Buying a Business

Buying a Business

Whether you are buying a business as a new-start business or as a means of growing your existing business or by way of diversification, there can be a number of elements involved. Some of the more common ones are shown below.

Who is buying?

Is it you, a company, management buy-out, acquisition?

What exactly are you buying?

Are you buying the shares or the assets such as the name or goodwill? There are good points and bad points to both these options. We can help you look at the Pros and Cons of each so you can make an informed decision about which method is right for you.

Business and property

Are you taking on the business property or thinking of moving to a different location? We can help you with buying business premises, renting business premises or transferring leases. It’s important to get it right and our Business and Commercial property experts will be happy to guide you along the right path.

Skeletons in the closet (due diligence)

You must take care to ensure sure you know exactly what you are buying. This is done by asking the right questions and then, reviewing all the documents to make sure you know what you are getting. Legal help in this area can allow you to find those skeletons (big or small) in the closet and ensure that you don’t end up with some unpleasant surprises.

Business Sale and Purchase Agreements

These make it clear what is being sold, what you are buying, how much will be paid and how it will be paid (amongst other things). You need to make sure that you are getting what you think you’re getting. We will help you nicely tie it up in a sensible agreement drafted by our Commercial experts.

Warranties

These are promises made by the Seller about the condition of the business. If the seller can’t give you the promise, consider what the potential risk is for you. Well drafted warranties should protect you by giving you recourse to the seller.

Employees

In most cases, you will take on the employees of the company that you are buying. Make sure you know what you are getting when you take them on and what your obligations are moving forward. Help with reorganisation, employment contracts, staff handbooks, redundancy, Settlement Agreements and HR are just a few of the things our Employment Team will be happy to help you with.

Checking the existing business documents

It makes sense to check these before you buy but it can also be possibly worth changing (or at least auditing) once you are in the driving seat of the new business.

  • T&C’s,
  • Shareholder Agreements,
  • Supplier Agreements,
  • Service level contracts
  • and many many more.

Our Commercial team can work with you to audit, consider and if needed change or replace business documents.

Business advice and development

How can you grow the business? Is there room for modernisation? Can efficiencies be made? We have a team of lawyers and business people who can provide business advice. This advice can be provided as “one to one” sessions or as part of our peer group, JL Business Improvement. We are focused on doing what’s right for you to get the business outcomes you are aiming for. Let’s work together to get you where you and your business want to be.

Taking over practical arrangements

How will you get to understand the internal workings of the business? Do you want the seller to stay in the business for a while and help you with the hand over? Will the seller be restricted from competing with you after the purchase? You may want to think about Consultancy Agreements for the sharing of information. Restrictions on sellers who may set up in completion shortly after you purchase might also be desirable.

Re-branding and marketing

Whether you rebrand will depend on your reasons for buying the business. If you’re buying to absorb it in to your existing business then rebranding will be important but if you’re buying for the reputation then you will probably want to keep things as they are. If you would like help creating or changing the brand, logo and plan then we have an extensive network of contacts that we can put you in touch with.

Finance / Loans / Funding

Raising money for a business can be tricky. Do you need some financial support to move the business forward? If so, what is the best way for this to be delivered? Our Commercial and business team have a wealth of experience, together with a network of contacts that can put you in contact with various banks, lenders, loan funding, grant funding and private equity.

Tax and Accounts

It’s important to have these checked out by your accountant as if the figures don’t add up then you may find you struggle to grow the business or end up with an unexpected tax liability.

IT systems and support

Most businesses rely on IT and a good setup/managed services provider can mean the difference between success and failure. As part of a holistic approach we can help you in this area working with a network of contacts and partners who can deliver the right system and support for you.

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