Running, closing, and selling a business is a mixed bag of milestones for any entrepreneur. It's an exciting time, but it also comes with many legal and financial considerations. To ensure a smooth transition and avoid costly mistakes, entrepreneurs should know the key steps to take when closing, running, or selling a business. This article offers seven tips for closing, running, or selling a business from legal and financial perspectives. 


1. Understand Your Legal Obligations When Closing or Selling Your Business:

When you decide to close or sell your business, you may have several legal and financial obligations. You must understand these obligations to manage the process and minimize potential risks properly. By understanding your legal and financial obligations when closing or selling your business, you can protect yourself from potential liabilities and ensure that all parties involved receive their fair share of the proceeds 

First, it's important to understand any applicable state laws governing a business's dissolving. You may realize that dissolving an LLC in New York is a much different process than dissolving in California. It's also important to understand any applicable contracts and other agreements related to the business that may need to be terminated when closing or selling. Depending on the type of business entity, there may be specific filing requirements for dissolving the entity. For example, the dissolution of an LLC in New York may require certain documents to be filed with the Secretary of State. These must be completed to dissolve the entity properly.

You'll also want to ensure you know of any tax obligations related to closing or selling the business. Depending on your business, you may have federal and state taxes due upon liquidating the company's assets. Additionally, you may need to pay off any outstanding debts before distributing proceeds from a business sale. 

Finally, all parties involved must receive their fair share of proceeds when closing or selling a business. Have an experienced lawyer review all documents and contracts before signing them so that you can be sure that all parties are treated fairly.  


2. Consider Your Business Structure

The structure of your business will affect how you close or sell it. For example, if you are a sole proprietor, there may be fewer legal requirements than if you own a corporation or LLC. Understanding the different types of business structures can help you determine which is right for your particular situation and how to close or sell it accordingly.

3. Understand Employee Benefits and Laws

When closing or selling a business, there may be certain employee benefits that must be honored for the transaction to proceed. This could include vacation pay, severance payments, and other entitlements. It is important to understand your legal obligations regarding employee benefits and be sure to comply with all applicable laws. 


4. Speak With an Attorney

When closing or selling a business, it’s important to speak with an attorney who can advise you on the best course of action. An experienced attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected throughout the process, assist with filing the necessary paperwork, and answer any additional questions you may have regarding the legal aspects of closing or selling a business. 

5. Research Potential Buyers

If you’re considering selling your business, it’s important to research potential buyers first. Finding the right buyer is key to getting the best price for your business and ensuring a smooth sale process. Consider working with a business broker who can help you identify potential buyers and negotiate the terms of the sale. 


6. Get Professional Financial Advice

It’s also important to seek professional advice from an accountant or financial advisor when closing or selling a business. They can help you understand what taxes are owed, determine the value of your assets and liabilities, and offer guidance on any other financial issues related to closing or selling your business. 


7. Seek Help from Other Professionals

Depending on the size and complexity of your business, it may be beneficial to seek help from other professionals, such as an IT specialist to assist with the transfer of data or a real estate agent to help with the sale of any physical property. Having a team of professionals by your side can make the process of closing or selling a business much smoother. 


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Closing, running, and selling a business is an exciting but complex process that requires careful consideration from both legal and financial perspectives. Understanding your legal obligations, researching potential buyers, and obtaining professional advice are all important steps to take when closing or selling a business. By following these seven tips, you can ensure that the transition goes as smoothly as possible.