Information Technology (IT) services is a dynamic and ever-evolving sector. Being part of an industry that provides essential digital solutions and services can be both fulfilling and financially rewarding. However, there may come a point when you contemplate exploring new endeavors or unlocking the value you’ve built in your IT services business. In these moments, the prospect of selling your company may come to the forefront.

Opting to sell is a significant decision, and it can appear overwhelming. Yet, it’s crucial to understand that a well-defined path exists. With proper guidance, the process can unfold seamlessly.

This comprehensive guide aims to empower you with knowledge and insights into the process of selling an IT services business. We will delve into the intricacies of assessing the business’s value, preparing it for sale, identifying potential buyers, and successfully completing the transaction. Additionally, we’ll illuminate the post-sale landscape and what you can anticipate.

Why sell your IT Services company?

Entrepreneurs in the IT services sector may find various compelling reasons to contemplate selling their businesses. Gaining insight into these motivations can help you clarify your own considerations.

  1. Elevating Your Business to New Heights: Selling your IT services business can present an opportunity to advance it to the next level. While you may have established a solid foundation, merging with another entity possessing more resources, access to larger clients, better HR processes, or specialized expertise could propel your business further. This decision isn’t about surrender; rather, it signifies recognizing the potential for accelerated growth.
  2. Prioritizing Technical Work: With business growth, administrative and managerial tasks may overshadow your focus on programming, which could be your true passion. Selling your business provides a chance to realign your efforts with what you love—whether it’s starting an own product or continuing working with a buyer in a technical capacity.
  3. Personal and Lifestyle Considerations: The decision to sell often stems from personal reasons, such as retirement or a desire to pursue different interests. Selling your IT services business can provide financial freedom and flexibility, enabling you to explore new opportunities, spend quality time with loved ones, or simply savor the rewards of your hard work.

Remember, deciding to sell your IT services business is a strategic move that opens doors to new possibilities and chapters in your entrepreneurial journey.

Find out how much your company is worth, how to sell it, and how to plan your next move with our M&A specialists. 

How can I sell my IT Services Company?

How to prepare your IT Services business for sale?

When gearing up to sell your IT services business, a strategic approach is crucial. Focus on specific steps to enhance the appeal of your business, boost its valuation, and establish a solid foundation for potential buyers. The key measures involve increasing company valuation, organizing financials and documentation, addressing legal requirements, and setting up a compelling data room. Below, we break down the implementation of each of these strategic steps for preparing your IT services business for sale.

Step 1: Increase company valuation

Elevating your company’s valuation is a pivotal aspect of preparing for a successful sale. Consider the following actions:

  • Timing the Sales Process Appropriately: Choose to sell your business when it’s at its peak performance. Highlight strong recent growth trends and positive future outlooks, as these factors make the business more attractive to potential buyers. Keep an eye on industry trends and the macroeconomic environment to determine the optimal time for a sale.
  • Refining Your Sales Strategy: Strive for a balanced customer mix, including high-value enterprise clients. While small and medium businesses and startups can be profitable customers, attracting larger enterprise customers will definitely boost the valuation of your business. Diversifying from a single large client is also a challenge that many business owners need to undertake before going out to the market to sell the business.
  • Reducing Owner-Dependency: Minimize reliance on the owner for day-to-day operations, as a business heavily dependent on its owner may be less appealing to buyers. Establish robust systems and processes that enable smooth operations without direct owner involvement. This might involve leadership training for staff or the automation of specific tasks.

By proactively implementing these measures, you can enhance the market appeal of your IT services business and lay the groundwork for a successful sale.

Step 2: Organize your financials and key metrics

Ensuring the fiscal robustness and transparency of your IT services business is crucial in enhancing its attractiveness to potential buyers. Below are key steps to systematically organize your financials and metrics, establishing a solid groundwork for the impending sale

Organize your financials

Guarantee the precision and timeliness of your financial statements, encompassing income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Consider engaging a reputable auditing firm to bolster credibility, as these documents serve as the cornerstone for buyer evaluations and proposals.

Know your key metrics

Assemble pertinent metrics tailored to the nature of IT services. Examples include Revenue per Employee, Utilization Rate, Project Profitability, Client Satisfaction, and Employee Retention Rates. Offer a lucid narrative around these metrics, elucidating trends and strategic decisions. This transparent approach not only fosters buyer confidence but also expedites the due diligence process.

Maintain Accurate Financial Projections:

Develop accurate financial projections aligned with your IT services business. This should encompass revenue forecasts, expense predictions, and growth rates. These projections serve as a window into your business’s future, aiding potential buyers in assessing its profitability and scalability. Ensure these forecasts are data-driven, realistic, and regularly updated to reflect evolving market conditions.

