Avenues to improve success in SME business transfers: reflections on theories, research and policies
Every year I talk to many entrepreneurs about business transfers and acquisitions. Only rarely do they tell me that it was a cinch. Buying or selling a business is complex. For a start, a business should be shipshape from an organizational and administrative perspective, while several legal and fiscal matters also affect the transaction. Moreover, many parties are involved in a business transfer: the buyer and the seller, of course, but also the employees, the spouse and/or family of the entrepreneur, the customers and suppliers. Emotions and trust also play a central role in selling a firm. Many owner/managers find it hard to abandon their business. The fact that a transaction of fixed assets may also be involved is another complicating factor. Is it a good thing to include fixed assets in the sale, or in fact the reverse? Considering that most people find it quite hard to sell their own house, engaging an estate agent to do it for them, it is understandable that buying and selling a business is a transaction fraught with difficulties.
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