How Long Does It Take to Sell a Company?

Length of the Sales Cycle

Historically, the average total time to sell a company is nine months. However, this varies from company to company, and generally takes longer in a challenging economic environment.

The initial step of preparing your business for sale usually takes four to eight weeks. During this time you'll be working with a business broker to help prepare materials to provide to prospective buyers.

Once the marketing materials are complete, we work to obtain a letter of intent, term sheet or other expression of interest from one or more qualified buyers. The length of time spent working with buyers can vary significantly, depending on the overall level of buyer interest in your company. 

Bear in mind that once you receive an offer in the form of a letter of intent, there is generally a due diligence period, which can last anywhere from three weeks to several months before closing. Many buyers may also require you to stay with the company post-sale for a transition period.

Other Frequently Asked Questions:

Who might buy my company?

How much is my business worth?

When is the best time to sell a company?

When should I tell employees about a potential sale?

What role does a business broker or investment banker play?

Will I need to stay on after the sale?

How is the economy impacting business sales?