There is no escaping that things in business are hard right now, it seems as if almost every week at the moment there is another big name high street store closing, or being sold, or going into administration. Things are no easier for the smaller business owners either, and it maybe that you are considering selling your business.

There are certain legal obligations that you as a business owner need to consider when doing this, most of these relate to your responsibilities to your staff (if you have any) and your Tax obligations. The obligations you have to meet will vary depending on your trading status, and will differ if you are a sole trader, in a business partnership, or are part of a limited company. If you are unsure what your legal obligations are then it is best to check this out either with a business advisor, or direct with the HMRC – you can also find information on the website.

It is important when you make the decision to sell your business that you make it clear to all your staff that you are intending to sell your business, when it is likely to be happening and why you are selling it. You must also ensure that you inform them properly about what will happen to their jobs, will they get redundancy (and if so what are the terms) or will they be offered relocation packages? You must make sure that in doing this, you do not break any employee’s rights during the change of ownership of your business.

It is a good idea to enlist the help of your business solicitor so they can give you the correct legal advice on every stage of selling your business, from the wording of the contracts/agreements to make sure that it is clear in the documentation of what exactly is for sale, and to protect your investment and the proceeds of the sale.

It may also make the process smoother if you hire a specialist company to oversee the sale of your business, when talking to them it would be worth while checking with them what business valuation training they have, and what experience they have. Don’t be afraid to shop around to find the best company suited to your individual needs.