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Business Sale Solicitors

Business Sale Solicitors

Smooth transitions and return on investment

Transactions involving the sale, purchase or transfer of ownership of a business are often legally complex. These need to be handled carefully to deliver a smooth transition and maximum return on investment.

The business sale solicitors at Walker Foster are here to help you with all aspects of business sales, acquisitions and mergers, providing essential legal services to ensure that your transaction is handled properly.

Whether you are considering selling your business, acquiring another business, or restructuring an existing company, our team of expert business sale solicitors is ready to help you navigate through the process, ensuring your business sale contract or purchase agreement is clear and favourable. We provide tailored legal services to suit the unique needs of each client, across various sectors.

Our focus is to streamline the transaction process, covering everything from asset sales and share agreements to drafting personalised business sale agreements. As your solicitors, we put your interests first, ensuring that the terms of your deal, such as the purchase price and payment terms, align with your goals. We cover all details, from initial due diligence to the final agreement, to ensure clarity and understanding for all parties involved.

Whether you are buying a business, selling assets, or need a solicitor for a small business transaction, Walker Foster is here to provide expert advice and peace of mind. Get in contact with our business sale solicitors to find out how we can support you.

Our Business Sale and Purchase Services

At Walker Foster, we offer a comprehensive range of services tailored to meet the needs of those involved in buying and selling a business. Our experienced business sale solicitors will provide legal guidance and support to complete your transaction as smoothly as possible, whether it's a straightforward sale or a complex merger or acquisition.

We understand that each transaction is unique, with its own set of challenges and opportunities. Our approach is to work closely with you, providing clear, practical advice tailored to your specific circumstances. We aim to ensure that whether you are involved in buying a business, selling or both, the transaction is completed efficiently, protecting your interests and facilitating your business's growth and success.

Our business sale solicitors are committed to delivering high-quality service, ensuring that all parties involved, both the seller and the buyer, understand the terms of the transaction and that the sale proceeds in a timely manner. Whether you need assistance with a business sale agreement, an asset purchase, or navigating the complexities of property rights, Walker Foster is here to help.

What are the steps involved in buying a business?

Buying a business involves several important phases, and each must be completed with the required attention to detail to ensure a smooth and successful acquisition:

  • Preliminary considerations: start by defining your objectives and what type of business aligns with your goals, considering factors such as sector and size.
  • Due diligence: conduct a comprehensive review of the business's financials, legal documents and contracts to assess its value and identify any risks. This includes examining intellectual property and commercial property assets.
  • Negotiating terms and price: use the insights from due diligence to negotiate the purchase price and terms, including payment terms and conditions precedent.
  • Legal documentation: draft and review essential legal documents, such as the business purchase agreement and disclosure letter, ensuring they reflect the agreed terms and protect your interests.
  • Financing: if necessary, secure financing for the purchase, which may involve negotiating with lenders or structuring the payment terms within the asset purchase agreement.
  • Completion and post-sale: finalise the transaction by signing the final contract, transferring the payment, and taking over the business. Post-sale, we assist with legal formalities and the transfer of ownership details.
  • Integration and beyond: after acquisition, we support your transition into the new role, ensuring the business's smooth operation under new ownership and addressing any legal concerns.

At Walker Foster, we will streamline this buying process, from helping you to develop a comprehensive business purchase agreement, to negotiating and finalising the transaction, while keeping you informed and in the loop throughout.

What are the steps involved in selling a business?

