Selling a business for an optimum sale price requires methodical preparation and a competent business broker for your business type.

Whether the business you are selling is a retail shop, a professional service, a hospitality business, trades business or selling products to industries, the preparation required is similar.

Finding the right business broker and company is often stressful and time consuming but there is free help available for New Zealanders selling a business.

Success is where preparation and opportunity meet


As part of your business sale, an Information Memorandum (IM) will need to be created for interested buyers.

This is part of the role of a licensed business broker / real estate agent. Before sharing your IM, real estate agents will require prospective purchasers to sign a confidentiality agreement.

The type of information needed for an Information Memorandum will include things such as:

1.  Your business purpose, strategy, features, benefits and opportunities that a buyer could further develop.
2.  Your customer profiles and staff overview
3.  Any building/land lease terms and agreements
4.  Profit and Loss Statements (last three years) provided by your accountant as evidence of projections, ROI, profit margins, stock on hand, product expiry dates/stock takes, purchasing and service contracts.
5.  List of business assets and depreciation schedules
6.  B2B contracts overview

The more information you provide to your business broker, the better they will represent it to buyers

Include An Overview of Financial Performance

Purchasers will want to understand your business's financial performance, assets and liabilities, depreciation and so on. 

For some business sellers this may be particularly worrying due to the downturn resulting from Covid, however people understand this is an issue for some industries and having the right business broker on board will be critical in helping you navigate this. If you have accounts prior to three years ago, have them at the ready too.

It is likely that interested parties will want an accountant to go over your financial performance figures for recent years. Their bank may also want to have this information if they are raising a bank loan.

This is all information that you should provide to your business broker at the outset so as to avoid any delays when a purchaser is ready to make the leap but doing their due diligence checks.


When selling a business, preparation is the area where you have the greatest level of control and choosing the right real estate broker who is a good fit for you and your business is imperative.

Your choice of real estate broker should be someone who really ‘gets’ your business, possesses the tact and experience fundamental for selling it and the negotiation capability and creative thinking that will achieve the result you need.

Buyers will each have a different perspective about how they would operate the business or parts of. Therefore your broker must be a big picture thinker with the experience to solve challenges by creating solutions.

When signing an agency agreement, it can roll into several months so having a good relationship is fundamental. Choosing the right real estate agent at the outset is vital to avoid having to relist down the track.

A business broker requires a great deal more time and skill than a residential real estate agent. Strategic thinking, innovative brokers will need to promotion your business listing by targeting buyers for your industry and price range. 

We can vet and shortlist business brokers for your business type and location. We've been doing so for 12+ years - a genuine free service for Kiwis.


Real Estate agents have a fiduciary duty to potential purchasers. This means that they must not mislead, provide false information, nor withhold information that a purchaser should be made aware of.

Your role is to help with this. Making a list of attributes is a good thing as it will act as a prompt for the business broker you select.

You should also note things that should be disclosed such as:

  • any potential hurdles to a sale, such as family trusts or other financial impediments.
  • easements, such as shared rights-of-way, shared water systems, access for power lines, etc.
  • areas that may be contaminated, such as asbestos cladding.
  • a list of all buildings and structures. This would include the offices, workshops, storage areas, etc.

Understand that there are as many reasons for selling a business as there are for someone to buy a business and all will have their separate motivations. Be prepared to listen and discuss. Expect to have to negotiate. And remember, success is where preparation and opportunity meet.

Agent Finder NZ has vetted property agents for 12+ years, all at no cost to New Zealand vendors. We will help ensure that you get matched to proven property experts specific to your sales needs.

Call us on 0800 789 532 about preparing to sell your business or send an inquiry

Article updated October 20, 2022 by Trish Willis | Member of Property Institute of NZ (IPAC)

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