For some people the chance to own their own business is a dream come true. You may, however not necessarily want to start from scratch and would prefer to take on an existing business and put your own stamp on it. However, there is always the fear of what you are getting into. This is why it helps to think about the various legal issues involved when buying a business.

You have probably seen the phrase “Due diligence”. This is where you get your legal representative to look over the business to ensure that you know what you are getting into and you won’t have to take on enormous debts you weren’t aware of and so forth (this is why it pays to get an experienced solicitor to do this!)

You should also be able to arrange warranties and indemnities. This follows on from due diligence to help protect you from any unexpected circumstances after buying the business, with an indemnity being a promise the seller makes in the event of any particular circumstance you are not prepared for (such as inheriting massive pension liabilities from a company).

There are also issues around real estate and intellectual property- in simple terms you want to be sure that what the sellers are offering are things that they have the right to sell. This may sound obvious but this can happen- companies may find that third parties have claims on real estate and intellectual property that the sellers failed to inform the buyer about so it is vital to have this checked as thoroughly as possible before finalising a purchase.

As well as property there will also be issues about taking on employees. A company ought to clearly provide information on this. For example, they ought to inform you of any upcoming tribunals or any other issues with employees that need to be resolved.

Another option you may consider is purchasing a franchise. The advantage of this is that a lot of the structure is already in place. However, it is still worth getting legal advice before purchasing a franchise in order to gauge whether or not it is a suitable investment for you and that the company can provide you with the support you need in order to make the franchise a viable investment.

The process of buying a business can be extremely complicated. The fact is that you need to be wary and that if any offer seems too good to be true then the chances are it is. This is why you need to have people who are experienced enough to check the details and ensure that everything is accounted for before you purchase a business or a franchise.

Larcomes have a number of experienced solicitors involved in both the buying and selling of businesses. Contact them today for more information on what they can do for you and to ensure that you are protected as much as possible when buying a business.