Selling Your WCO Business Part 5
This article is Selling Your WCO Business Part 5. These blogs were originally published as “Selling Your Company” Wildlife Control Technology Magazine Sept/Oct 1999. Disclaimer: Article for informational purposes and is not to replace good legal counsel.
Terms of Sale
This is the most difficult aspect of the whole sale. You must decide on whether you want all the money up front or whether you will take a note. Take some time to determine what the interest rate will be and the length of the loan. Payment schedule and penalties for late payment should also be listed. Programs like Quicken and Money have areas in their respective programs where you can amortize the loan. Just plug in the loan amount, interest rate and term of the loan and it will give you a print out of how much the monthly payments will be. Your lawyer should write up the loan agreement and register it with the state secretary. Registration of the loan is important as it makes the loan agreement official. If the buyer goes bankrupt, the date of your registration will be used to determine the priority of the loan versus other competing creditors.
You should also decide on whether you will continue to work for the new owner. Sometimes new owners want continuity until all the bugs get worked out. They will want to rely on your contacts, experience etc. before taking over completely. Make sure your obligations are clearly spelled out and what sort of compensation will be provided. As for myself, the new owner hired me for one calendar year from the date of purchase. We negotiated vacation time and pay.
Prepare for the Conversion Process
Once the business is sold, your work isn’t over. You will need to announce to all your business friends that your business number now belongs to someone else. This can be a difficult process. The new owner gets calls, at least once a week, from someone looking for me. Sales people looking for me to place an ad, etc. Learn from my mistake. Let people know as soon as possible about the business change so they can make appropriate corrections in their rolodex.
Tell the government your business no longer exists, if you were incorporated or pay payroll taxes. This is a frustrating process. Even though I dissolved my corporation, I still get letters and forms from the government regarding state payroll taxes, federal payroll taxes etc. Always fill out the forms. It will be easy, just a lot of zeros. But look for the box that says, “Final form”. Check this and hopefully some government worker will take the time to read it and take you off the list. The last form I filled out I wrote in large letters across the page, “Out of Business”. I pray they can see that.
Finally, make the emotional break. Even though the company was your baby, let it go. The new owner is now responsible. He/she will do things differently, some better, some worse. Try to let go and keep your mouth shut. You don’t want to undermine the new owner. In fact you should want him/her to be successful. That way they will have been happy to have bought.
About the Author
Stephen M. Vantassel is a Certified Wildlife Control Operator (CWCP®) who helps individuals, businesses, and agencies resolve wildlife damage issues through training, writing, expert witness, and research. His latest books are the Wildlife Damage Inspection Handbook, 3rd edition and The Practical Guide to the Control of Feral Cats. He can be contacted at wildlifecontrolconsultant at gmail dot com.
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