Choose your country

Or view all businesses for sale


Sell Your Business

Finding an accountant when selling a business

Interview with...

Clive Lewis, Head of Enterprise for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
Topics covered:
Business valuation, selling a business, how accountants can help with business sales
business valuations, consulting for sellers and buyers
London, England

Clive Lewis, Head of Enterprise, on what the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales does...

"Enterprise looks at experiences that our members have in running businesses. We do research amongst them, and find out what's going on in the UK, and we then convey that into reports that we pass on to government and other stakeholders.

"That helps them form an impression about what's going right and what's going wrong."

On why you need an accountant...

"There are many issues around buying businesses, and you need to look at the assets, liabilities, turnover, and profit - all those financial issues. You need to have an expert opinion on whether the business is basically sound, and how much the business is worth as well.

"Owners of businesses tend to think their businesses are worth quite a bit more than an outside independent expert would value them. People have been known to inflate values of assets and to understand liabilities.

"It can be a potential minefield for people who are buying, and for those selling, it can be a big shock that a business you thought would be your pension doesn't sell. It can be a real problem for you.

"So you need outside help, to talk through the issues and make sure you are really considered in what you're trying to do."

On whether you need help when buying or selling...

"If you're buying you need an outside opinion. If you're selling, you probably need an accountant to help you with the sales process, getting your business ready for sale, preparing a sale memorandum, helping contact potential buyers, and you probably need help with the negotiations.

"Sometimes accountants will do that for you as well."

On finding the right accountant...

"Not every accountant will handle the purchase and sale of a business. So you therefore need to find out if your accountant has done that already.

"If they've only done it on a few occasions, or not at all, you probably need somebody who's a bit more of a specialist, who has done it before.

"Particularly if your business is a bit unusual, has lots of patents or trademarks that need valuing, and where there's more potential in the business, or if it's a much larger business. If your business has got national scale, you really need some outside expert help."

Ready to sell? You are just 10 minutes away from advertising your business to 1.3 million prospective buyers. Sell your business today.

Subscribe to our newsletter


Are you a Business Owner?

Set up your Private Seller Account and create your listing today

Get Started Here

Are you a Business Broker?

Set up your BrokerWeb Account and list multiple businesses

Get Started Here