Steps for a Successful Closing

by Feb 3, 2024

The closing is a pivotal moment in the history of a business as it marks the formal transfer of a business from one party to the next. Behind every successful closing is months of focus and hard work. Simply stated, a successful closing doesn’t just happen, but is instead the byproduct of extensive negotiations. 

One key document to utilize in the closing process is the Purchase and Sales Agreement. There are four key aspects to this document. 

  1. First are the terms of the agreement, which typically cover the price as well as detailed terms on how the business is to be paid. In the Purchase and Sales Agreement, you will find the status of any management that will be staying with the business. 
  2. This document also should contain conditions and covenants which include non-competes as well as agreements on what to do and what not to do moving forward. 
  3. Any good Purchase and Sales Agreement will, of course, include a description of the transaction. In other words, is the transaction a stock or asset sale? 
  4. Finally, the agreement will cover representations and warranties. This is typically negotiated after the Letter of Intent is agreed upon. In short, the warranties will provide that everything is as it has been represented.

Now, let’s look at the four key steps that are a must before the sale of a business can close. 

  1. Topping the list, is that the seller must provide satisfactory evidence that they have the full legal right to act on the behalf of the selling company. Additionally, the seller must show evidence that they have full legal authority to sell the business. 
  2. Secondly, all representations and warranties must be in place. Importantly, this will also include clearly stated remedies that are available to the buyer in the case of a seller’s breach. 
  3. Third, the buyer’s representative should have completed the due diligence process. A key part of the due diligence process is that any claims and representations made by the seller have been clearly substantiated and addressed. 
  4. Last, but certainly not least, necessary financing should have been secured. A critical part of the process is that all of the proper paperwork, as well as the appropriate liens, should be in place, as no funds can be released until these conditions have been met.

It is also important to note that there are two significant elements of closing that will take place simultaneously. 

  1. The first is the corporate closing which is the actual transfer of the corporate stock or assets. This step is based on the provisions set forth in the Purchase and Sales Agreement. All the paperwork that was carefully laid out in the Purchase and Sales Agreement has been completed. 
  2. The second major element is the financial closing. In the financial closing all the paperwork, as well as the legal documents needed to provide funding have successfully been executed.

While there is no doubt that closing is a joyous time, it is also vital to remember that the period leading up to closing is the time to have a laser-like focus. This is the most important time to avoid mistakes. Working with a business broker or M&A advisor can dramatically reduce your chances of experiencing mistakes during the all-important closing process.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

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