buying or selling a business

Buying or selling businesses can raise a number of important and sometimes complex legal issues. To describe it as a legal minefield may be a cliché, but it’s no exaggeration.

Our specialist commercial lawyers are experienced in handling sales and purchases of businesses of all kinds. We have guided clients through that legal minefield on numerous occasions and are here to see you through safely too.

We have access to back-up expertise in the form of accountants, tax advisers and business finance specialists should their input be needed. Together we offer an all-round business management team capable of dealing with any challenges you encounter.

Our business law solicitors will take you through each step in the transaction, so if you haven’t bought or sold a business before you have nothing to fear. We routinely handle the all-important negotiations, prepare the contract paperwork and finalise the transaction documentation; giving you that all important peace of mind and freeing you to concentrate on the practical steps of getting your new business off the ground.

At the outset we will assess what steps will need to be taken to ensure you are as fully protected as you can be whether you are buying or selling. We will consider issues such as:-

  • share sales v asset sales
  • disclosure letters
  • warranties
  • due diligence
  • asset and liability evaluation
  • capital gains tax consequences
  • inspection of the statutory books
  • ownership of intellectual property rights
  • property transfers
  • goodwill
  • equipment
  • fixtures and fittings
  • stock
  • insurance
  • business contracts

Our approach to legal fees is entirely transparent. We appreciate that our clients like to know where they stand in terms of legal costs, so our solicitors are always happy to provide a written quote and charge a fixed fee.

Selling a Business

The key to selling a business successfully is organisation. The organised seller will generally secure an offer quicker, complete the legal paperwork quicker and therefore sell their business quicker.

Not only do you need to be organised, your legal team needs to be organised too. You need the right people, with the right experience. Our specialist commercial lawyers have a CV that encompasses a wide range of transactions, including:-

  • licensed businesses – pubs, hotels, nightclubs, restaurants
  • care homes and other residential institutions
  • leisure parks
  • convenience stores
  • takeaways
  • retail businesses
  • catering businesses
  • petrol stations
  • manufacturing businesses
  • newsagents
  • off licences

We have prepared a Guide to Selling Your Business which can be downloaded HERE for free

Buying a Business

If you are buying a business particular care needs to be taken to ensure that the transaction is fully investigated so that when the deal is done, there are no nasty surprises waiting in store.

Remember, the basic principle of English law “caveat emptor” or “buyer beware” applies, so the onus is on you and your legal team to make sure that all aspects of the purchase are thoroughly examined.

The old saying “act in haste, repent at leisure” is particularly apt in relation to business purchases. Once the deal has been completed it is often impossible to turn back the clock. To paraphrase another famous quote, “buying a business is like a parachute jump; you have to get it right first time”.

So, don’t take any unnecessary risks. Team up with the business law specialists and let’s take the plunge together.