When helping buyers look for a business, it is common for the seller’s representative to perhaps have the prior year’s operating statement without a balance sheet. Amazingly, this is the “package” of information the seller’s representative is using to try and sell the business. This tells a sad story in itself, which is not very favorable and does not serve the seller appropriately.
It is important to consider what a buyer will want to see to evaluate a business. A buyer wants to determine quickly if the business will be a fit for what they are looking for. This is, of course, after the buyer has been financially qualified and signed an NDA.
If I were looking, I would want to see the last three years of financial statements (P&L and balance sheets), a copy of the facility lease, the top 10 customers by sales ranking and what percentage of total sales they represent (without names), an organizational chart (without names), a list of the assets being sold, the last three years of income tax returns with all attachments, gross sales month by month to see trends, a summary of accounts receivable showing aging with total amounts, a copy of any distributor and franchise agreements, and a copy of any equipment leases to be assumed.
It is pretty common to wait weeks for additional information. When that happens, the buyer is likely to move on rather than continue to wait, thinking the seller is not serious. Often, the information is presented in individual documents rather than being organized and indexed into one or two PDFs. Many times, it takes two or three requests to get additional information.
If you would like a confidential conversation about how to prepare your business to be sold, feel free to contact me at 888-893-6661 or firstname.lastname@example.org. My LinkedIn profile is: http://www.linkedin.com/in/dolansales.