#RVABizLaw Tip of the Day: Communicating with Employees When Selling Your Business

An often overlooked issue in small business acquisitions is when and how to let employees about the transaction.  Two things are clear—every situation is different and timing is important. Sharing this information too early could cause intense anxiety as employees worry about job security and hurt their performance.  A key employee could resign, thus jeopardizing the deal. There is also danger in waiting too long —if your employees have been loyal to you and your business they may feel betrayed and emotionally “check out” as they begin searching for new opportunities elsewhere. An effective strategy will often result in some senior level employees being notified earlier in the process than others to help with due diligence or to negotiate definitive terms with the new owner to ensure a smooth transition. The main point is that making the announcement to employees can be a complicated (and stressful) process, and it requires careful consideration and cooperation between buyer and seller.

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