How Long Does It Take to Sell a Business?

Two men talking at a coffee shop: How Long Does It Take: Business Process Duration

Most times it takes between 4-12 months to sell a business. Occasionally it can take longer especially if the business experienced reduced revenues/profits after the listing went live. Remember that it may take 2-3 months to close a deal after signing a contract. The process can be shorter or longer depending on several factors, including the type of business, the current market conditions, the asking price, and the buyer’s financing.

If you’re thinking about selling your business, it’s important to have realistic expectations about how long the process might take. Here’s a look at some factors that can influence the timeline for selling a business.

Your Business’s Industry

The appeal of your business revolves around the type of industry it’s in and how profitable it is. For instance, high-growth industries such as technology or health care tend to sell more quickly than businesses in slower-growing industries like retail stores.

Businesses that are profitable and have a good track record of growth are also more attractive to buyers and will usually sell fast.

The Asking Price

When selling your business, if your asking price is overpriced, it could deter buyers and lengthen the selling process.

On the other hand, if your asking price is too low, you may not get the return on investment you’re hoping for. It’s important to work with business brokers or valuation experts to come up with a fair asking price for your business.

Type of Buyer Who Purchases Your Business

Buyers will not always be the same. Some will be strategic, meaning they will weigh whether the business is synergistic for their company.

Others may be financial buyers looking for a business that they can grow and sell for a profit. The type of buyer may determine how quickly the sale process goes and the final price paid for the business.

Your Business’s Location

Location can also play a role when selling your business. For example, businesses in major metropolitan areas usually sell faster than businesses in smaller towns or rural areas. Some buyers are generally more interested in businesses located in larger cities.

The Structure of Your Business

Business structure refers to how involved you are in daily operations. Say you’re a sole proprietor. You will most likely be more engaged in the day-to-day running of the business than if you’re a corporate executive.

This can affect how fast your business sells because buyers may want to know that they can easily take over running the business without your involvement. If you agree to stay on for 3-4 months post-close it will help Sunbelt close a deal earlier in the sales cycle.

Contact Sunbelt Business Brokers Today

When you’re ready to sell your business, Sunbelt Business Brokers is here to help. We are one of the largest M&A professionals in the world and have a team of dedicated dealmakers who will work with you to get the best price for your business.

We take the time to pre-screen every buyer, so you can be confident that you’re getting a fair offer. We also have a wide range of marketing assets and resources we can use to help promote your business.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Sunbelt Business Brokers can help you sell your business, contact us today and get started on creating a custom deal structure that meets your needs.