What are the best websites/forums for selling a business (USA)?
March 2, 2015 6:34 AM   Subscribe

I am looking to help someone I know sell their company. It is a small business based in NYC that places consultants in IT positions, mainly with large financial institutions. I am wondering what the best venues are for advertising such a business. If anyone has knowledge or experience with this, please share. Thank you!
posted by jlhopes to Work & Money (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I wish I had a more solid "go here and they'll sort it for you" answer, but I will say -- be extremely careful working with business brokerage companies that you might find on the internet or who cold-call you. There is a lot of incompetence and outright fraud in the industry.

I don't know of a fire-and-forget solution - I'd start with competitors, if you can find them. Of course the difficulty with a going concern is often that you don't want to expose yourself as being "up for sale."

For that reason, if the value of the business made it make sense to do so, and if I were in this position, I might hire an accountant for advice on how to go about it and perhaps to make some of the initial confidential inquiries.

Some things to think about (IANAA/IANAL):

- does the business have significant physical assets? Does it own a building, or expensive equipment (office chairs, desk, PCs etc. don't really count)?

- does the business have an extremely well known trade name in the industry?

- does the business have an extremely solid client list that would likely come along with new ownership, or do they just cycle through deals?

If the answer to at least one of the above isn't a very strong YES, it's going to be hard to sell it for more than the liquidation value of the flotsam that makes up the office (#1 is really just an accessment of the physical assets too, but it would really up the ante in terms of how much it's worth to pursue the sale of the business itself).

Last thought - would the employees buy it? This type of firm often has a lot of fairly self-motivated producers that might be interested in going in together to keep their office situation intact.
posted by randomkeystrike at 8:56 AM on March 2, 2015

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