The first step in buying a business is finding acceptable potential targets
, i.e., businesses to buy. Many good prospects can be found by searching the various internet business listing sites such as BizBuySell.com
Additional opportunities that are not publicly advertised can be found by working directly with a professional business broker. A business broker can also help a buyer find specialized opportunities that may not yet be "on the market," by conducting a specific search on behalf of the buyer for a fee.
2. Buyer Qualification
Our contracts with the sellers require that we only release confidential information about the company to prospective buyers that have been fully qualified and who have signed a confidentiality agreement.
Buyers are required to complete our standard Buyer Profile, Financial Qualification
and Confidentiality Agreements before we can share any details about the business.
3. Confidential Memorandum Review
Qualified buyers will receive a detailed Confidential Memorandum
that fully describes the business, including: management, location, products, markets and financial performance.
The Confidential Memorandum includes all of the information buyers and lenders normally require in making a decision to move ahead with the acquisition.
4. Buyer - Seller Meeting
A meeting is arranged between the buyer and the seller to establish rapport and begin building a feeling of trust. The buyer will usually have some questions
or may want more detailed explanations about certain aspects of the business. The seller may have additional questions about the buyer's managerial and financial qualifications.
5. Offer To Purchase
At this stage the buyer must make a decision to move ahead with the acquisition, and draft an initial Offer to Purchase. This document will include the price, terms and any contingencies that must be satisfied in order to close the sale. (A standard format form is available from the broker to assist the buyer in drafting the Offer).
The Offer to Purchase must be accompanied by a "good faith" deposit, normally 10% of the offer price. The deposit will be held in escrow by the business broker pending acceptance of the offer by the seller.
6. Due Diligence
Once the Offer is accepted by the seller, the buyer will begin a due diligence investigation.
The seller will make available all financial and operational data necessary to support the information in the Confidential Memorandum, including: tax returns, accountants' statements, bank records, accounts receivable and payable records, employee records, and customer information.
The buyer's advisors, including accountant, lender and attorney, will be given reasonable access to company files to complete the investigation.
When the buyer is satisfied that the business is in fact as represented, and the contingencies have been satisfied, a closing is scheduled to sign all the required documents and transfer ownership.
Buying a business isn't something you do every day
. Don't you owe it to yourself to have a professional business broker guide you through what could be the most important transaction of your life?
Call Lou Pereira today at 603.890.6628 or contact us directly via e-mail.