Frequently Asked Questions about Buying a Business


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Buying a business.

Buying an established business will require clear communications and commitment of time, money and energy. Doing your research before making a final decision is essential.

The process for purchasing a business generally follows these steps:

  • Identifying the right business
  • Sign a Confidentiality Agreement and receive an Information Memorandum
  • Analyse the chosen business information and request more information / ask questions
  • Visit the business and meet the owner
  • Make an offer and pay a deposit
  • Carry out a Due Diligence investigation
  • Sign off on Due Diligence
  • Carry out a Stock Take with the Seller
  • Hand over, make payment and take possession of the business on the agreed date
  • The seller assists for an agreed period of time after Possession

The advantages and disadvantages of buying a business.

Advantages of buying an established business include:

  • The initial establishment and the groundwork has already been done
  • The client base is established
  • There is an existing market for the products and or services
  • There is a proven financial record that could make it easier to access finance.

Disadvantages of buying an established business include:

  • You may need to honour or renegotiate outstanding contracts
  • The current staff could decide to move on after possession
  • Further investment of funds may be needed to make the business successful.
  • Identifying the right business can take time and money

Things to consider before selecting a business:

  • Are you physically, financially and emotionally suited to the business?
  • Do you have the necessary skills, experience, time, resources, vision and commitment to make this business a success?
  • Will you benefit from this opportunity, bearing in mind your personal circumstances?
  • Reduce the risks when buying a business by seeking assistance from an ‘experienced’ solicitor or accountant. Make sure they have been involved in several commercial transactions and ask for evidence.