Attorney Fred Steingold practiced law for over 40 years in Ann Arbor Michigan, where he was well known and highly regarded by the local legal community. Fred wrote and updated several best-selling titles for Nolo, including Legal Guide for Starting & Running a Small Business, Nolo's Guide to Single-Member LLCs, and The Employer's Legal Handbook. Fred passed away in 2017. His work has been carried on by Nolo's team of editors.
Articles By Fred S. Steingold
Just as a builder uses a blueprint to ensure that a building will be structurally sound, the process of creating and writing a "blueprint" for your business -- called a business plan -- will help you determine whether your business will be strong from the start. Without a business plan, you leave far too many things to chance. Even if you won't seek outside financing, creating financial forecasts for your business is indispensable.
Unlike a lender -- who temporarily provides you with money to operate your business -- equity investors actually buy a piece of your business. For better or worse, they become your co-owners and share in the fortunes and misfortunes of your business. Before you undertake such an enterprise, learn about the pros and cons of raising money through equity investors and the different forms this equity investment can take.
Before you buy a business, do some due diligence.
A promissory note sets out the repayment terms when you borrow money. If you borrow start-up cash for your business from a commercial lender, the lender will require you to sign a promissory note. You should also use a promissory note when borrowing money from a friend or relative. There are several different ways to structure repayment. Learn about them all so you can choose the one that's right for your business.
Learn about the business buyer's payment options, such as installment or lump-sum payments.
The three most important things you can do to sell your business successfully are to determine a realistic price range for your business, understand the tax consequences of the sale and how to structure the sale best to benefit you, and to prepare your company for sale in a way that makes the business financially attractive. If you are thinking of selling, consider the practical steps in this article for making the process go smoothly.