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Do I need a solicitor to buy or sell a business?

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You do need a solicitor when you’re buying a business or selling one you own as these are such significant and complex transactions. Legal expertise is crucial throughout the process, and your solicitor will play a key part in bringing it to a successful conclusion.

Other professional advisors vital to buying and selling businesses include accountants, who prepare all the required financial information for interested parties and prospective purchasers in the due diligence stage. Professional business transfer agents also offer an essential service as they hold the transaction together and provide invaluable support at every stage.

But what involvement does a solicitor have when buying or selling a business?

The role of a solicitor in business sales and purchases

The complexity of business sales and purchases requires reliable legal advice to protect the integrity of the deal. This is true throughout the process of buying or selling, and the solicitor ensures that all is lawful before any deal is signed.

So what are the main duties of a solicitor in a business sale or purchase scenario?

Providing legal advice

The solicitor will provide legal guidance whenever needed, with areas typically including due diligence and the drafting of or scrutinising contracts before they’re signed. If employees are involved in a business sale/purchase the solicitor is likely to provide advice on protecting employees’ rights during the transfer of their contracts to the new owner.

Checking documents during the due diligence phase

Part of the solicitor’s role is to identify areas of risk to their client so the buyer due diligence phase can be particularly important to the transaction. They will check the buyer’s previous business history for potential issues that could negatively affect their client going forward.

Preparation of sales/purchase contracts

Ensuring that the final contracts are legally sound and that their client’s interests are safeguarded is a crucial part of the solicitor’s work. This includes minimising any impact of warranties and indemnities demanded by the purchaser so that their client’s financial interests are protected in the future.

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How to appoint a solicitor to buy or sell a business

Finding a solicitor who is experienced in business sales and purchase transactions offers you reassurance that the legal aspect of the deal is in safe hands. So what should you consider when searching for a solicitor to help with your business sale or purchase?

  • Do they have previous experience in buying and selling businesses?
  • Are there favourable reviews and feedback from former clients that are available to view?
  • Are they promoting a clear fee structure?

If you’re struggling to find a solicitor to help you conduct your business sale or purchase, our team at Selling My Business can provide recommendations based on longstanding connections.

Selling My Business are professional business transfer agents with a combined 60+ years of experience in conducting successful business transfers. We provide free business valuations and will support you throughout the process. Please contact one of the team to arrange a free consultation - we work from a nationwide network of offices.

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