Thinking of Selling your Business?
If you’re reading this, chances are you are either selling (or thinking about selling) an online business. Whether you have a blog, SaaS product, niche website, Amazon affiliate site, service business, digital product, e-commerce business – as long as it is primarily based online, chances are we have sold something similar. We sold over 400 online businesses with over $60 million in combined value and leverage that experience to get your business sold, too.
Here are some interviews with past clients to help you understand what it is like to work with us:
- Successful Website Sale: The Seven Figure Listing Interview
- How an Entrepreneur in His 20’s Built and Sold Two Online Businesses
- Six Figure Online Business Sale for Family Man: How to Get Niche Quick
At FE International, we make the sales process as stress-free and simple as possible and one of the best website brokers around. We have an entrepreneurial culture and we know how important your business is to you and the importance of finding a buyer who is a good fit. Some of the reasons clients choose to work with us:
- We complete more 5-7 figure deals than any other broker in the industry.
- We are constantly improving sales prices. Our 2015 average was nearly 3x annual profit/SDE (or 36x monthly if you prefer).
- Deals are private. We don’t disclose your URL or other business details to buyers without passing our stringent vetting process a NDA on file.
- We have a truly global base, with offices in two locations: Boston, USA and London, UK. Our international coverage gives us more opportunities to sell your business.
Our clients are always happy.
How Does the Process Work?
We follow a tried and tested process for all deals at FE International. Our process has been built with one thing in mind: minimising your time commitment whilst maximising final sales price of your business.
The process can be broken down into 6 easy steps and below is a short overview of each:
Assessment and Valuation
At this stage we get to know more about you, your business and your goals for a sale. We will ask questions about your business to determine an accurate valuation and the best time to sell. Valuation is a complex topic and is not as simple as “annual profit x 2”. Our valuations are not based on theory, they are based on data from real sales we have completed over the past 5 years. We will let you know what your business is worth and how long we expect it will take to sell.
If you want to learn more about valuation and factors we consider, read this post and get in touch. Everything at this stage is absolutely free of charge with no obligation to work with us. If you don’t want to sell now or we don’t think it is the right time – we will work on an exit plan with you to ensure value is maximised for a future sale.
If you do decide to work with us, we get a representation agreement signed with you which outlines our commission (varies depending on business size) and exclusivity period. We do not charge any upfront listing fees and only get paid when the deal completes. Our brokerage fee covers:
- Preparing sales materials and initial due diligence
- A dedicated broker to communicate with and a whole team dedicated to your sale
- All advertising costs related to the sale/finding buyers
- All negotiation direct with the buyer
- Drafting the Letter of Intent (the formal offer from a vetted buyer)
- Facilitation of due diligence through our secure deal room
- Asset purchase agreement drafting
- Setup of escrow handover and transition facilitation
Our sales materials are the best in the industry. We prepare a detailed prospectus for buyers that covers everything they need to know to make an informed offer on your business. This is usually 25-35 pages depending on the size and complexity of the business.
When preparing for the sale, we may ask for the following from you:
- A monthly profit and loss/income statement for at least the last 12 months
- Detailed answers to questions about your business
- Google Analytics access
- Supporting documentation for business and financial claims
Our upfront preparation is very detailed and ensures your business is best positioned for a successful sale.
Marketing Your Business For Sale
At this stage our marketing and brokerage team work together to identify and speak to suitable buyers for your business. We have thousands of existing buyers looking for businesses to buy every day. On top of the buyers already in our database, we invest into marketing your business (whilst retaining privacy) elsewhere.
Our brokers will deal directly with buyers on your behalf, answering questions, making calls and starting offer negotiations. At this stage, there may also be more questions for you to answer facilitated by our brokers to make the process as hands off as possible for you.
Once we have discussed the business with all potential buyers, we will begin to narrow down to the most serious of prospects and work on getting offers from multiple parties. At this stage, you may be required to join conference calls with the buyer and your FE International broker to discuss the sale.
We do all negotiation on your behalf and will advise on appropriate offer structures, but buyers often like to speak to the seller directly to feel comfortable with the purchase. This is hosted through your dedicated broker.
Once an offer has been negotiated and the best buyer identified, a formal Letter of Intent (LOI) will be prepared by the broker/buyer. This outlines the term of the offer and sets the timeline for due diligence and closing.
Due diligence is an essential part of every business sale and ensures the buyer is comfortable with the business and claims made. It can sound like a scary process, but its purpose is actually very simple, especially with an experienced broker on your side.
This process will vary depending on the buyer’s requirements (outlined in the LOI) and the complexity of the business but usually covers these 6 areas:
- Due Diligence
The due diligence process will be overseen by FE International through our secure deal room – we are always on hand to advise what is reasonable to expect in the process. Having verified much of the due diligence items ahead of a sale, we have a 95% sale success rate.
Simultaneously, we will also start drafting the Asset Purchase Agreement (APA). To learn more about what buyers may look for, check out our post on advanced due diligence.
At this stage in the process, the buyer has been identified, the offer structure agreed and due diligence completed. In the majority of cases, FE International will draft the APA on your behalf which forms the legal basis of the deal, but we also advise having your own attorney/lawyer review the agreement, too.
Once the contract and terms are agreed with the buyer and seller, contract is signed by both parties (facilitated by FE International) the deal moves into escrow ahead of the transfer. We use Escrow.com (more about their process here) to keep all parties safe and secure.
Throughout the transfer process, we will be around to help and ensure it all goes smoothly. Once everything has been transferred (per the APA) and the buyer is happy, funds will be released to you (this is when we get paid) and the deal is done. Congratulations!
If you would like to sell your business with us, please complete this short form.