One of the hallmarks of the last few years has been the enthusiasm of clients to purchase or start new businesses - notwithstanding the recession. As Solicitors, we are often asked to advise on the essential points to look out for, when acquiring an existing business, large or small.
A vital aspect of this is to insist on seeing a set of up to date business accounts and VAT returns that you can refer to your Accountant to demonstrate the profitability of the business. You will also need to take advice from your Accountant regarding registration for VAT purposes. If acting on your behalf, we will liaise closely with your Accountant to make sure that the deal is correctly structured.
Employment contracts are a major concern. Normally you will take on the business with its current employees together with all of their current rights. This can affect your plans to restructure the business once you take over.
You should check any existing hire purchase or lease arrangements relating to equipment being sold with the business and enter into new agreements with the suppliers if required.
Business premises are often held on a leasehold basis and you will need us to check through the terms of the Lease and arrange on your behalf for the Lease to be transferred to you with the consent of the Landlord through what is call a Licence to Assign. Commercial leases are a minefield for the unwary so its is essential that you take proper qualified advice.
We can help you through the vast quantity of compliance, statutory and regulatory issues in relation to your business and if you would like further information please do not hesitate to contact us.