers.

Understanding current market conditions with buyer demand, industry shifts and borrowing conditions are all factors that must be considered over and above the business itself. 

We operate mostly on a strong referral basis which is testament to our success and credibility as specialists and professionals in our industry.

If you would like more confidence please check out our 5 star Google reviews which are from people like you that have enjoyed their experience.

The two Directors have also won for the last 4 years NSW and National Business Broker of the Year (awarded by the Australian Institute of Business Brokers) which is a testament to their results, testimonials and achievements.

With access to our extensive network of professional business brokers, valuers, industry specialists and industry bodies such as the Australian Institute of Business brokers (AIBB) ensuring we are always up to date and have access to the latest industry benchmarks and information.

How the business is prepared for sale can make or break a positive selling experience. There are so many aspects that must be considered and even then you can be assured other  variables will come into play throughout the process. Without honest and diligent support selling a business can be a confusing, stressful and a difficult process. A qualified and experienced business broker will have seen and managed many difference scenarios and start with the end in mind. This means preparing the business, the marketing, the information memorandums, the confidentiality agreement and process with consideration of the buyer/s, their accountant, their solicitor and banks. Due Diligence is becoming more widely adopted with small to large business sales. Being forewarned is to be fore armed and ready for this crucial part of the process.


Our goal whilst helping you achieve the best selling price is to also ensure we are successful in managing confidentiality and the buyer which helps lead to better terms and conditions. The perfect sale is when both you the seller and the buyer are happy. This ensures a smooth and successful transition period. 

It is important well before you need or want to sell that you have a plan. As we often say start with the end in mind. A planned exit strategy and the process leading up to the sale will ensure that you and your business broker are on the same page and have a planned selling strategy.


Planning and preparation should not be under- estimated. There are so many part of a sale that involve planning, thought and consideration from your final net return, tax considerations and so much more. Working closely with your business broker and accountant is a great place to start.


When you have  considered your options your business broker can work on getting the business ready for sale and then sold.

  • Talk with your accountant and get all your financials up to date. Speak to your solicitor and have any leases and agreements ready along with anything else they suggest. Speak with your business broker as they will want to prepare an information memorandum. This step is all about preparing documentation and information so that a buyer can have a quality initial review of what is for sale and establish some value around the opportunity.
  • We will prepare many things from marketing scripts and images for all the leading business for sale websites, a confidentiality agreement for the business, the confidential business summary, and the information memorandum. These are all done with our team and your help. When completed we have all of the marketing documents reviewed by you the seller and approved before we commence.
  • We manage all buyer enquiry which involves a confidentiality agreement. We qualify buyers to a point where you are seller know enough to feel comfortable. Once we and/or yourself approve the buyer we provide the information memorandum and start working with the buyer to see how we can assist going forward.
  • For us as business brokers we are always acting in our seller best interests and this means we must get to know the buyer. If we build repour with the buyer they will lean on us for further help and support and trust our guidance on the process. The alternative is to have the buyer keep all cards close to their chest, not engage with the broker and the process will be a commercial transaction only which is never going to give both parties the best outcome.
  • The opportunity to seek an offer, manage the process through to an un-conditional exchange of contracts takes a great deal of experience, skill and care. Make no mistake deals can come un-stuck quicker than not.
  • We will work carefully and diligently right up until settlement  making sure the buyer and the seller are transitioning well and enjoy the final steps of the selling process.

If you have decided to take the first important steps to towards selling your business, there are some important things to consider and information a professional broker will need to present your business to the market in a manner likely to give you the best chance of selling your business quickly and at the highest price.

Some of the important information that will most likely be needed to list and sell your business includes:

  1. Accountant prepared financials for the past three years including profit and loss statements
  2. List of all assets that will be included in the sale including plant, equipment, fittings and fixtures
  3. Details of the lease (if leased) and / or property (if owned) including property valuation if you are also open to selling your property with the business. Sometimes having a property available for sale can appeal to some buyers and may set your business apart from others with a regular lease.
  4. Details of any relevant accreditations or licences
  5. If your business is a franchise, a copy of the franchise agreement
  6. An indication of current stock value
  1. List of the official owner/s of the business: Is it a company or individuals or a trust
  2. List all parties involved in the ownership or directorship or trustee of the official owner
  3. List the physical Address of all parties involved in the ownership or directorship of the business
  4. Confirm the Business Trading Name
  5. List the physical Address of the business
  6. ABN
  7. Confirmed if the business is registered for GST
  8. List the contact details including phone, mobile and email for all partners in the business

This is one of my favourite topics. I often say to sellers when we go through this process that you can have 10 experienced business brokers look at the exact same information on the same business and potentially get several different assessments. This in part comes down to their previous experience with your industry, the current supply and demand for your business, the general economy and also how they chose to appraise or value your business. When a broker has to appraise your business there are so many things that should be taken into account.


