What to look for in a business purchase how to buy a business mail order restaurant service


Everyone has their own opinion. Here's mine! I hope you find them useful as a starting point. cb


How long has the business been in operation?

How long with present ownership?

Is the rent current? What is the length of time left on the lease? Are there any options to renew?

If a franchise, how long is the franchise agreement good for? What is the cost to re-new? Are there any remodeling requirements to update to present color and design schemes?

Why is the owner selling? To make a profit? Good reason! Declining sales? Good opportunity! New road coming through and he has already been reimbursed by the state? You might want to pass unless it is a steal. Crime? Fire? Rezoning? All public records, do your due diligence. Divorce? Death? Undercapitalized?

Sometimes even more important than why, is what happens after?

It will be difficult to get the real reasons of a sale, until you are committed to buying the business. Then, many times the seller opens up and you find yourself with a consultant or partner in your success. Remember, how you ask is more important than what you ask.

Tax returns (filed!), state sales tax returns & canceled checks, books and records, customer receipts, vendor list, supply list, inventory list, accountability methods, up to date workman's compensation records, personal property taxes have been paid, liens on the business, UCC filings, accurate asset list, good will and intellectual property rights.

Don't expect a broker, attorney, accountant or your uncle Henry to uncover all the aspects of a business. It's your money and your personal guarantee. The reason no one can give you a 'complete list of things to check' is because if one thing is overlooked on the list, guess who gets to pay the consequences?

I've been there...

Business Buyer Resource Center - "Learn 100s of tips, strategies and techniques to help you find and buy the right business".

Bizology - the study of business for sale


email to : info [at] bizology [dot] com
Chambersburg, PA 17201-1712
* TAX - LEGAL * * BUYING * | you are in buying index now |

business checklist | business information sheet | buyers ask questions | buyers cash requirements | buyer disclosure | buyer information | buyer memorandum | buyer resources |due diligence checklist | confidential buyer profile | escrow deposit | food service | how to evaluate a business | let's see the books | pre-paids | ratios | thank you | terms of the trade | what happened to seller financing | where's the value | what to look for | valuation program | HOME main index




Click Here!