If you are interested in starting a new enterprise you might be hesitating between setting up a business of your own or buying an existing business. After careful consideration, you have decided to purchase an existing business, maybe because you no longer want to keep searching for a job, or because an existing business can offer you and your family the job security you seek. If this is your decision, you should know that buying a business is one of the smartest investments you can make. You will be building something tangible that has value and, in the future, it can be resold.
Why should you hire a lawyer to help you with buying the business?
One of the most important decisions you can make when purchasing an existing business is to have an expert by your side. There will be documentation, contracts, and other interactions and your lawyer will make sure the entire deal is legal, legitimate, and valid.
Other crucial tasks that your business attorney will perform are:
- Performing due diligence and thoroughly researching the business you are intending to buy
- Employee contracts
- Agreements with business associates
- Drafting and editing contract
- Negotiations with the seller to ensure you receive the best terms
- Contact state officials
- File documents with pertinent agencies
- Obtain needed licenses
- Protect you from litigation and liability
What is the best way to find a business to buy?
As obvious as it may sound, the perfect business may be the one that is closest to where you live. Therefore, you may start your search by knocking on the door of a small business you admire and know because you see it every single day. Pay attention to word of mouth, this business may actually be for sale. You may be able to get it before the owner lists it for sale.
If that is not an option that works for you, look into websites of trade associations, business brokers, or real estate brokers. They may point you in the direction of an interesting business that is for sale but have your lawyer do the job of ensuring you are making the right decision before buying.
Take the Time to Research the Business and its Finances
Once you think you might have found the opportunity you have been looking for, find out as much as you can about the business. Ask for certified financial records, balance sheets, accounts payable and receivable, and documents related to employees such as their contracts and benefits. Look into the major leases and contracts and find out if there are any lawsuits that are pending or lawsuits that were solved in the past. This research will not only help you make an informed decision but when you buy it you will be that much more familiar with every aspect surrounding it.
Close the Deal
An experienced appraiser can help you and the owner reach a fair price. If you agree on an installment agreement for the purchase, your lawyer can help draft it or review it. Your lawyer can also help you with reviewing the sales agreement. This clearly is a very document-intensive process. Don’t try to face this important purchase alone, visit bryanfirm.com to get your questions answered, and talk to the business lawyer you need.