For some entrepreneurs, an exit is the primary goal, while for others it may be a necessary evil. Whether it is one or the other, the time of an exit can be filled with joy, relief and sadness – maybe all at once. From our own experience we know that it is hard to understand how much you may have become attached to the people in your start-up, to their mission and to the whole company, when you suddenly leave it.

But sometimes an exit is really the right thing to do, and in this chapter we will tell you more about how it can be done.

What is an exit? Some may think of an exit as an initial public offering, but IPOs are normally only potential pathways to exits and there are plenty of variants, which we will get to shortly.

Why should I sell out?

There can be many reasons for selling your business or parts of its activities and assets, including:

  • You have no choice, for example for health reasons, because other shareholders or managers push it through, or because you simply do not have the economy to be able to continue.
  • You are bored, tired or do not care any more – you may have been doing the same thing for 20 years and want something new.
  • You want money to do something else or retire.
  • You think others will pay more for the company than what it is worth to you or under your leadership.
  • You fear a serious economic or trade crisis.
  • You see a possible synergy with a different ownership.
  • You are subject to tax laws that make you taxable before ...

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