BUYING/SELLING A BUSINESS

Business sales and purchases: what you need to know

Whether you’re buying or selling a business or its assets, it’s important to get a specialist business lawyer involved early.

Depending on what you’re buying/selling (e.g. shares in a limited company, the assets of a company, an interest in a partnership, etc.) the legal requirements will vary. Likewise, a merger will have different requirements to an acquisition.

Each deal is different and some deals may require particularly complex provisions. For example, some key personnel may be required to remain at the company for a certain number of years following the deal. Or they may have to sign a non-compete clause. The legal documentation to ensure these provisions are correctly put in place is often highly technical and specialist knowledge is needed to ensure it is enforceable.

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As the buyer and seller will generally have differing end goals – the buyer will want to ensure they are getting everything the seller promised, whereas the seller will generally want to ensure they get paid and that there is no comeback from the buyer – it is important each party has their own legal representation.

Whether you’re the buyer or seller, a specialist corporate lawyer will be able to advise you on the procedure for each type of sale/purchase. They will also be able to assist you with the required due diligence and can advise you of any necessary indemnities, warranties and disclosure (all of which are important parts of buying/selling a business).

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Whilst skimping on a lawyer for your business purchase/sale may save a few pounds, in the long run it could be very costly. Failing to get the right agreements in place could mean: you find yourself still on the hook for liabilities you thought you sold with the company, that you're missing key assets following the purchase of a business or that you've got no recourse if something goes wrong.


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Our Lawyers

Tom Woodward
MORGAN
CONSULTANT SOLICITOR
SOUTH WEST

Morgan has extensive experience advising businesses on company and commercial law. His practice includes advising on acquisitions and disposals, capital raising, commercial contracts, partnership matters, outsourcing, shareholder & joint ventures agreements and general company law matters.

Tom Woodward
ADAM
DIRECTOR
WEST MIDLANDS

Adam is a director with 14 years' experience. As a business owner himself, Adam is able to advise a range of clients, from entrepreneurs to large private companies, on any aspect of corporate or commercial law.

Tom Woodward
LUCY COOK
SENIOR ASSOCIATE
NORTH EAST

Lucy is a member of the Commercial Team with a particular expertise in the technology and manufacturing sectors. From a technology perspective, Lucy spent a number of years at Sage UK. From a manufacturing perspective, Lucy has a wealth of experience gained from supporting blue-chip clients in the rail sector.

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