Virtual closing vs. In-person closing
With the endless types of technology available today, most ecommerce business brokers recommend virtual closings, which have become increasingly popular for internet business closings. With tools like Skype, GotoMeeting, Team Viewer and more, it's no longer necessary to have in person closings for entrepreneurs that want to sell an internet business. In fact, over 80% of the closings our ecommerce business broker team have advised on were virtual closings. After an entrepreneur finishes the steps required to sell an internet business, the seller needs to facilitate the training to ensure a smooth transition with the buyer. Using tools like GotoMeeting allow the seller to essentially control the buyer's computer and makes it easy to provide "virtual" hands on training since daily operations usually revolve around learning how to use the website software or admin management system.
In over 99% of the internet business transactions our ecommerce business brokers have advised on, the seller and the buyer do not live in the same state. As a result, in-person closings can be costly for both parties, especially if they need to fly across the country, pay for hotels, car rentals, etc. These unnecessary costs can quickly add up to thousands of dollars, which has caused a surge in virtual closings. To sell an internet business, the deal is only truly finalized after the training period has ended. Since technology makes it possible to facilitate the transition training over the internet, most buyers and seller recognize the value in a virtual closing compared to an in-person closing. With that said, some internet business deals are better suited for an in-person closing, especially with internet businesses that maintain some type of physical brick and mortar location. This is very common for internet businesses that have warehouse operations or maintain large levels of inventory. Our ecommerce business brokers always recommend an in-person closing since physical assets are changing hands, especially when there is inventory being sold at the time the seller is ready to sell an internet business. While these closings are rarer, our ecommerce business brokers have advised on numerous transactions where an in-person closing is absolutely necessary. With that said, virtual closings are definitely more common and make closings much easier for both the buyer and seller, especially for "pure internet businesses" that have absolutely no physical assets or physical office / warehouse space.
Ultimately, the ecommerce business broker advising on the transaction will make the recommendation on how to proceed with the closing, but with the availability of communication technology becoming more accessible, virtual closings are always preferred over in-person closings, especially if the transition can be facilitated using tools like Skype, live chat, email and GotoMeeting.