Sheehan & Associates, P.L.C.

Michigan sale of business: Acquisition concerns

When selling one's company, it is normal to have concerns. Working through the sale of business can be intimidating and stressful, which is understandable. It is only normal for a business owner, whether in Michigan or elsewhere, to want to make sure that he or she is getting the best deal possible when negotiating an acquisition.

Buyers and sellers obviously want to make sure their best interests are reflected during business deals. Both sides are likely to enter acquisition letters of intent which can, in a way, pre-negotiate the terms of a sale. These letters can be extremely detailed or very basic. These are known as long-form versus short -form letters of intent.

Both forms are likely to include information about price, timelines, exclusivity terms and confidentiality concerns -- among various other items. Long-term forms, though, are typically legally constructed and help to identify and resolve potential issues which can help save money down the line. However, some may feel this also drags out the process of a sale. A short-form letter, on the other hand, just covers basic terms, often making for faster negotiations -- initially.

There are good and bad things that can be said for the different letters of intent. At the end of the day, details do matter, and without specifics -- especially regarding exclusivity -- a seller may limit his or her ability to talk to multiple potential buyers. When negotiating the sale of business in Michigan, it is okay for a company owner to seek legal guidance to help ensure his or her best interests are being reflected, not only in an acquisition letter of intent, but in the final stages of a sale as well.

Source: Forbes, "How To Negotiate A Business Acquisition Letter Of Intent", Richard Harroch, July 30, 2015

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