Business Sales and Purchases
Our commercial team specialise in business sales and purchases for a variety of business sectors.
There are many reasons why businesses are bought and sold:
· to increase market share;
· to acquire new technology or designs;
· to enter new markets rapidly;
· to gain control of valuable assets or resources.
Whatever the reason, we can assist.
Before you even instruct us, you should speak to your accountant. This is a vital step, because they will explain to you the mode of purchase or sale that would be most advantageous to you from a tax perspective. There are two main ways of buying or selling a business:
Asset transfer - where an individual or company buys the trading assets of a business. If the seller is a company, the assets would be sold off and the company would remain at the end to be wound up.
Share purchase - where the shares in the company which owns the trading assets are sold. In this mode of sale, the assets stay right where they are, and it is the ownership of the company with the assets that changes.
Care is necessary before a business is formally marketed:
- if a seller is contemplating a sale of only part of the business then it may be necessary to take steps to separate the business out – premises, employees, services (for example accounting and administrative functions) may need to be “hived” into separate companies. There may need to be decisions made as to what records are to be disclosed to prospective purchasers.
- advice may be necessary as to how a sale might be achieved – whether it be by a sale of assets or shares in the company.
- a seller should consider protecting themselves in respect of the information that is made available to a prospective purchaser. Considerable commercial damage might accrue due to too much information being given to prospective purchasers (who may well be competitors) in an uncontrolled fashion. It would be wise for a seller to agree properly drawn up a confidentiality agreement to offer further protection.
- legal liability may be incurred for representations made by a seller which later turn out to be incorrect.
We can help you with a business sale or purchase from start to finish.