Selling a business is not a standardised process – but there are a number of useful guidelines.

Timing is important – start planning well in advance. Talk to your accountant, solicitor and an agent. Make any changes to the business and its assets which will enhance the saleability and value – but do not do anything which will make it more difficult to sell. Arrange with your accountant to have the accounts produced, in the right format for a sale, very quickly after your financial year end and put the business on the market while it is freshly prepared for a sale – not unlike getting your car serviced and valeted before selling it!

One of the most important questions is – “How much am I likely to get for the business?” No one can tell you for certain but getting the right advice may be critical. If you use the right valuer, that advice might be “Don’t try to sell now” or “Don’t try to sell as a going concern”. We will always tell you the truth as we see it and give you the appropriate advice. We will recommend a pricing and marketing policy to achieve a sale on the best terms.

  • We will agree with you the degree of confidentiality required.
  • We are very active in our marketing and will continue to promote your business until it sells. Despite this, we do NOT ask for a marketing budget from you.
  • We will regularly communicate with you to advise what is happening and to discuss with you the way forward.
  • We will negotiate with imagination to achieve a successful sale. We do not merely pass on offers.
  • When a sale is agreed we will monitor progress so that we can act quickly if a problem should arise. A sale has not been achieved until it has been completed.
  • We provide all vendor clients with a booklet offering valuable tips to help them improve the chances of selling their business.

Have a look at our recommended service providers to assist with selling your business.

How we handle the sale of your business

If you instruct us to sell your business we will immediately send sales particulars to all of our registered buyers who are known to be looking for a business like yours. However, this will be just the first step in our search for a buyer for your business as you will see below.

The following activities are undertaken without limit in terms of time or cost to us in order to find a buyer for your business. Items 5 and 6 are only conducted by agreement with you where circumstances are appropriate:-

1. Business List

Your business will be included in our list of businesses on this website and issued in paper form when requested. It is therefore seen by all new enquirers, associate offices and intermediaries. Naturally, the specifics of your entry will be agreed with you prior to publication.

2. Database of Registered Buyers

We typically have around 8,000 people throughout the U.K. and abroad looking for a business. Details of your business will be sent to those who have registered a specific interest in your type of business. We will also send details to those who may not have registered a specific requirement but who may have expressed an interest in other businesses which may share some similar characteristics with yours.

3. The Internet

In addition to our own website your business will be featured on other websites, which may vary from time to time and in some cases for temporary periods of time but will include the two main sites for the sale of businesses in the U.K.

4. Press Advertising

We advertise in regional and national newspapers at our own expense. We may also agree to advertise your business in specialist publications which we do not normally use but reserve the right to charge you for such advertising.

5. Press Releases

If we have agreed this with you, we will issue a press release to selected publications to announce the availability of your business for sale. As this is not ‘paid for’ advertising we cannot, of course, guarantee that the publications will use the story or how they may use it. However, its great value is that it reaches people that advertising does not reach.

6. Mailshots to Owners of Similar Businesses to Yours

Again, if we have agreed with you that this is appropriate, we are happy to contact businesses similar to yours to see whether they may be interested in expansion by acquisition. This would, of course, be done with appropriate discretion.

7. Associate Offices/Intermediaries

We have professional relationships with a wide range of other business transfer agents, commercial property agents, accountants, banks and solicitors who frequently have clients looking to buy a business. Details of businesses are regularly circulated to such people.

8. Reviews and Updates

Businesses are living, changing entities. It is essential that our details are kept up to date. Failure to do so is not only frustrating for an enquirer but it also it sends a signal that the business has been on the market for some time. We have a programme to regularly monitor and review with you what changes to your business details may need to be made.

Buyers Waiting

Business Categories

Registered Buyers


vehicle sales, hire, servicing, valeting, etc.


Building Services and Construction

security and maintenance services, scaffolding, fencing, etc.


Distribution and Wholesale

sales operations (not physical distribution – see below under Transport/Haulage).


Engineering and Industrial

processing, fabrication, extraction, reconditioning, etc.



nurseries, garden centres, gardening/landscaping, fruit & veg growers, etc.



tourist attractions, tour operators, caravan sales, cycle hire, sports & social clubs, etc.



boat yards, marinas, boat hire, brokerages, chandleries, marine engine sales/servicing, etc.



all types, from food products and clothing to equipment and machinery, etc.



investment property and development opportunities.


Specialist Retail

from builders merchants, trade counters, etc. to the more unusual trade types.



all types, from business and professional to business to agencies, hire, etc.


Transport and Haulage

physical distribution, couriers, freight forwarders, removals & storage.


We typically have around 8,000 registered buyers (individuals, partnerships and companies) looking for businesses in the areas of the market in which we specialise – mainly in the industrial, commercial and service sectors. Within these sectors the following examples show the numbers of interested buyers currently registered with us.

