Question: I read your FAQ entry on timeframe and you mentioned preparation a few times. What documents should I be getting ready before going on the market with my business?

Submitted By: Alicia


We can probably answer this one fairly quickly for a change. Below is a list of documents that we would recommend have ready before going on the market. Obviously not all of these will apply to every business, and some of this information will be unatainable to some business owners, but generally the more of these documents you have, the better.

  1. Profit and loss for last three years
  2. Property Lease documentation
  3. Last two years tax returns
  4. Asset registry with pricing and proof of purchase
  5. Current Rental Agreements
  6. Last 4 BAS Statements
  7. Insurance policies
  8. Workers contracts
  9. Work manuals
  10. Proof of sales for last 12 Months
  11. Bank statements for last 12 months
  12. Last 6 months purchase invoices
  13. Current balance sheet
  14. Stock take with stock value
  15. Current accounting software records
  16. Certificate of registration and or incorporation

Other than this list, you will definately want to have a sales memorandum prepared for the business. The Sales Memorandum is essentially your main sales document for the business. If you are using a business agent to sell your business they will generally create this document for you, but if you are managing the sale yourself you may want to do some research on how to write a good sales memorandum.

The last thing you should have ready early on in the process is your contract for sale. Have your solicitor draw it up well before finding a buyer. The reason for doing it early is that once a buyer has decided to buy your business it can often take a long time to produce the document and you want to make sure that you keep momentum.

There are of course other things that you can do early on, but these are the big ones.