Most entrepreneurs plan to sell business

A quarter plan to sell their company to family

The majority of business owners prefer to sell and collect equity on their companies when the time is right to move on, according to a survey of entrepreneurs.

Research by Lancashire accountancy and business advisory firm Moore and Smalley has found that some 51% of those who start their own businesses say that their strategy is to sell their company to the highest bidder.

Moore and Smalley’s study of business exit strategies also found that among those whose strategy is to sell, nearly a quarter plan to pass their business on to a family member.

Meanwhile, 14% claimed they will carry on working until they die

Some 12%, however, admitted they have no formal exit strategy in place.

“It is very common for business owners to build up their business with a view to selling it on, but there are still too many companies which don’t have a formal exit strategy in place,” said Jon Armitage, head of corporate finance at Moore and Smalley. “This can have a number of consequences. Ultimately, a rushed process can often mean that businesses are sold for far less than they are really worth, and for an owner manager who has given the bulk of their life building an enterprise up, it can make them thousands, or in some cases, millions, of pounds worse off.”

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