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Small Business Hub: A Research Guide for Entrepreneurs

Exit Your Business

Exiting a business can refer to a variety of situations, most often, selling a business to a third party. However, exits can also happen by transferring ownership to a relative or member of your management team or by distributing ownership in shares to your employees. Mergers involve agreements to combine your company with another company. Finally, liquidation is selling pieces of your company which may be worth more than the whole. Business exits aren't failures; some entrepreneurs start businesses with the purpose of reselling them for a profit. Other "exits" involve bankruptcy or closing a business at a loss.

The resources on this page cover exiting in general. Visit the pages on closing and selling or merging for more specific information.


Starting points:

  1. Read about different types of exit plans, and consider your own goals for your business (For example, if you plan to run your business until you die, what happens to it? If you plan to retire but still have your business continue, who will take over? If you plan make a profit from your business idea by selling it to another company, what is your target price?)

Suggested strategies:

  • Search article databases and news websites for exit planning stories, using keywords for specific small business selling or transferring options.

Select Resources

The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are provided when available.

The subscription resources below marked with a padlock  are available to researchers on-site at the Library of Congress. If you are unable to visit the Library, you may be able to access these resources through your local public or academic library.

These are freely available online sources provided by government agencies, trade publications, and organizations.