Negotiating Business Deals/Selling a business


QUESTION: Hello and thank you in advance for answering my question.
I just got word today that the company I work for may sell. But, it is not a total shock because I was aware that if (someday) someone ever actually put that offer out there they would take it but for several years the economy has been bad and no one biting.

But, things have improved. My question is what is the standard amount of time it takes to sell a company? I suppose there may be several variables? We are in AZ and I cannot say exactly what kind of company it is but it's a company of about 50 or less employees and it's a Media type of company. I was wondering if an offer is accepted how long after that till we are axed? Most of these companies don't keep the old employees. I have no knowledge of business sales and wondered if it's like buying a house...has to go in to escrow etc. I just wondered if you could shed some light on that procedure of time and biz selling. Please and thank you!


You're asking a million dollar question :-). If the buyer is already identified and terms of sale are negotiated, it usually takes no longer than 1-2 months to close the deal. Most of the time business sale transactions are processed through escrow. However, it varies from state to state.

However, if the negotiation is still in progress, it may take much longer - 6 months would be a good estimate.

I hope it answers your question.

Good luck,
Jacob Berenfeld

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello and thank you for the quick response. I know it's vague sorry. Well, the word is that they got an offer and they are thinking about it...Likely will say yes is my gut feeling.

It may be closer to 4-6 months. It takes time to negotiate all terms. However, it may be done much faster if either side is pressed to sell or buy quickly and ready to make concessions. I can't be more specific without knowing the details.

Jacob Berenfeld

Negotiating Business Deals

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Jacob Berenfeld


Selling a small business, buying a small business, preparing business for sale, small business appraisal (valuation), exit strategy planning, business coaching.


I am a business broker with over ten years of experience helping small business owners to sell their businesses. I am a small business owner myself, managing partner with Global Business Group - California business brokerage firm.

BIR Business Brokers Network

You can see my articles at Small Business Blog, You can also read my discussions and answers on

MS in Electronics, licensed California business broker.

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