Please Note:

  • The list of business categories cannot, of course, be completely comprehensive – there are some very unusual, even unique businesses!
  • The individual category figures for ‘buyers waiting’ add to more than the total number of buyers registered due to multiple requirements on the part of some prospective buyers.
  • The figures shown are minimums for each category because many prospective buyers are not specific. They are looking for ideas or will consider propositions beyond the categories they list. For many people the business category is not their prime consideration – they may, for example, be more concerned about the level of profit, opportunity for expansion or other factors.

Contact us to discuss selling your business

Hear from our clients

"Thanks for all your support throughout. We could not have done it without you!"

Sam Money and Peter O'Connor, vendors of Space Roofs Ltd., 21st June 2023

Thank you very much for helping us with the purchase of Krystal Roks, we’re sorry we haven’t been in touch sooner but we have been up to our eyeballs! We appreciate all the effort you made on our behalf during the negotiations, we are very grateful that you helped us to achieve our goal in buying the business.

Angelo Lenarduzzi, purchaser of Krystal Roks, 10th January 2020

Felt confident that Charlie was looking after all parties interests.

Clive Tabiner, Purchaser of The Cherry Tree Cornwall, 29th January 2019

You provided all-encompassing professional marketing.

Mr. R. Sillence, vendor of electroplating business, 29th January 2019

You kept us informed all the way through.

Mr. J. Field, vendor of hard landscaping business, 29th January 2019

The best service aspects of your service were no up-front charges and good advice about sales procedure.

Mr. C. Smith, vendor of agricultural supplies business, 29th January 2019

You provided a professional approach and good service and the best aspect was the continuity with Charlie and regular feedback.

Mr. L. Norris, vendor of commercial laundry, 29th January 2019

I received personal attention by Roger and Charlie. I was surprised how quickly the business sold. Obviously your marketing works.

Mr. J. Wheeler, vendor of shop/office investment property, 29th January 2019

You have a professional approach and sold my business in relatively quick time.

Mr. C. Learmonth, Motorhome Hire business, 29th January 2019

You were professional and honest and gave constant feedback.

Mrs. C. Norrish, vendor of food and drink packaging business, 29th January 2019

Impressed by Roger’s meeting and taking time to understand our business – ‘old school’ professional with attention to detail.

Mr. & Mrs. Stead, Vendors of The Cherry Tree Cornwall, 22nd January 2019

I found Beardsley Theobalds to be approachable and professional whilst they attended to the sale of my business. Having initially secured the interest of several interested parties completion was achieved in a period of less than five months. Many thanks! It has been a pleasure doing business with you.

Mr. Rogers, Vendor of David Rogers Stock Valuers, 21st January 2019

Why Use Us?

  • Vast Experience in our specialist sectors
  • Valuation advice explained & discussed
  • Large register of active buyers
  • Close monitoring of the sale process
  • Introductions to specialist professionals
  • Businesses from around £50k to circa £5m
  • No sale – no fee
  • Comprehensive and accurate sales particulars
  • Help with choosing the right solicitor
  • Continuous marketing

What Vendors Say About Us

  • "I am writing to say many thanks for your representation in the sale of my business. The sale was handled professionally and efficiently with the asking price being exceeded! Unexpectedly, selling my business has been a pleasant experience and rest assured I’ll be telling others about your services. I look forward to working with you again in the future".
  • "Excellent service from director level and all staff".
  • "Thank you for all you and your colleagues have done to promote and sell our business. Because of the nature of the business we thought it would be a difficult challenge for you to find a buyer. We are very impressed by all the aspects of Beardsley Theobalds. From the initial on site interview with one of your directors who made selling the business as important to you as it was for us, to the young lady receptionist who dealt with our enquiries in a friendly most efficient manner. And to the sale negotiator who kept us informed with progress reports on a very regular basis. Thank you all very much. We certainly would recommend you to any buyer or seller for your committed, professional and personal approach to the transfer of any business".
  • Best aspect – "Professional monitoring of sales process".
  • "Professional/caring. Regular updates/contact v. on the ball".
  • Best aspect – "Your discretion and the way you follow up things".
  • Best aspect – "Communication"."Excellent service thank you very much".
  • "The level and quality of service provided was exemplary".
  • "You have done your job effectively & efficiently from beginning to end".
  • "We were most pleased with your regular contact and keeping us up to speed".
  • "You always do what you say to follow through on any problem or enquiry".
  • Best aspect – "The personal touch and being on the end of a phone when I wanted to talk to you. First class service and staff".
  • Best aspect – "High number of prospective purchasers".
  • "This was the second business sold, plus I bought a business via yourselves – very impressed each time".
  • "When you promised a comprehensive valuation and told me that you would explain exactly how you arrive at a sensible and realistic market price, you certainly meant what you said!".
  • "We fully appreciated your diplomacy and confidentiality when you met us to look at and value our business".
  • "You promised to regularly promote the sale of my business and continue to do this until a sale was achieved - I honestly didn't expect you to spend as much time and money in this endeavour as you clearly have".
  • "My wife and I were very impressed with the standard and level of personal service you provided - much more than we expected. Thank you".