Time to Polish the Rails and Get the Band Warmed Up!

January 23, 2024

After working on numerous deals, both for my own businesses and for my clients, one of the biggest hurdles is getting ready to either buy or sell.  Outside of annual tax returns and payroll records, many times I am confronted with a hodgepodge of financial, operating and governing documents for companies that are looking to acquire another business or getting ready to sell.  These three categories are what I call the “Big Three” of asks whether it is from a lender, a buyer or whoever is on the other side of the transactions.  Below are examples of what I am talking about:

  • Financial (at least three historical years and the year to date)
    • Annual, Quarterly and Monthly P&L, Balance Sheet and Cash Flow Statements
    • Monthly bank statements and reconciliations
    • Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable and Inventory
    • Client List w/ at least the revenue amount
    • Vendor List w/ the annual spend
    • Loans outstanding w/ lender information
    • Tangible and Intangible Asset List
  • Operational
    • Key contracts (typically where you have a commitment of at least a year)
    • Business locations w/ current leases
    • Employee lists w/ pay, executed agreements and benefits included
    • Any Company employee handbooks or operating manuals
  • Governing Documents
    • Formation documents
    • Annual and special meeting minutes
    • Company ownership w/ cap table
    • Fictitious name filings
    • Any foreign entity registrations in other states

These are just a few of the items that need to be prepared if you are looking to sell or you should be prepared to look for if you are buying a business.  Also, if you are on the buy side and looking to finance the acquisition, you should be prepared to provide as much detail about your financial background as possible.

If this seems overwhelming, I can assure you that working with professional business advisors (attorneys, accountants, financial advisors, business brokers) to get prepared will pay off when the “Big Party” starts and you ultimately execute on the transaction.

Below are some articles that may be helpful as well:

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”
Alexander Graham Bell

Here are a few other things that may be of interest:

As always, please don’t hesitate to email myself (, Andy Miller (, Christian Miller (, Erik Spurlin (, Brad Leber ( or anyone in our office with questions or comments. 

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