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Preparing your motel business for sale

By Amy O'Donnell28 Mar 2018

Selling your motel business can be a complicated process. Prior preparation and planning helps to avoid some common issues.  

If you are thinking about selling, here are the key things to do to get ahead of the curve:-

Speak to your accountant

Your accountant helps in two areas.

The first is to understand the tax issues before going to contract. You should understand the issues with disposal dates, capital gains tax implications and potential superannuation contributions. If you are selling a freehold going concern, the apportionment of price is also important.   

The second is to come up with a set of sale figures for the financial performance of your motel business. If this is prepared in a professional manner it will both assist your agent in the sales process and also your buyer in their financier due diligence process.  


A buyer will want to know exactly what they are buying and will want to see copies of all relevant paperwork. This means your lease, any variations to it, franchise or licence agreements, liquor licence etc.

If you have any doubts about anything in your paperwork deal with it now. The due diligence will usually reveal it meaning you have to have an untidy conversation half way through the contract.  

You should also think about anything else that the buyer may need to run the business. Pay TV?  Wifi / internet? Service agreements for cleaning? Having copies of all these documents ready in advance will assist.  The buyer will need to enter into new agreements or take an assignment of yours.

The last is to prepare a detailed inventory of equipment for what will be included in the sale.

Choosing an agent

Your agent is one of the most critical parts of the transaction. Having a committed, knowledgeable and well prepared professional as part of your team will ensure you reap the return on your investment you deserve.  It is also essential you choose an agent that specialises in the motel industry.

Your landlord

Deciding when to tell your landlord about your intention to sell your business can be a tricky question.  

You should check your lease to see if there is a clause which gives your landlord the first right of refusal on your business. This means you have to give your landlord a chance to buy the business on terms no less favourable than you would offer to a third party.  If the landlord does not take that offer up you can sell to a third party.

So, be alert, but not alarmed. Getting organised means you will promote confidence in your buyers and minimise the chance of delays and complications arising at a later date.

We are always more than happy to run our eyes over your documents and help you to ensure that you have everything in order.