Palmers Solicitors is urging entrepreneurs to plan carefully for the sale of their business and not to be enticed by offers that come out of the blue.
Matthew Johnson, a specialist in Company and Commercial law, issued the warning with many business owners being tempted by unsolicited offers.
“When it comes to selling your business, it could be easy to think of the process as being just like selling any other valuable asset, such as a car or a house,” he said.
“However, businesses are complex entities. They can be sold, in whole or in part and can be divided up or restructured in innumerable ways.”
He said that, as a consequence, there are many different ways in which prospective purchasers can assess the value of a business. This will depend on precisely what they are looking to achieve from the purchase, but will always be informed by their knowledge of the terms of similar sales in the recent past.
“These terms can include the amount to be paid, the form in which the business is to be sold, whether you must remain as an employee or a consultant to the business for a certain period of time, non-compete agreements and confidentiality agreements.
“Having an idea of the most advantageous terms you are likely to achieve in the sale of your business is necessary to inform the tasks of optimally preparing it for sale, marketing it appropriately and negotiating the sale.
“Seeking specialist advice at an early stage from an experienced professional is therefore crucial,” he said.
The Company Commercial department at Palmers Solicitors can advise on sales and purchases of businesses, either by the sale of shares or assets, advising on aspects including warranties and indemnities, disclosure, financial arrangements and potential liabilities.
The firm works closely with accountants in relation to the taxation aspects of transactions in order to ensure the most tax-efficient structures are in place.