Mergers & Acquisitions Advisory

A Neumann & Associates, LLC

February 9, 2023

Confidentiality is Vitally Important When Selling a Business

By Michael McEntee

During a successful business transfer, confidentiality must be of paramount importance to the seller. All of the processes, recipes, formulas, contacts, and other sensitive information (the very foundation of a company’s achievements and profitability) will, at some point, need to be disclosed. This can also include knowledge that an aggressive competitor has been trying to obtain for as long as a business has been in existence. Keeping it out of predatory competitors’ hands and still getting key information in front of the greatest number of qualified potential buyers becomes the challenge. Sellers must also avoid concerns developing that ownership will not be there in the future to personally service and support the product, potentially affecting current business activity. Nothing positive occurs when loyal customers, long term suppliers, or covetous competitors even suspect that a business is for sale. Every M&A firm will claim that it will protect a company’s identity and confidential information. However, in our experience, we have found that our competitors’ efforts do not approach the rigorous confidentiality standards that we believe are necessary and have set for ourselves and our clients.

For most owners, selling their business happens only once in a lifetime. The entire process generally takes between eight and twelve months from initiation to settlement. During this time, the business will still be operating as usual. The owner needs to have complete focus on running the business without the distraction of finding and negotiating with potential buyers. When the business owner ultimately determines that a sale is warranted, deciding which mergers and acquisitions firm is best positioned to advise and successfully manage their transaction, is critical. Confidentiality needs to be a major consideration when making that decision.

“Our first objective at our firm is to establish the fair market value of a business by engaging the services of a certified, independent third-party valuation company”, states Achim Neumann, President, A Neumann & Associates, LLC, a leading Mergers & Acquisitions firm and Business Brokerage, headquartered in New Jersey. He continues, “Using that fair market valuation as the foundation, we begin the marketing process by creating a Blind Profile”. This document is a summary of a company’s activity, which includes a very general description of its industry and geographic location, (example: located in the Northeast), as well as very detailed information about the company’s revenues, profitability and expected future performance.

Our dedicated buy side team circulates this document to a wide range of potential investors using our extensive data base of over 850,000 client contacts, built over the past twenty years. In addition, targeted phone calls and direct US mail notifications are sent to clients known to have interest in specific businesses so that we get maximum buyer exposure for every company that we represent, however, always in a confidential manner.

In order for any potential investor to receive additional information about a company beyond the blind profile, the investor must first go through our very specific four-step buyer prequalification process. We require interested investors to exhibit prior management experience that qualifies them as genuine candidates capable of taking over and successfully running the business being offered. We require each to submit a financial statement showing that sufficient assets are available to qualify said investor for the SBA loan or other financing required to complete the transaction if a purchase at fair market value is arranged.  We further require each interested investor to submit a bank statement showing that sufficient funds are available for the down payment necessary to complete a purchase of the business at the established fair market value. Finally, each interested investor must sign our very strict three-page non-disclosure agreement detailing the potential consequences of releasing any non-public information about our client.

All four of these things must happen before any interested investor can receive the Confidential Memorandum. This document is approximately thirty pages in length and contains all of the information that any investor will need should he or she decide to engage in negotiations towards the purchase of the business. By this time, our buy side team will have had numerous conversations with every contender for that business, further screening each, and narrowing the field of acceptable candidates. We will relay all of this information to the seller so that together we can decide which of those candidates should ultimately be introduced to the seller and seriously considered as a potential buyer for the business.

All of our documents are signed with a wet signature. They are not simply released with the on-line click of a mouse and without proof of sufficient funds, as we have seen is the case with some of our competitors. That method of faux confidentiality frequently breaches the barrier that we feel is necessary to protect a seller’s most sensitive information. Rather, it has the effect of unnecessarily exposing that information in the marketplace and potentially lowering the ultimate selling price of the business.

The sale of a business is a serious undertaking. From conception to ultimate sale, an owner must constantly strive to improve his or her product or process, in essence, trying to make the current version obsolete. Continually creating a better product or a better process strengthens an owner’s chances of maximizing the value of the company by demonstrating superior long-term performance. At no point in the life of the company can a lack of confidentiality be allowed to jeopardize this performance, and at no time is that a more important consideration than when the company is in the process of being sold.

Confidentiality is extremely important and is a major priority at A. Neumann & Associates. It is always top of mind in our dealings with sellers, buyers, and with those clients who engage us to assist them in determining the value of their businesses for planning purposes. In our opinion, you can never be too careful and that is why our standards are so high.

