Sales June 11, 2013 Last updated September 18th, 2018 1,886 Reads share

Questions To Ask When Buying A Business

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There are many things to consider once you have decided to buy your own business and be your own boss. Obviously the business itself, location and price are the first things to take into account, but it is also very important to sit down and discuss your plans with your family especially if it requires you taking kids out of school, sporting activities, etc.

Make sure you get the ‘OK’ from the boss before making the financial commitment.

Buying a business is a very exciting time

You may be genuinely interested in buying a business, but are asking yourself how to buy a business and since common sense will tell you that this should never be a hasty decision, you still may feel that you really don’t know where to begin.

If you find yourself in this situation, taking the time to answer the following questions may help you to connect the dots.

What are some factors I should consider?

If you decide to buy a business, you may be assuming a sizable risk, and making the wrong decision could have a devastating affect on your personal and financial life. At this point, try to to determine:

* if buying a business is something you really want to do,
* if your expectations of profit from the business are realistic
* if you have the skill and experience needed to run the business successfully.

How can I find the business I want?

There are many sources where you can search for a business for sale, including the internet, but the price range and location you have in mind will probably limit your options. Some well-established business brokers provide a “buyer service,” and you can hire one of them to do the hunting for you.

In this case, you will pay a commission, rather than the current owner, but having a reputable professional working on your behalf is always a wise investment.

Previous experience and knowledge?

Although you certainly want to succeed financially when you buy a business, it is absolutely essential that that the business is something you know you will like. Having previous experience and knowledge within the industry is certainly an advantage compared to investing in a business you have little to no experience in. Also, to avoid any hidden risks, you should also find out why the current owner is planning to sell.

What should I find out about the financial status of a business?

If the seller’s claims seem spectacular, you should be aware that they may be 100% fiction, and you should also perform an in-depth review of the financial records.

How can I calculate a fair purchase price?

This should be based on the enterprise value of the business, including company stock, and the working capital needed to keep it running. The latter depends on the payment terms that have been established with suppliers and customers, and those seasonal factors that may have an effect on your cash flow. It’s always advised to get an independent business valuation.

What are some points to consider when I establish the terms for buying a business?

You need to determine that the owner is a reputable entrepreneur, and avoid closing the deal until each of your concerns has been discussed and all of your questions have been answered.

Consult with a solicitor in regards to the business sale who is experienced in dealing with clients when they a buy business. Also have your accountant perform a “due diligence” analysis of the finances before you sign on the dotted line.

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