Keep Information Up-to-Date

It’s crucial to recognize that the sales process for an IT services company is dynamic, spanning several months. Throughout this period, the company will remain operational, attracting new clients and generating revenue. Consequently, key metrics will undergo continuous changes. Keeping these metrics up to date is essential during the sales process.

Frequent updates offer potential buyers an accurate, real-time insight into the company’s performance. This not only promotes transparency but also demonstrates your dedication to sustaining the business’s well-being, particularly during the transition phase, thereby bolstering buyer confidence.

Step 3: Address legal requirements

Comprehensive legal readiness is crucial to navigate potential challenges throughout the sale of your IT services business. This necessitates a meticulous examination of all contracts, including customer and employee agreements. Engaging the services of an adept M&A advisor can prove invaluable in ensuring meticulous preparation for this facet of the sale.

Step 4: Prepare a compelling data room

Establishing a secure online repository, commonly known as a data room, is crucial for storing vital business documents. These encompass financial statements, contracts, operational metrics, and any other information that potential buyers may require to assess your IT services business.

The meticulous preparation of a compelling data room not only streamlines the due diligence process but also signals to potential buyers that your business is well-organized and transparent. A well-structured data room can make the difference between a seamless transaction and the risk of a deal falling through.

In summary, the preparation of your IT services business for sale entails a blend of strategic, technical, and legal steps. By methodically planning and executing these measures, you can ensure a successful and lucrative sale.

How to find the right buyer?

Identifying a buyer who resonates with your company’s culture, possesses the requisite financial capabilities, and demonstrates a strategic interest in your operations is of utmost importance. Engaging the services of M&A advisors proves invaluable in this pursuit. These seasoned professionals bring a profound understanding of the market, aiding in the identification of potential buyers, managing negotiations, and providing guidance through the intricate process.

Types of Potential Buyers

In M&A transactions, it is common to divide buyers into two groups: strategic and financial investors.

  1. Strategic investors: These entities are typically other businesses within your industry, potentially competitors, seeking to enhance their competitive advantage through acquisition. Valuing synergies, they are often willing to pay a premium for strategic benefits. Examples in IT services industry include Accenture, EPAM, Alten, Globant, Cognizant and many others.
  2. Private equity investors: Buyers in this category are primarily interested in the financial returns your business can deliver. Their focus lies on scrutinizing profitability, growth potential, and financial stability.
Read more

Strategic vs. Financial Buyer – Which one is right for you?

How to evaluate the right fit?

Selecting the right buyer involves evaluating various factors. Financial capability is paramount to ensure they can afford the purchase and subsequent operation costs. Equally critical is strategic alignment, where the buyer should share your business’s vision and growth plans. Lastly, cultural compatibility should not be overlooked. The buyer should resonate with your company’s culture and values to make the post-sale transition smooth for both your team and customers.

How does the sale process work? 

Navigating the waters of a IT Services business sale involves many stages, each with its own significance and challenges. It’s in these phases where an M&A advisor’s expertise becomes important.

Phase 1: Negotiating the deal

The process typically commences with a ‘teaser’—a concise, anonymous document designed to generate interest from potential buyers without disclosing your business’s identity. This document highlights key selling points and attractive metrics while maintaining confidentiality.

Subsequently, the Information Memorandum (Info Memo) takes center stage. This detailed document offers a comprehensive overview of your business, covering aspects from company history, service descriptions, and market analysis to financials, key metrics, and future projections. The Info Memo serves as the primary tool for potential buyers to evaluate your business.

Post the Info Memo, a Q&A phase ensues, allowing interested parties to seek clarifications and additional information. Your M&A advisor plays a crucial role in managing this process, fielding questions and ensuring that all communication aligns with the overarching negotiation strategy.

A pivotal moment in the deal-making process is the Letter of Intent (LOI), a document outlining the buyer’s intention to acquire your business, along with proposed price and terms. While not legally binding, an LOI signifies serious intent from the buyer and sets the stage for more detailed negotiations.

Upon acceptance of the LOI, the buyer initiates the due diligence process—a thorough examination of your business covering financial, legal, and technical aspects. Financial due diligence assesses your company’s financial health, while legal due diligence examines contractual obligations and compliance.

Phase 2: Closing the deal

The concluding phase encompasses the completion of the Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) and the facilitation of secure payment methods, such as utilizing an escrow service. Collaborating closely with your legal team, your M&A advisor takes charge of ensuring the seamless execution of these steps, always prioritizing your best interests.

