Buying a business | 3 min read

Who do you need on your business buying ‘team’?

Last updated: November 27, 2019

Buying a business isn’t something most people do every day. So, it’s important that you assemble a team of trusted professionals to advise you through the process. Don’t be tempted to think you can go it alone – especially when you’re investing a lot of money.

A solicitor

In short, your solicitor will investigate any regulatory issues, check licences and registrations and draft a purchase agreement. It’s important to choose an experience professional who has a lot of experience in commercial and business sales. If you’re investing in a franchise, find out why you should engage a lawyer that specialises in franchising.

Your solicitor will be involved in the nuts and bolts of the sale, help you conduct due diligence and protect your interests along the way.

In return for hiring an experienced solicitor you’ll get a detailed view of your contract and obligations, along with recommendations to get the best possible deal.

An accountant

Your accountant will help you investigate and verify the financial data and operations of your potential business investment.

Having an accountant that’s specialised in business buying and auditing financial statements is advised. An experienced accountant will be able to give you an idea of the business’s anticipated returns and future financial needs.

While you may accept all the information and data given to you at face value, a specialised accountant like a CPA (certified public accountant) will be able to verify everything and help you make a sound financial decision.

They’ll work with you to comb over the balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements, footnotes and tax returns to gauge the health of the business for sale, as well as assess goodwill, assets and liabilities. This is all part of conducting due diligence and can be complicated, but a diligent accountant will be able to spot any underlying problems. This detailed professional valuation of your intended business investment will help you reduce the risk of making a bad purchase.

You can find more information on accountants by reading how to find an accountant when buying a business.

A friend

While professional help is mandatory when purchasing a business, it can also be beneficial to have a family member or friend that you can confide in. Taking the time to talk to a confidant who knows you well can be immensely valuable as you go through the buying process and help you assess if a potential business is really right for you. Ultimately of course, the decision is up to you, but being able to discuss your apprehensions, excitement, and ideas with someone you trust, who can challenge your thinking, may help you work out your next step.

Remember, just because a business is a good investment on paper doesn’t mean it’s the right one for you. There are so many facets that play a role in business success – so take the time to do your research and don’t rush into anything.

Found a business you’re interested in? Check out these questions to ask when buying a business