Find a First Bank location near you. Search branches and hours, ATMs and more.Find Us
Enjoy an improved online experience, better app and more security with new Online & Mobile Banking.Learn More
Reach out to if you have questions, are looking for assistance, or would like to share feedback.Let's Connect
Make progress toward your goals and uncover the loan that fits your business by partnering with us.Learn More
Apply for your next home loan online 24/7 and enjoy quick, local service for your next mortgage or refi.Apply Now
Turn to us when you need flexible access to capital, new equipment or real estate for your farm.Learn More
Change is an inevitable aspect of every life cycle. With business, the final evolution can take a variety of forms. You may be ready to retire and pass the business on to a family member. Perhaps your goal is to sell to outside investors and use the proceeds as a retirement nest egg. Or the business may have declined so much that the best exit is a legal dissolution of your company. These tools and resources will help you manage the big decisions ahead for a successful transition.
Your trade secrets are invaluable. After all, your ’secret sauce’ is your competitive advantage. It’s the thing that makes your business unique and special. When you decide to sell your business, you’ll need to provide enough information for a potential buyer to make a decision. Some will be sensitive information about your sales, profit, customers, business processes and know how.
Potential buyers will want to see as much information as they can. You may want to limit what buyers can see, and also prevent the information from being shared with anyone else. Although keeping elements of your business secret is essential, you do need to balance it with the buyer wanting to complete a robust due diligence and to find out what makes your business tick.
A confidentiality agreement (non-disclosure agreement or NDA) offers a means to protect valuable company information from being shared with the public or leaked to competitors. A confidentiality agreement specifies that another party cannot share proprietary information without your consent. Having a potential buyer sign a confidentiality agreement gives you some protection. If confidentiality is breached, you have a better chance of taking legal action and seeking damages.
You’ll probably use your lawyer to draft this confidentiality agreement. With his or her legal advice, you’ll ensure that all the boxes are ticked and the agreement contains everything it should.
There are several good reasons to have a confidentiality agreement, including:
Aside from the agreement itself, it's also important that your intention to sell your business is kept confidential until you're ready. If word leaks out prematurely, customers may alter their buying behavior or speculate as to why.
Most agreements are quite standard. The potential buyers agree:
Your attorney will draft an agreement that lays out these terms in more formal, legal language. However, you can download free, sample templates of non-disclosure or confidentiality agreement templates an internet search. Most of what you find will include the necessary information.
Before placing the confidentiality agreement in front of a potential buyer, you can save yourself a lot of time by making sure they are a genuinely interested party and have the means to purchase the business. An effective way to prequalify prospects is to describe your business and response requirements in a way that helps unqualified buyers opt themselves out. In every advertisement you place, either in print or online, ask potential buyers to provide the following information:
You can cover this request in one sentence such as:
Please outline your related business background, the type and size of business you seek, your investment capability and your interest in this business.
It’s almost like a job interview. People who are genuine will not have an issue providing this information. Ultimately, you’re trying to find a person who will not only be able to afford your business, but one who also fits with its culture.
Selling your business and moving on to the next chapter of your life is often an exciting time. The last thing you want is for sensitive information to be made public, causing damage to your business and unrest amongst your staff. A confidentiality agreement helps reduce the chance this will happen while protecting potential buyers who are assessing your business.
First Bank does not provide, and is not responsible for, the product, service, or overall website content available at a third-party site. First Bank neither endorses the information, content, presentation, or accuracy nor makes any warranty, express or implied, regarding any external site.
Our privacy policies do not apply to linked websites. You should consult the privacy disclosures on any linked site for further information.
Thank you for visiting our website.
By clicking Continue, you will be directed to First Financial Services.
Your security and privacy matters at First Bank. Before you send us an email, please be sure that you are not sending confidential or personal information – like your account number or social security number. If you need to share this type of information with us, please call us at 1-800-538-3979.