Seller beware! Business owners and regulators have found that scam artists use these types of transactions to strip value from companies, pulling out cash, and leaving the seller with a fistful of worthless stock. Within days of closing the sale, the buyer factors (sells) the receivables for cash, runs up company credit cards, sells off inventory, and empties cash accounts. The firm’s creditors don’t get paid. Your formerly prosperous business becomes an empty shell.
How can you avoid these types of scams when selling your business? Here are a few suggestions.
Perform an extensive background check on any potential buyer, including a review of the person’s credit reports, litigation history, tax liens, and so forth. A skilled attorney can often help with this research.
Beware of sales that go too smoothly. Legitimate buyers will perform due diligence, asking tough questions, inspecting financial records, and calling customers and vendors. If the buyer wants to close the sale in a hurry and doesn’t seem interested in the firm’s ongoing prospects, beware!