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Exit 101: What tech founders need to know before going through a sale process


Shawn Atkinson, partner at international law firm Orrick, shares his advice on how to achieve a successful exit. 

While many tech founders start their businesses with innovative ideas and altruistic intentions, many forget that part of the measure of success is having a smooth and positive exit, be that a public (IPO) or private sale transaction.

In order to fully capitalise on any opportunity and ensure a seamless process, there are a few key considerations that tech founders should be aware of at the outset.

Prepare for the journey

Preparing your company for sale, first and foremost means preparing your team. This includes having solid records in place and ensuring that intellectual property (IP) protections are comprehensive and up-to-date.

Making sure financial records and accounts are meticulous, timely and transparent is also critical to having a strong, competitive sale process. Having a prospective purchaser uncover that a target company’s annual accounts or other regulatory filings are not up to date at best makes the target look disorganised and can trigger more in-depth diligence being done by a prospective purchaser’s advisers....