Selling a business also requires careful planning and legal expertise to ensure the process is conducted according to best practice. At Walker Foster, our business sale solicitors are equipped to guide you through each step:

  • Preparation: begin by preparing your business for sale, which includes organising financial records, identifying key assets, and ensuring all legal paperwork is in order. This phase sets the foundation for a successful sale.
  • Valuation: accurately valuing your business is vital. We work with you to assess the company's financial performance, market position and assets, including intellectual property and commercial property, to establish a fair and attractive price.
  • Marketing: once your business is ready and valued, the next step is to market it to potential buyers. This involves creating a sales memorandum and discreetly reaching out to potential buyers.
  • Negotiating offers: when offers are received, we will help you review and negotiate the terms to ensure they meet your objectives. This includes discussing the sale price, payment terms and any exclusions or warranties.
  • Due diligence: buyers will conduct their own due diligence. We can assist you in managing this process, ensuring they have access to the necessary information, while protecting your business's confidential details.
  • Legal documentation: we draft and review the sale of business contracts and other related documents, such as the asset purchase agreement or share purchase agreement. Our goal is to ensure that all legalities accurately reflect the agreed terms and protect your interests.
  • Completion: once all parties agree, the transaction can move to completion. This involves signing the final business agreement, transferring the agreed lump sum payment, and handing over the business to the new owner.
  • Post-sale: after the sale, there may be additional requirements, such as transitioning responsibilities or finalising certain conditions. We continue to support you to ensure these are completed smoothly and in accordance with the sale agreement.

At Walker Foster, our approach to selling a business is designed to maximise your return while minimising stress and risk. From the initial preparation to the final handover, our team is here to ensure every aspect of the sale is handled with professionalism and diligence.

What is involved in a management buyout (MBO)?

An MBO is a unique transaction where a company’s existing managers acquire a significant part or all of the business. This type of acquisition can be advantageous for both the selling owner and the management team, and involves the following steps:

  • Planning and agreement: the initial phase involves outlining the intentions of both parties. Clear communication is key to agreeing on the basic terms of the buyout, including the purchase price and the structure of the transaction.
  • Due diligence: similar to buying or selling a business, due diligence is crucial. The management team needs to scrutinise the business's financials, legal standings and operational structures. Our solicitors assist in coordinating this review, ensuring a thorough evaluation is conducted.
  • Financing the buyout: securing financing is typically the most challenging part of an MBO. Options include bank loans, private equity or seller financing. We provide advice on the various financing structures, helping you choose the best option while drafting clear, legally binding agreements.
  • Legal documentation and negotiations: crafting the right legal documents is essential. This includes drafting the business sale agreement, asset purchase agreement, or share purchase agreement, depending on the nature of the buyout. Our team ensures these documents reflect the agreed terms, protecting all parties involved.
  • Completion and transition: once financing is in place and legal documents are signed, the MBO can be completed. We support the transition process, ensuring a smooth handover and helping address any post-completion adjustments or obligations.
  • Post-MBO support: after the buyout, we remain available to assist with any legal matters that arise as the new management team takes full control of the business. Whether this includes revising business agreements or dealing with new challenges, our solicitors are here to provide ongoing support.

An MBO can be a complex process, but with Walker Foster’s experienced business sale solicitors, management teams can navigate this journey with confidence. We ensure every aspect of the buyout is addressed, from the initial planning stages through to the successful transition of ownership, making the process as seamless and beneficial as possible for all parties involved.

Our approach to business sales and purchases

At Walker Foster, our approach to business sales and purchases is built around clear communication, detailed planning, and a deep understanding of our clients' needs. Whether you are buying a business, selling, or considering a management buyout, our team of experienced business sale solicitors is here to ensure your transaction is handled with the utmost care and professionalism.

We start by getting to know your business and objectives, allowing us to tailor our services to your specific needs, and for planning the transaction effectively. Our team takes the time to understand the nuances of your situation, enabling us to provide advice that is not only legally sound but also aligned with your business goals.

We will meticulously review all of the necessary documentation, conduct due diligence, and ensure that every aspect of the transaction is accounted for. From the initial business agreement to the final contract, we scrutinise each element to protect your interests and prevent future disputes.

Throughout the process, we provide practical, strategic advice designed to anticipate and address potential issues before they arise, and our team will work closely with yours throughout the transaction process. We believe in a collaborative approach, keeping you informed and involved at every stage. By maintaining open lines of communication, we ensure that you are always up to date on the progress of your transaction and that any questions or concerns are promptly addressed.

