16 Oct 2020 12:31 PM

The COVID 19 pandemic has put many business plans into disarray or on hold. There’s a perception that given the current economic uncertainly, now may not be a good time to sell your business. On the other hand, some owner-manager shareholders have had a sample of what retirement could potentially look like for them during lockdown and decided it is not all bad! Combine that with the fact some of them do not want to go through the economic recovery at this stage in their business life has made them think out potential exits.

There are several reasons why I think now could be a good time to sell your business:

  • Private equity investors have lots of cash burning a hole – they are very keen to invest in quality businesses;
  • There is still appetite from overseas businesses wanting to establish themselves in the UK and favourable exchange rates mean they can pay more than a domestic acquirer for the same business;
  • Tax considerations – capital gains tax is widely tipped to go up and potentially match income tax rates in the future. At present Business Asset Disposal Relief (formerly known as Entrepreneurs’ Relief) is still available, which means lifetime gains of up to £1m are taxed at 10%, and the balance at capital gains tax rate, currently 20%. This is looking attractive for many vendors as the money saved potentially in tax could represent years more of hard work to generate the same amount of cash!

Deals will generally take longer as acquirers are doing much more extensive due diligence. Good, robust, well run and profitable business will however have nothing to fear.

In conclusion, if you are thinking of selling your business but don’t think you will get the best value now, it may be time to re-think or speak to your business advisers. The conditions may not be suitable for all types of businesses to sell, but on the other hand, the facts certainly seem to be pointing towards now being a great time for many business owners to consider the option.

If you would like to know more, why not register for our webinar to find out more about the steps your need to consider when selling a business? 

Our corporate finance team specialise in working with business owners, helping them prepare and sell their business, ensuring they maximise the value of their business at sale. If you would like to speak to someone about your options please do get in touch.