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10 key steps to consider for avoiding a breach of confidentiality

  1. At some point in the selling process there will be a need for an advisor to visit your premises. However, in the first instance, we suggest that you have the first initial meeting away from your offices in a private meeting room.
  2. Make sure you set up a confidential email address – you do not want sensitive e-mails about selling your company going to your office. You might be the MD but you never know who has got access to your e-mail account. What happens if someone incorrectly spells your e-mail address wrong? Does it bounce back to your IT department?
  3. Be careful about leaving documents and folders out in your office or having advisors’ branded documents out on your desk if you are meeting at your office.
  4. Similarly, do not leave documents, advisors’ branded material, or even business cards lying around your car or home if you have visitors from whom you would want your intentions to remain hidden.
  5. Be careful whom you tell that you are thinking of selling.
  6. Be careful how you describe your meetings in you diary
  7. Be careful with your visitors’ book; an advisor who is concerned about confidentiality would not normally write their company name in your visitors’ book.
  8. Do not get defensive with your staff if they ask you if the company is for sale, Just respond with a smile, “All businesses are for sale if the price is right. Are you asking because you want to buy it?”
  9. During the process you may need to bring some key staff into your confidence. There are ways to handle this and the Entrepreneurs Hub can help you. We do not recommend the telling of cover-up stories as they may come back to bite you. Later on you will need their support. There are some very creative ways to reward and motivate them to work with you.
  10. Make sure you understand the approach and process your advisor is going to use to sell your company. It’s not a one-approach-fits-all scenario; some of the approaches that individual brokers are currently using can be very damaging to some types of businesses.


Have a no-obligation meeting with one of our team and we will discuss the approach to market your business and whom we feel you should consider being part of your team to help you achieve your goals.

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