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How to Buy or Sell a Business


Questions You Should Ask 

and How to Get the Best Price


By: Don Lunny








The decision to buy or sell a business requires careful consideration of the many factors involved. If you are a seller, these factors include preparing your business for sale and finding buyers. If you are a buyer, they include Due Diligence, pricing and financing your purchase.

Every day ownership of thousands of small businesses change hands. How do the people involved - the buyers and sellers - go about it? The decision to buy or to sell a business is a crucial one; one that may affect the course of their future lives. Yet a surprising number of them rush into transactions without adequate preparation. They arrive at their decisions guided more by emotion than by logic. While there is no guarantee of success, there is a guarantee of failure, if, at first, you fail to do your homework.


Buying or selling is a complicated matter. There are problems of setting the price, finding prospects, evaluating offers and closing deals in a safe, legal and fair manner. There are pitfalls all along the way especially for the buyer.


This book raises some important questions relating to the process of buying or selling a small business. It is directed especially to the person interested in buying or selling a single proprietorship. However, it may be of interest as well to those concerned with partnerships or changes in corporate ownership.



Author, Donald Lunny, has many years of experience both in running his own business and as a business consultant. In these capacities he has been involved with the purchase and sale of many businesses and he tells you what questions you should ask and how to get the best price.





PART - I Buying a small business

I Determining the type of business

II Finding available opportunities

III Evaluating the opportunity

Buyer investigation guidelines

a) company profile

b) management audit

c) reasons for selling

d) profit, sales, expenses operating ratios

e) assets of the business

f) liabilities

g) other evaluation factors

Due Diligence

IV Handling the final transaction

financial/money considerations

Purchaser's Things-to-Do Checklist

information requirements

why deals fail

negotiation game plan

"Case Study"

1. opening

2. in process

3. closing

The Business Synergy Planning Process

Selling a business

I Making the decision to sell

II Preparing the business for sale

III Making the offer known

IV Handling buyers and closing the transaction

V Arriving at a selling price

VI Pricing the business

VII Seller precautions




Asking the right questions of employees who will remain with the firm

Memorandum of Agreement


Buy/Sell Interim Agreement



How to Buy or Sell a Business: Questions You Should Ask and How to Get the Best Price by: Don Lunny; 134 pages; ISBN 978-1-896210-98-8; softcover; published in 1999; Canadian $24.95.   


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