Skip to content

Selling a family business can be a complex process

Selling a family business can be a complex process, and it is essential to understand the differences from selling a non-family business. Here are some key factors to consider when selling a family business:


  1. Emotions: Selling a family business can be an emotional experience. The business may have been in the family for generations, and it can be challenging to let go. Family dynamics can also complicate the process. It is essential to separate emotions from the business transaction and focus on the best interests of the business and its stakeholders.

  2. Succession Planning: Family businesses often have a succession plan in place. It is crucial to ensure that the succession plan aligns with the goals of the business sale. For example, the plan may involve passing the business down to the next generation, but if that is not feasible, the business may need to be sold to an outside buyer.

  3. Family Members: Selling a family business can affect family members who are not involved in the business. It is essential to communicate the business sale to all family members and address any concerns or questions they may have.

  4. Business Valuation: The valuation of a family business can be more complex than a non-family business. The business may have sentimental value to the family that may not be reflected in its market value. It is essential to work with a professional business appraiser to determine the fair market value of the business.

  5. Tax Considerations: Tax considerations can be more complicated when selling a family business. There may be family tax planning opportunities that need to be considered to minimize tax liabilities. It is crucial to consult with a tax professional to determine the best tax strategy for the business sale.

  6. Legal Considerations: Legal considerations can be more complex when selling a family business. The business may have unique legal structures, such as a family trust or partnership agreement, that need to be considered. It is crucial to work with a solicitor to ensure that all legal requirements are met during the sale process.

  7. Buyer Considerations: When selling a family business, it is essential to consider the buyer's intentions for the business. If the buyer plans to make significant changes to the business, it can affect the family's legacy and reputation. It is crucial to consider buyers who align with the business's values and vision.

  8. Confidentiality: Confidentiality can be more challenging to maintain when selling a family business. Family members and employees may have close relationships with the business and its stakeholders, and it is crucial to ensure that confidential information is protected during the sale process.

Selling a family business can be very complicated, but with proper planning and guidance, it can be a successful transaction that benefits all stakeholders. It is crucial to work with a team of professionals, including a business appraiser, a tax professional, a solicitor and a business broker, to ensure a smooth and successful transaction.

In conclusion, the process of selling a family business is different from selling a non-family business due to the emotional ties, family dynamics, legal and tax considerations, and confidentiality concerns. It is essential to have a plan in place and seek professional guidance to ensure a successful sale transaction.

If you are considering selling your family business, please feel free to contact us today and ask for Marie Kenny or George Skelton. We would be more than happy to help. 

Contact Us