What's best to read to prepare for buying a small business in the UK?
February 6, 2012 1:23 PM   Subscribe

What are the best resources for someone looking to buy a small business in the UK?

I'm soon to be viewing a small shop (service industry, not retail) that is up for sale. It's the same type of place I have been working in and managing for 4-5 years, but in a different city. It's very similar to where I am now in terms of size, staff, location, income and operating costs.

What are the best resources in print and online for someone in this position? I've been reading a lot online and in one book saying pretty much the same thing. I've done this before, but that was a more informal one-person-operation. So I'm feeling fairly prepared, but I'm wondering if there's one really great website/book that I haven't come across.

I'm especially looking for advice on what to do in a situation where there are multiple potential buyers (apart from having a realistic budget, not getting swept away in a bidding war, be ready to put down money ASAP to get ahead of a similar or even larger bid).
posted by K.P. to Work & Money (1 answer total)
Disclaimer: I am a lawyer, but not your lawyer. Not to do the whole "you want to get a lawyer" thing, but if this is a business with more than a one-person setup, you may want to have a corporate/commercial lawyer draft a basic sale agreement (with warranty coverage, restrictive covenants & maybe an earn-out) and an employment specialist to cover off any TUPE issues if there are employees.

If you can find a decent commercial high-street or regional firm who deal with small business transfers, they should also be able to offer commercial advice on your multiple buyers/auction strategy, etc. e.g. You could put in place an exclusivity agreement while you do your due diligence on the business. Your accountant should also be able to advise on this.
posted by bright cold day at 2:17 PM on February 6, 2012

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