Selling a business after years of work can be very profitable. Many businesses are created with the hopes that they will one day be acquired by a larger firm. However, selling a business is rarely a simple affair. Parties to the purchase of a business must comply with Federal and District of Columbia laws that govern mergers, acquisitions, negotiations and securities exchanges.

How Do I Sell a Business?

Obviously, the initial step in selling a business is to either receive an offer or solicit one. In Washington, purchase agents do more than simply find buyers. They also lend advice about which offers are worthwhile to consider. During this process, the financial records must be updated and prepared in strict accordance with District of Columbia and Federal law. The reliability of these methods is necessary in determining the proper value for the rights you are selling. A formal contracts will likely be written to solidify the sales agreement. Careful review of this agreement is crucial so that all concerns voiced during negotiations are accurately presented.

What Will I Give Up in the Business?

In selling a business, the buyer gains a right known as "control". Control of a business entitles a party to direct its operations and it may also controls what is done with business property. Because the right of control is separable, the buyer of a business in Washington may not be interested in other rights within the company. Actually, control is typically cheaper to purchase without other rights such as the right to future earnings. Sometimes buyers negotiate to allow those right to remain with the seller. Negotiations during the sales process are essential, and they should be used as an opportunity to voice fully each party's intentions and concerns.

How Can an Attorney Help?

In selling a business, the seller must meet the requirements of District of Columbia law. A local lawyer practicing in Washington will be able to advise you about your particular sale.