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What should you be aware of when buying a business?

Our commercial property Solicitor, Sharon Tait, takes a look at some of the factors that should be considered before buying a business

As this will be one of the biggest decisions of your career it is important that you seek the advice of both your solicitor and accountant at an early stage to ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome.

There will be tax implications for you in respect of the sale and the value of the business.  The accounts and apportionments for goodwill, stock, fixtures and fittings and any property that may be included need to be considered.

Advice on employee contracts, pensions and TUPE regulations is also required.

If the sale includes the business premises, either freehold or leasehold (whether short or long term) there will be tax implications and if there is a mortgage, the Lender will have requirements to be complied with.  Short-term leases may be considered a liability rather than an asset and therefore not adequate security for a loan.  Searches would confirm the position with regard to planning permission for the proposed use and whether there are any environmental risks.

The entity of the parties, whether a limited company, a partnership or sole trader/self-employed, will influence the way the transaction is dealt with and any registrations with Companies House. 

Restrictions on trade, obligations, indemnities and warranties contracts, licences and professional qualifications will need to be dealt with where appropriate. 

Each transaction and the ultimate aims of the parties are unique, and it is important to discuss your proposed transaction at an early stage with your solicitor to enable you to make informed decisions about all aspects of the transaction to enable you to secure the best possible outcome for you.

About Sharon Tait

Sharon is an experienced Solicitor based in our Commercial and Company Law department who provides clear, straightforward advice to help and guide clients through a wide variety of transactions. You can contact Sharon via email ( or by telephone 01254 872 272.

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