About A Neumann & Associates, LLC

A Neumann & Associates, LLC is a professional mergers & acquisitions and business brokerage firm having assisted business owners and buyers in the business valuation and business transfer process through its affiliations for the past 30 years. With an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, the company has senior trusted professionals with a deep knowledge based in multiple field offices along the East Coast and has performed hundreds of business valuations in its history. The firm’s competitive transaction fees are based on successfully completing transactions. For more information, please contact A Neumann & Associates at 732-872-6777 or

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Any questions? Please contact us at 732-872-6777
Call Now

Client Testimonials

“ I appreciate your diligent approach to screening buyers and sellers as well as the high quality CIM that you produce.”

Andrey O, Investor

“Finally enjoying retirement after recently selling my business using the services of A Neumann & Associates. Joe Oddo provided the conduit to a successful transaction. Joe knew when to inject input and when to simply listen and allow the buyers to vent, step back and regroup. The outcome met our expectations and got us to the finish line, which included my staying with the company six months in order for the buyers to get their footing and keep our workforce in the loop. He helped at every step by providing his expert guidance & resources. Thank you!”

Emily Parker Myers, Co-Owner - Myers McRae

“I had been in touch with Karin and Gary from A Neumann & Associates regarding some opportunities and was looking forward to meeting with them. Hence, when they organized a seminar in Princeton, NJ, I was quick to sign up. The seminar was very informative as the team walked the attendees through various scenarios and referenced real life buying/selling situations they had been through. The sessions by Gary, Karin and Achim were crisp and focused and brought clarity to potential seller and buyers. I strongly recommend the team and look forward to continue working with them.”

Gaurav Tyagi

“Thank you for your Event on "How to value, Sell, and Buy A Business for Maximum Profit" and the insight into ANA’s approach on what is involved in the Business Exit for sellers. Garys Hervieiou's "Business Valuation", Achim's "Deal structure" presentation and Karin’s "Preparing the Package" are real street knowledge shared. They answered attendees questions which makes it more interesting for learning from others. Great for small businesses like us. The presentations were totally worth our time and travel for the event to Princeton, NJ from Rockville MD. Ravi Bhutani, President, CIPS”

Ravi Bhutani

“Gary, this is to thank you for an excellent job done in selling our business. We could never have done it without your professional expertise, dedication and time put in without reservation to make it happen. We will gladly and highly recommend you to anybody in our position.  It was a pleasure to work with you.”

Pat Iammatteo, Owner

“Your vetting is simply outstanding, among the best I've seen from a broker.”

Eric H., Investor

“I recently contacted A. Neumann and Associates about getting a valuation of my business done. I spoke with Marc, who explained the process in detail. After meeting with Marc in order to get a clear understanding of my business, and what I was hoping to accomplish. His patience in answering all my questions and his knowledge of the proper way to market my business gave me great confidence that this is the firm I will be using to sell my business for max value. Working with Marc at A Neumann & Associates was very easy and professional. I did not know all that was going to be involved in selling my business but they helped me through the process. What I thought was going to be a just another one of those pushy sales companies was just the opposite. Polite, knowledgeable, and a pleasure to talk to and deal with. I highly recommend this firm to anybody who wants to sell now or down the road. Marc not only knows his stuff, but actually is a real nice guy.”

Double Diamond

“Used A Neumann & Associates to sale my business. could not imagine having done it with out the patience and experience Gary provided. Thanks Gary,”

Dennis Frazier

“Working with Marc and his company was a pleasure. What I thought was going to be a just another one of those pushy sales companies was just the opposite. Polite, knowledgeable, and a pleasure to talk to and deal with. Marc handled most of the interaction and he has one of the greatest demeanors. Again, it was a pleasure working with him and his firm.”

Douglas DiCeglio

“I recently completed an acquisition using A Neumann & Associates. Tony Valentino was very helpful and accessible during the entire process. They do a thorough job vetting both parties and got us to the finish line.”

Srini Mudambi
view all testimonials

Contact A Neumann & Associates, LLC

If you are considering selling your business, please contact us to learn more about our comprehensive service spectrum. Our experienced professionals will answer all your questions about selling a privately held business in complete confidentiality. Please fill out our contact form, or call us at 732-872-6777. We will contact you directly and will never identify ourselves to your employees.

call us now
Contact Us for a Free, Confidential Consultation

Experienced M&A Advisors available

Full Name
Email Address
Phone Number