To learn more about how we have helped other businesses with their sale and purchase processes, take a look at our case studies.

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Friendly, knowledgeable and professional team

Why choose Walker Foster?

Standing out while fitting in

We strive for excellence

We care about our clients

We empower our people to make a difference together

Choosing the right solicitor can make all the difference when dealing with business sales and purchases. Walker Foster stands out for its blend of local presence and years of trusted service.

We have a rich heritage dating back to 1919, and a strong connection with the communities we serve. With local offices in Skipton, Barnoldswick, Silsden, Settle, Ilkley, Northallerton and Harrogate, we can bring not just legal expertise, but also a deep understanding of local nuances.

Walker Foster has been a trusted name for decades, building a reputation for excellence and reliability. Our longstanding history in the community reflects our commitment to delivering outstanding legal services and fostering lasting relationships with our clients.

Our extensive experience in business sales, acquisitions and legal services has established us as industry leaders. Our clients benefit from our comprehensive understanding and proven strategies, ensuring their transactions are handled efficiently and effectively. We are committed to providing tailored and commercially informed legal services, allowing us to guide your business transaction with the care and expertise required to deliver on your goals.

Business Sale and Purchase FAQs

What is included in a typical business purchase agreement?

A business purchase agreement, also known as a sale agreement or asset purchase agreement, is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions of a business transaction.

Here is a rough business sale agreement structure highlighting the key elements that are usually included:

  • Sale and purchase of assets: details what is being bought and sold, which can include assets such as equipment, inventory, intellectual property and commercial property. It may also specify excluded assets not part of the sale.
  • Purchase price and payment terms: outlines the total amount to be paid for the business and the terms of payment, which might include a lump sum payment, instalments, or other structured payment options. It also details any adjustments to the price and the allocation of the purchase price among the business assets.
  • Warranties and representations: statements by the seller and buyer about the business and its assets, intended to provide assurance about various aspects of the business being sold, such as financial condition, legal compliance, and the absence of undisclosed liabilities.
  • Covenants: agreements on actions that the buyer and seller promise to perform or refrain from performing both before and after the transaction is completed.
  • Indemnification: provisions for compensating the buyer or seller for losses resulting from breaches of warranties, representations or covenants.
  • Conditions precedent: conditions that must be fulfilled before the transaction can be completed, such as obtaining necessary approvals or clearances.
  • Dispute resolution mechanisms: outlines the methods for resolving any disputes that may arise from the agreement, such as arbitration or litigation.
  • Closing details: specifics about the finalisation of the transaction, including the date, location and documents to be exchanged.
  • Post-closing obligations: duties or actions the parties must complete after the sale has been finalised, which might include transferring utilities, completing necessary paperwork, or other post-sale responsibilities.

This document is central to ensuring that both parties understand their rights and obligations in the transaction and provides a roadmap for the transfer of the business. It is important to consult with a qualified law firm to ensure you have a detailed and comprehensive business purchase agreement in place, to avoid future disputes and ensure a smooth transition of ownership.

I would like to take this opportunity to say that we found the standard of your work to be of high quality and the service and support provided exceptional. With your professional and friendly manner, we have complete faith in you for any future transactions and we have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending you to others.

Meet the Team

Keith HardingtonDirector, Head of Company and Commercial Law
Craig WilliamsDirector, Head of Commercial Property
Allan StewartSolicitor, Commercial Property
Claire CollingeSolicitor, Employment Law
Rebecca GeldardTrainee Solicitor, Company and Commercial Law
Coralie LoughranAssistant in Company and Commercial Law team

If you are preparing to buy or sell a business, get in touch with Walker Foster. Contact us today to discuss your business sale or purchase needs, and discover how we can assist you in achieving your business objectives.

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