When it comes to selling a business, one of the most important considerations is how you will be taxed. It’s important to understand the relevant tax implications of a sale before making any decisions, as the taxes that apply to a business sale can significantly reduce the net proceeds from the sale. In this article, we’ll discuss the federal and state taxes that may be applicable when you sell a business.

When You Sell a Business How Are You Taxed?

When you sell a business, the proceeds you receive will generally be subject to federal capital gains tax. Currently, the federal capital gains tax rate is 20%, which means that the net proceeds of a business sale may be reduced to just over $8 million. In addition to the federal capital gains tax, state income tax may also be a consideration. Depending on the state, this tax rate can range from 0%-13.3%.

If your business is a sole proprietorship, a sale is treated as if you sold each asset separately. This means that most of the assets will trigger capital gains taxes. The current maximum tax rate on capital gains for most taxpayers is 15%. However, any proceeds that are treated as ordinary income are taxed at the taxpayer’s individual rate.

Profit received from the sale of business assets will typically be taxed at capital gains rates. Amounts received under a consulting agreement, on the other hand, are usually taxed as ordinary income. This means that from a tax perspective, sellers may prefer a stock sale because the gain on the sale will likely be taxed as long-term capital gains at a top current federal rate of 23.8%.


In summary, when you sell a business, you will be taxed on the proceeds you receive. The federal capital gains tax rate is currently 20%, and the maximum rate on capital gains for most taxpayers is 15%. Depending on the type of sale and the state in which you are located, other taxes may also be applicable. It is important to understand the tax implications of any sale before making any decisions. If you have questions about selling a business, please visit Atlantabusinesses.com, a great resource for answers to all your questions about selling a business and about business brokers.

What is the best way to avoid paying taxes when selling my business?

Negotiate strategically when selling your business in order to minimize capital gains tax. Look into installment sales, time the sale appropriately, consider selling to employees, and explore reinvesting in Opportunity Zones.

What is the process for determining capital gains when selling a business?

To calculate your realized amount, take the sale price and subtract any commissions or fees you paid. Then, compare this amount to what you paid for the asset. If it is more than what you paid, you have a capital gain.

What is the outcome of liquidating a business in terms of cash?

What is the best way to prevent paying capital gains tax?

Keep Good Records.

1) Hold stocks in your portfolio for an extended period of time.
2) Make contributions to your retirement funds.
3) Decide on the original cost of your stocks.
4) Lower your tax rate.
5) Use losses to offset gains.
6) Relocate to a state that has more lenient tax regulations.
7) Give stocks away to organizations that are recognized by the government.
8) Invest in Opportunity Zones.
9) Maintain accurate documentation.