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What do I need to know if I want to purchase a business?

Purchasing a business is an appealing idea to some. Owning a business allows you to work for yourself, set your schedule and have flexibility. Every year more than half a million businesses exchange hands. Buying an already-established business can save you time and money over starting a new business, but it still comes with its own set of complications.

When considering buying a business:

  • Decide what kind of business you would like to own. Do you have specific knowledge, skills, or passion for a particular subject? You want to make sure that in the long run, this will be beneficial and sustainable.
  • Find businesses for sale. Find a business that fits within your list of needs, wants, and budget. You can also contact a local real estate agent or business broker to see what is available. Ask colleagues, friends, and family if they can keep their ears open too.
  • Determine why the business is for sale. Is the business profitable for the current owner? Why or why not? Evaluate all the pros and cons of purchasing a particular business. It is also important to ask a lot of questions and keep a journal of meetings so you can evaluate.
  • Gather as much information as possible. Ensure all necessary licenses, permits, and other business documents are in order and up-to-date. Double-check zoning restrictions and environmental regulations you must follow. Make sure to dive in deep and look at the finances.

While there are many tasks and documents, a potential business owner can undertake on their own using the extensive online resources available. Many of these items can seem overwhelming, or hard to digest, you should consider talking to a business attorney so you make the best decision.

A business attorney can advise you on the terms and conditions when purchasing a business. They can help you draft the necessary documents you need to obtain or transfer a business license, as well as any other documents or annual reports you may need to file with State and Federal agencies.

Deciding to purchase a business is an emotional and financial commitment. You want to be sure you are protected as much as possible if anything goes wrong with your business deal. If you believe you need to talk to an attorney regarding the setup of a business, business litigation, contract formation or litigation, or any other commercial or corporate law needs, contact our office at 330-922-4491 or through our contact page to schedule an initial consultation.