Selling Your Business Because Of An Illness? Take These Steps To Protect Yourself

One of the many reasons that an individual may choose to sell his or her business is upon becoming ill. Maybe you have a terminal illness and want to liquidate your business for your family, or perhaps you expect to get better but don't envision being able to run the business in the interim. Should you choose to sell your business because of an illness, you want to keep your personal news confidential. Aggressive buyers may exploit your illness by offering significantly less than you're asking, simply because they estimate that you're eager to sell. The following is a list of steps that you can take to help you understand how to sell your business and protect yourself while you do so.

Divulge The News Only To Trusted Employees

Unless you've told your workforce that you're ill, you should plan to keep this news as private as possible. The more people you tell about your illness, the quicker the news can spread — and it's possible that a prospective buyer could learn this information and tailor his or her purchasing approach accordingly. Namely, by offering you less money. While it may be necessary to inform some of your staff about your condition, you should plan to only share this information with those whom you view as extremely trustworthy.

Avoid Social Media Posts

People are often in the habit of discussing their illnesses on social media, as the empathy that you get from your group of friends can be a comfort during this difficult time. It's best if you can avoid doing so, however, until you've finalized the sale of your business. As part of a prospective buyer's due diligence, he or she may search your name online — and will definitely browse your social media accounts, if possible. This can allow the prospective buyer to learn about your illness and respond by offering you less money for your business.

Avoid Telltale Signs At Your Place Of Work

It's possible that you'll continue to work while your business is on the market. In this case, you may get some visits from interested buyers who may wish to talk to you about the business. It's easy to mistakenly leave something that indicates your illness visible in your office, so you should endeavor to avoid doing so. For example, if you're meeting a prospective buyer in the afternoon and had a doctor's appointment in the morning, you don't want to leave some brochures entitled, "Understanding Cancer" on your desk where the buyer would see them.