I’m thinking of selling my law firm, what should I do?
in Advice

I’m thinking of selling my law firm, what should I do?

This is our very simple guide for anybody who is contemplating selling their law firm and the steps that they need to think about taking. It is written by Jonathan Fagan LLM of Jonathan Fagan Business Brokers Limited. We have been assisting law firms and accountancy practices on mergers and acquisitions for over 20 years. This is our basic guide for anyone who is thinking about selling, and what steps they need to think about taking to get the ball rolling.

Firstly, feel free to give us a ring and we can go through the process with you.

Plan in advance – Sale Preparation & Exit Strategy Services

Often impossible due to life getting in the way, but if you are able to plan in advance, consider our sale preparation service. We spend time getting to know your business, look at your structure and your operations and provide detailed advice on an exit strategy, potential values and plans for the future. It is never to early to order this service. Click here for details.

Have a chat with one of our business advisers. We would be more than happy to have a brief discussion with you about the process, what it entails and how we can assist you.

Order a valuation report

When you first decide that it’s time to think about selling your law firm, it is difficult to know what to do in relation to a sale or disposal if you are not sure of the business’s potential value or the options out there.

If you have an idea at the outset as to a sale price, then it will give you an idea as to what your options are going forward. Speak to us about our different options to see what would suit your circumstances. We offer standard and advanced valuation reports, together with details of deal structures, both of which can be incredibly useful for anyone who is thinking about the process of selling their firm. If you have a standard valuation undertaken it will give you a good idea as to the potential value of your business, and the report will also give you an idea as to what you will need to do in order to increase your chances of sale.

Click here for details of our valuation services.

Consider a consultation

We offer a pre-sale advisory service to anybody who is thinking about selling and wants to spend a bit of time with us to discuss procedures, options and future plans. This can be incredibly useful for anybody who is really not sure at all about the procedure and what they want to get out of it, and can be very useful to determine future steps that need to be taken. Get in touch with us today to request a quote, or alternatively give us a ring for a chat. Click here for details of our pre-sale preparation & advice services.

Start to prepare your pre-sale pack

There are plenty of things you can be doing to get ready for sale. Firstly collating the documents together in one place is usually fairly straightforward if you request a business valuation or a presale advisory session with us, because we will go through all the documents that you will need to have available at the outset during these sessions. However, if you decide to simply list your firm for sale then there is a list of the suggested various documents you will need on our website. If you collate these together in a single file it can save a considerable amount of time later on when it comes to disclosure to potential buyers. Also undertaking this fairly early on means you can do it ‘under the radar’ when it comes to speaking to your staff to get the information gathered together. If you start asking for this when under time pressure as you go through the sale process it can make it harder to disguise the fact you are looking at selling or disposing of the firm.

List your firm for sale with Jonathan Fagan Business Brokers

Three options – Standard, Gold and Platinum. Our Gold Service is the service suitable for most smaller sized firm sellers; it provides you with a basic valuation, ongoing assistance with sale strategy, a deal structure report, together with the preparation of a pre-sale pack. Our Platinum Service includes our exit strategy and sale preparation assistance, which can make it particularly suitable for a seller looking at a longer term plan to dispose of their business. Our Standard service is the DIY option, which involves simply listing your firm for sale on our website. We also have a database of potential buyers, updated weekly, with at least 400 buyers on it at any one time.

Clean up your shopfront

It might sound pretty basic, but you are going to be in the process of selling an asset, so in the same way that you would give your car a valet or your house a spring clean, you also need to spruce up your business. This can include tidying up your website, making sure all your systems, accreditations and software packages are up to date and in order, cleaning all your signs on the front of the offices, making sure your windows are clean, your offices are tidy and everything is up to date. This will of course have an effect on your chances of success when it comes to a sale. It is amazing how few sellers actually think about doing this..

Make sure you have statistics, and lots of them

Having as much detail as you possibly can about your firm will make a bit difference to the prospects of sale. For example, if a potential buyer says to you, “where do your clients come from?” you are immediately able to say that 40% of them come from passing trade and 30% of them are from recommendations and provide evidence.

Will banks are a particular example of an asset that can do with a good bit of work preparing for sale..

Summary

I hope this article has given you some food for thought. The main thing from our perspective is to get impartial professional advice and don’t rely on snippets of information from peers and definitely do not rely on information you glean from the internet. Quite a bit of this is completely inaccurate..

Plan as far as you can in the future is the one take away piece of advice we would give. And be prepared to change your plans to fit changes to circumstances..