One of the first steps is to have the accountant and/or broker normalise the financials. This is a process of assessing any adjustments to the profit and loss trading statement for the current and possibly prior financial years. Adjustments might be for example checking that market rent is the same as the rent expense, checking any and all owners have applied and paid themselves the correct market wages and superannuation (sometimes they pay extra superannuation contributions), assessing any personal or one off expenses etc

Other variables that may affect a business brokers appraisal is the value and quality of assets, the level of stock the business requires, the level of debtors (accounts receivable) the requirement for working capital, work in progress, deposits held, gift vouchers, staff entitlements and liabilities.

Other possible considerations might be how entrenched any owners are in the business, how systemized the business is, how the business wins new business and retains existing clients, the history of the business and its brand. There are so many areas of consideration and that is why you can easily get different opinions about what the business might be worth.


An experienced broker will not tell you what you want to hear. Sellers need to be treated with great respect and that includes the good the bad and the ugly. Pricing a business from our perspective often means we provide a price guide and list usually for the upper end of our guide and advise offers in the range is where we should have a chat and counter offer the buyer.


Over 75% of our sales are at full asking price. Why? We list businesses that represent value and opportunity for the buyer. We know (generally speaking) what return on investment principles and capital requirements are and as we often say start with the end in mind. This thought process means we are more likely to get buyers interested in your business and then have their accountant endorse the business and banks be able to or these days want to fund the buyer.


Any broker can list a business but selling one where both the seller and buyer are happy is an art!

Over the years I have seen the best businesses take 12-15 months to sell and on other occasions business that I thought were very specialised or could be hard to sell, be sold within months.

What you the seller and the broker can do is have a conversation about the business, the current market, competition, and what might be a likely scenario.

I have had on numerous occasions really well prepared and presented businesses with a good return on investment sit on the market for 9-12 months with hardly any enquiry. All of a sudden two good enquiries and both parties make full price offers. This has happened many times. Buyers come and go from the market daily.

I have had buyers on my database be told of a new listing from day 1 but the actual settlement be 6 months later. Why? Delays between information, accountants reports, bank and finance requirements, bank valuations, due diligence etc.


As a very general guide we could say it takes between 6-9 months for a business to sell. There are many examples either side of this.

At the time of writing this I have a $3.9M business exchange un-conditionally yesterday that was on the market just 5 weeks ago. I have another one exchanged un-conditionally last week and the buyer made a full priced offer of $2.2M late January and it is now the first week of June.

Every business and every experience is different. There are so many people and circumstances that need to be managed and this is why an experienced business broker is essential.

When you engage Merchant Business Brokers you will be working with the owners and Directors. We also have a support team behind the scenes to help us help you with the best results.


Achieving the best price starts well before your business is listed on the market. Ensuring the business is well prepared and well marketed is part of the process. Listing with a supportive and fair market asking price should provide value and opportunity for a buyer. What brokers can often over-look is the costs and adjustments that may have an effect on the ability for a buyer to borrow and could have an effect on any offer made.



Experienced brokerages like Merchant will educate and factor these when pricing the business and be able to share and explain this as part of the process with buyers which helps reduce time and provide confidence and clarity with the buyer.


Because we have been doing this for a very long time we know how to appraise and price your business, we know how to present and market your business. We know how to handle and manage buyers and their advisors.


So, getting you the best price is not sheer luck, it comes from thorough and strategic preparation right through to leading and managing the buyer, managing the process and supporting you through all of the steps.


We have gone through extensive training and education to ensure we are aware of changes to our industry, we have access to industry data and we often collaborate with other brokers and brokerages. We are a 5 star accredited brokerage with the AIBB (Australian Institute of Business Brokers). Our office has won numerous industry awards here in Newcastle and The Hunter Valley. We have won business broker of the year for NSW and Nationally (as awarded by the AIBB) for 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Our online reviews speak for themselves and we pride ourselves in a very high level of referral business.

Selling A Business Blog Posts

We’ve created a range of articles to help you understand the process of selling a business. This includes information about the steps involved, what’s required from you and how to optimise your business to get the maximum sale price.