Company for sale: When is the right time to sell the company?

From: Marco Stricker

Head of Corporate Finance, Co-Head of Mergers & Acquisitions Prokurist

The decision to sell your own company is not easy for most people. There is a lot to consider, and the process is a very complex one. Selling a company requires thorough and careful planning. The question of “when” should also be considered in this planning. In this article we will give you useful hints and tips.


    Factors that can influence the timing of the sale

    Do you want to sell your company? How long have you been thinking about it? In many cases, this consideration is put off for the time being. After all, selling your company often means parting with your life’s work. Our advice right at the beginning: Think about it early on. Timely preparation will make many things easier for you. You should also bear in mind that the sales process can last many months. Plan this time into your considerations as well.

    As an entrepreneur, you will have put a lot of energy and heart and soul into your company, so the sale – and the optimal time for it – should be well thought through. Because there are several factors that can influence this time.

    Current company situation:

    Many people play with the idea of selling the company when it is not running optimally at the moment. However, if a company is in a healthy and fast-growing condition, it becomes much more attractive to prospective buyers.

    General market conditions:

    Remain vigilant and watch the market. A sale should be sought at times when potential buying interest is likely to be higher.

    Personal circumstances:
    Personal circumstances can also influence the timing of the sale. Are you planning to retire and look for a successor? Or do you possibly have other professional plans? At best, start this planning as soon as possible.

    When it may be too late to sell your company?

    Uncertainty about the time after the sale of the company or the hope that long-time employees or family members might take over the company after all are often possible factors that lead to a postponement of the sale date. In addition, the sale is often a very emotional topic that people are simply reluctant to tackle. If the question arises as to how the company is to continue because it is currently doing anything but well, it is very likely that a sale will be rather unattractive or that the sales price will be relatively low. “Leave when it’s best” – this makes perfect sense when planning to sell a company. It should generate a satisfactory return and move towards a secure future for the (existing) employees. Seeking outside advice on the timing of the sale is highly recommended.

    So that nothing goes wrong: Tips for planning the sale in good time

    Your goal should be to look back on your life’s work with satisfaction.

    • Think about it early on.
    • Plan in time.
    • Rely on professional support.

    Take the time to write down your wishes and goals, whether financial or time related. What do you want to happen to your employees? What would the ideal succession look like? What would be a realistic selling price? Once you have defined these goals for yourself, you create an initial basis for the rest of the plan.

    On this basis, a corresponding sales strategy can be created in the next step and the search for a suitable successor can be tackled. There are many things to consider here. Selling a company is a complex process. Especially if you have managed your company successfully so far, you should make sure that the sale will also be a success. An experienced M&A advisor can help you here.

    For more tips on selling your company, check out our blog post on the subject.


    The sale of a company requires careful planning, considering various factors, in order to determine the optimal time for the sale. Early preparation is advisable and helpful, as the sales process often lasts several months. Waiting too long can result in less favorable sales conditions, making it increasingly difficult to find potential buyers or to achieve an attractive sales price.

    Do you need assistance in determining the right timing?

    Are you facing the challenge of selling your company and do not know exactly how to approach this project? We would be happy to assist you. We have been active in the field of M&A advisory for over 20 years and can therefore support you with the necessary experience, know-how and a broad network of experts. Make an appointment for a first personal meeting, we are looking forward to hearing from you.


    Marco Stricker

    Head of Corporate Finance, Co-Head of Mergers & Acquisitions Prokurist