Prepare yourself, anticipate as much as possible. This is the first advice given by Branka Berthoumieux, specialist in business transfer within the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris Île-de-France, to business leaders who will soon have to cease their activity.
“We must first ask ourselves: who do we want to pass the business on to? To a family member, an employee, a company, a natural person? We must then consider all the obstacles, on a legal, tax and financial level. Ask yourself if your business is interesting, if it is profitable. Think about all the possibilities, such as the Dutreil pact (mechanism facilitating business transfers) or the creation of a holding company…”
Jean-Luc Scemama, in charge of business valuation and transfer for the Order of Chartered Accountants, agrees: “You have to do it two years in advance. The business manager must at all costs be supported in his efforts by his lawyer, his accountant, a specialized advisor. »
Online platforms… or “hidden market” to explore
Prepare yourself, the advice is just as valid for candidates for taking over a business. “You have to familiarize yourself with the process, which is complex, even to buy a small business,” explains Branka Berthoumieux. There is a lot of formality, which requires calling on a lawyer or a specialist advisor. The amounts required for a takeover are greater than to create a company. »
To find the right fit, you must then consult the opportunity exchanges, these online platforms listing companies for sale. ” Must also be accompanied on the hidden market – all these companies whose managers do not officially declare themselves. The buyer can go and tap them on the shoulder. The Chamber of Commerce promotes this active research approach. »