Selling an Internet Business and dealing with employees
While many internet businesses can be operated by one person without the need for employees, there will always be websites that do require employees and an ecommerce business broker can help you make the right decisions when dealing with employees during the process to sell your website business. There are 2 types of employees with a website business; remote employees and in-house employees. As the name implies, an in-house employee is an employee that works out of the website company's physical office space or warehouse space. Dealing with in-house employees during the process to sell a website can be a complicated process because most in-house employees won't be willing to relocate if the buyer wants to move the business to his or her hometown location. If the buyer plans to maintain the existing brick and mortar aspect of the website business, a website broker can help negotiate the terms of those employee contracts with the incoming buyer.
A remote employee is always preferred over in-house employees because it makes the website business easier to transfer, especially if the buyer is not located near the seller's hometown, which is usually the case. In fact it is very rare for the buyer and seller to live in the same state when selling a website business. With a remote employee structure, the communication is almost always handled exclusively via email / phone calls, which makes it easy for the incoming buyer to continue working with the remote employees. In addition, remote employees are usually happy to continue working for the incoming buyer because they can continue to perform their job responsibilities remotely and receive the same compensation that was provided while the seller was operating the business. From New York to London, our ecommerce business brokers have advised on website business transactions that included remote employees that work from all over the world. Utilizing a remote employee structure also helps minimize the overall risks of the business since remote employees are usually easily replaceable.
Ultimately, it's the seller's decision to inform their employees of their plans to sell their website business, but our website broker team generally recommends keeping the sale confidential, especially if the seller is confident his employees will be happy to continue working for the business under the incoming buyer's ownership. There's always a risk of disrupting employee productivity if the employees feel uncertain of their future with the internet business and that's a risk that can be minimized by simply telling the employees at the right time, after the seller is confident the deal to sell the website business will be finalized. It's important to deal with employees the right way, regardless of if they are in-house employees or remote employees, which is why you should work with a professional ecommerce business broker to guide you throughout the entire process to sell a website.