100 Questions Potential Buyers Will Ask Startups

Entrepreneurs

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What are the questions potential buyers will ask startups? Below is a good list to prepare your exit.

Ownership

Who are the owners, and how many of them are there? Which shareholders may object to this sale? What other stock options are outstanding? Are you someone I can trust to do business with? Are you someone I would enjoy continuing to work with? Which owners are really influential in the ongoing success of the business? What returns are current investors expecting? What are the voting rights of shareholders? What are the different classes of stock? Where is the company incorporated?

What Happens After The Closing?

Will you accept cash or stock, or a combination of both for your company? What limitations on the sale of any stock will be acceptable? How much of the sales price will be tied to ongoing performance? What milestones can you peg any future payouts to? How many years will you stay on? What is needed to keep the business growing and to be profitable? Which team members are disposable? How will the companies be run or integrated? What limitations will there be on starting a competing business? What limitations will there be on taking other team members to a new venture?

Customers

What types of customers do you have now (enterprise/retail/B2B)? Who are your customers exactly? What are your customer retention rates? Can they talk to your customers and meet with them in advance? What alignment or expansion opportunities are there between

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