Throughout both of these stages, the M&A advisor assumes a central role. They contribute to the meticulous preparation of the teaser and Information Memorandum (Info Memo), ensuring both documents are not only compelling but also accurate. The advisor actively manages the Q&A process, aiding you in responding to inquiries in a manner that enhances the perceived value of your IT services business. Finally, they take the lead in guiding all negotiations, drawing upon their extensive market knowledge and experience to secure the most favorable terms possible.

Post-sale considerations

Following the successful sale of your IT services business, several crucial considerations must be taken into account to ensure a seamless transition and secure your financial future.

Transition period

Initially, many deals incorporate a transition period during which the previous owner provides essential support to the new owner. This phase typically involves training the new owner or management team, facilitating introductions to key clients or partners, and offering assistance in troubleshooting any challenges that may arise in the initial days post-acquisition. It is imperative to clearly define the length and nature of this transition support period in the Share Purchase Agreement to establish expectations and responsibilities.

Non-compete agreements

Another vital aspect is the inclusion of non-compete agreements, a common practice in the sale of IT services businesses. These legally-binding agreements serve to restrict the seller from initiating a similar business or collaborating with a direct competitor for a specified duration and within a defined geographic area. While these agreements safeguard the buyer’s investment, sellers must ensure that the terms of the non-compete agreement are equitable and reasonable, avoiding undue limitations on future career opportunities.

Tax implications

Lastly, the sale of an IT services business carries significant tax implications, necessitating meticulous financial planning to effectively manage the newfound wealth. Depending on the jurisdiction and the deal’s structure, sellers may encounter capital gains tax or other tax liabilities. Engaging with a tax advisor or financial planner is advisable during this phase to gain a comprehensive understanding of the tax implications, identify strategies to minimize tax liability, and receive guidance on investing and managing post-sale finances.

How to measure the value of your IT Services business?

Before you dive into the process of selling, it’s crucial to understand what your IT services business is worth. While methods, such as Discounted Cash Flow are also sometimes used, valuing a business based on the EBITDA multiple is the most common method in the industry.

IT services EBITDA multiples

In the valuation of IT services businesses, the EV/EBITDA multiple is overwhelmingly favored due to their typically robust profits and negligible upfront investment requirements. Occasionally, the revenue multiple acts as a supplementary measure, particularly when a company lacks a normalized profit level.

In our proprietary analysis, we took a look at more than 300 transactions in the IT services industry with disclosed multiples. Out of 324 deals analyzed using the EV/EBITDA multiple, the median value is 11.0x, staying consistent over the last 8.5 years within the range of 10.0x – 12.5x.

The size of a company stands out as a pivotal factor influencing the valuations of IT services companies. While professional services firms share similar business models regardless of size, their valuation multiples exhibit considerable variation. In our study, smaller companies (deals less than $5 million) show significantly lower valuations, at 0.9x revenue and 6.2x EBITDA, whereas figures for deals ranging from $50 million to $100 million are nearly twice as high.

Typically, larger professional services enterprises entail lower risk. They can cater to larger enterprise accounts, possess adequate staff or software for managing substantial projects, and boast more advanced development and HR processes. Their diverse customer base mitigates the impact of losing a major account on revenue. The team of a large company, a crucial intangible asset, is less prone to disruption from key personnel departures.

Full report

What are the valuation multiples for IT Services companies?

IT Services-specific value determination metrics

In the realm of IT services, considerations extend beyond mere revenue and profit figures. Drawing from our experience, prospective buyers often scrutinize various metrics to gain a comprehensive understanding of the business’s performance:

  1. Utilization rate
  2. Billing rate
  3. Project profitability
  4. Client satisfaction and feedback
  5. Employee turnover
  6. Customer concentration

It is also crucial to underscore the significance of maintaining meticulous financial records. These records not only contribute to various calculations but also play a pivotal role in fostering trust with prospective clients. If you have been diligent in your bookkeeping practices, you are already positioned one step ahead.

Valuing an IT services business is a nuanced endeavor, combining elements of both art and science. By comprehending these essential factors, you will be well-prepared to ascertain a fair and accurate price that genuinely reflects the intrinsic value of your enterprise.


Selling an IT services business is a significant task that requires careful planning, thorough preparation, and precise execution. Each step, from understanding the unique aspects of IT services business valuation to preparing for sale, finding the right buyer, and navigating negotiations and closing procedures, is crucial for success.

The goal goes beyond getting the best price; it includes ensuring a good fit between the buyer and your business, laying the foundation for future growth. Whether you’re considering selling your IT services business or want to explore the process further, our experienced team is here to help. Reach out to us for guidance and support in navigating this complex landscape successfully.