• Meet the author


    Eric R. Voth

    Like you, I have experience as an independent business owner.

    During the course of my career, I’ve been personally undertaken …

    • The startup of 10 independent businesses.

    • The purchase of five independent businesses.

    • The sale of five independent companies (two of which were actually mergers).

    • The startup of four franchise operations.

    • The loss of my investment in four independent businesses that were unsuccessful.

    These experiences allow me the unique perspective of being able to empathize with you as you contemplate the sale of your company. I’m familiar with the mix of feelings and emotions that sometimes accompany such thoughts. I’ve had them myself.

    This introduction is designed to acquaint you with my background as an “in-the-trenches” business owner. Perhaps you can identify with some of my experiences.

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    Confidentiality matters

    As you prepare to sell your business, you will be gathering and processing a great deal of information about your business, including some very sensitive information that could be ruinous if it fell into the wrong hands. For this and other reasons, you need to have a team of advisors that you can fully trust and who can protect the confidentiality of your business transactions. How to Sell Your Privately Owned Company helps you define your needs and fulfill them:

    With all advisors you choose, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve selected ones whom you can trust and respect – ones you are comfortable working with and who are comfortable working with each other.  You need to make a subjective judgment that the “chemistry” between you and each of them is “right.” Most deals of your size may take up to a year to complete, so you want to make certain that there is a mutual level of comfort and a key goal shared by all the players.

    You’ll also want to discuss the subject of confidentiality with all of your outside resources, especially your intermediary. Because he will be contacting many companies (and giving them financial details about your business), you will need to know how he plans to contact prospective buyers and still maintain your confidentiality.

    At some point in the process, a prospective buyer will be asked to sign a Confidentiality Agreement or a Non-Disclosure Agreement. These can be written very simply or in tedious detail. The choice is yours. Your intermediary probably has one that will serve your purposes.

    Copyright © MMIX by ERV Productions Inc. All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a data base or retrieval system, without prior written permission of the publisher.

    Eric R. Voth has been a successful business owner and seller since the 1970s. Among other enterprises, he is currently owner of ERV Productions Inc., and author of How to Sell Your Privately Owned Company.


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