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Personal Goodwill has always been a fascinating subject, impacting the sale of many small to medium-sized businesses – and possibly even larger companies. How is personal goodwill developed? An individual starts a business and, during the process, builds one or more of the following: • A positive...

Mass Mutual Life Insurance Company provided the following survey results based on family-owned businesses. Although the survey was conducted several years ago, the results are still quite revealing, and still applicable. • Four out of five companies are still controlled by the founders. • 30% of family-owned companies will...

New accounting rules may require that acquirers and acquiring companies report earnout agreements as liabilities. Joel Johnson, president of Orchard Partners Inc., in his article, “Earnouts,” published by Valuation Strategies, states: "In a given year, 2% - 3% of announced mergers and acquisition agreements involve earnouts. ...

Basically, there are three major negotiation methods. 1. Take it or leave it. A buyer makes an offer or a seller makes a counter-offer – both sides can let the “chips fall where they may.” 2. Split the difference. The buyer and seller, one or the other, or both,...

Due diligence is generally considered an activity that takes place as part of the selling process. It might be wise to take a look at the business from a buyer’s perspective in performing due diligence as part of an annual review of the business.  Performing...

A solid, factual and compelling offering memorandum maximizes the chances of not only selling a business, but obtaining the highest possible price.  An offering memorandum is also referred to as the selling memorandum, a confidential descriptive memorandum, or simply as “the book.” The memorandum, regardless...

A January 2004 survey conducted by the DAK Group/Rutgers found the following breakdown of why businesses are for sale: Reasons To Sell Risk reduction      44% Competition or market changes   41% External pressures     27% Lifestyle factors (age, health, etc.)   14% Lack of capital      9% Ownership/management issues  07% Note: Multiple responses allowed;  Source: DAK Group/Rutgers It is interesting to note that...

The closing is the formal transfer of a business. It usually also represents the successful culmination of many months of hard work, extensive negotiations, lots of give and take, and ultimately a satisfactory meeting of the minds.  The document governing the closing is the Purchase...

Many business owners would like to receive all-cash for their business when selling. And yet they are often told that this is really not possible. Why? Most people are accustomed to financing just about everything - home, car, vacation home, even college for their children....

In the practical sense, when selling a business, goodwill is all the hard work and effort the seller has put into the business over the years. When acquiring a business, goodwill is the difference between the tangible assets and the purchase price. Goodwill value should not...

"Confidentiality Agreement - A pact that forbids buyers, sellers, and their agents in a given business deal from disclosing information about the transaction to others." The M&A Dictionary It is common practice for the seller, or his or her intermediary, to require a prospective buyer to sign...

The following might be a subtitle for this true account of how one deal was put together: "In spite of everything, you need only one buyer - the right one!" (Although the details are factual, names and financial data are fictional.) The company (let's call it...

When it comes time to sell the company, a seller's prime concern is one of confidentiality. Owners are afraid that "if the word gets out" they will lose employees, customers and suppliers. Not to downplay confidentiality, but these incidents seldom happen if the process is...

"The most successful integrations were directed by people who placed the common good of the combined organization and its customers before all else." From: The Mergers & Acquisitions Handbook. By now, most business owners are familiar with the problems created by the merger of Daimler, the German...