Confidentiality

Maintaining Confidentiality

It is virtually impossible for a business owner to maintain confidentiality when selling independently given the natural inclination to share information and speak freely about the business they’ve built.

Information should be provided in stages, and more sensitive matters do not need to be shared with potential buyers until well advanced in the process. Experienced buyers often attempt to exploit the absence of a qualified advisor by requesting more information than they should be entitled to see without proper qualification.

Agreements

Ensure confidentiality agreements are in place prior to any substantive conversation

Staging

Stage information out to buyer prospects in order to limit the release of confidential data

Qualify

Qualify buyers prior to the disclosure of deeper information

Arms Length

Maintain an arms-length distance between buyer and seller

Critical Elements

It is imperative to maintain confidentiality throughout the sale process and to take measures that will guard against competitors, employees, vendors and customers learning of an impending sale. These measures include well written Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements; generalized, nondescript marketing and educational documents, as well as thorough buyer identification and qualification procedures.