An organised approach will help you find and acquire the right business.
Professional help is invaluable as you go through the negotiation, valuation and purchase process. You can find details of how to find professional help in our guides on how to choose and work with a solicitor and how to choose and work with an accountant.
Research the sector you're interested in, including the best time to buy, and shortlist two or three businesses.
Be discreet - the owner may not want staff to know they are selling, but be thorough and record key findings.
Lenders generally require:
If you make your initial offer by phone, follow this up in writing. Head your letter subject to contract and include this phrase in all written communication.
Before completing the sale, it may be worth trying to negotiate an overlap period so you have time to become familiar with the business before taking over.
You and your solicitor need to verify the information you have based your offer on. See the page in this guide on how to make sure a business is worth buying: due diligence.
If you're buying premises, you may want to arrange an independent survey and valuation, even if a lender is also carrying out their own survey and valuation at your expense. You can find a surveryor who specialises in commercial property on the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) website.
Even after you reach an agreement on the price and terms of sale, the deal could still fall through. You have to meet certain conditions of sale to complete, including:
0303 1234 500
020 7405 9075