What Documents Will Prospective Buyers Want to See
When selling your business, it is best to prepare in advance for the documentation a buyer is likely to require during due diligence. The list below is a good guide but is not intended to be fully inclusive. No two deals are the same but you can use this as a starting point.
- Financial statements, including profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Typically, three years but some buyers may look for as many as five. You should also be prepared to provide P&L and Balance sheet for the year-to-date period.
- Tax returns for the past three to five years.
- Bank records (account statements, credit card statements etc.)
- List of assets being sold, including inventory, equipment, and fixtures. For vehicles list the make, model, miles and VIN number.
- Lease or real estate information, including terms and conditions.
- Employee information, including job descriptions, salaries, and benefits.
Customer and vendor lists. (Depending on the nature of your business you may need to redact some of this information)
- Intellectual property assets, such as patents or trademarks
- Operations manuals and standard operating procedures
- Marketing materials and advertising history
- Legal documents, including contracts and permits.
- Any pending lawsuits or legal disputes.
- Environmental or safety assessments and certifications.
- Annual sales figures and projections.
- Sales by customer (Customer concentration may be an issue).
- Copies of any licenses needed to operate the business.
- Business plan and mission statement.
This is not intended to be a due diligence list. If you are a business buyer please consult with the relevant advisors (CPA, Attorney etc.) when coming up with a list.