Whatever the reason you have behind selling your business, the situation can cause some unique legal challenges for both the buyer and the seller. From the time the general agreement on purchase or sale of a business, the complexities start to stack up. Emotions are high. If a buy-sell transaction is not completed properly from a legal standpoint, serious problems can come up in the future. Hiring an attorney experienced in business transactions can help minimize major legal worries during this process.
Hire an Attorney: Do your research and hire an attorney who has experience in buy/sell agreements. As an example, if you are in a business partnership or an LLC with multiple owners, an agreement will help to protect you in case a co-owner dies or wants to transfer their ownership. Hiring an experienced business attorney will also greatly decrease the likelihood that important legal considerations will be missed. They will help create a detailed ownership transition plan, properly document all transactions, and assure any ongoing obligations are properly spelled out.
Purchase Agreement: You never want to accept and sign a sales agreement without it being reviewed by an attorney first. It is important that all liabilities and obligations assumed by each party are clearly spelled out. Having a proper, detailed purchase agreement will help eliminate disputes or arguments between the buying and selling parties. In these important transactions, all parties want to make sure the terms and ground rules are easy to understand and agreeable. A good business attorney is invaluable in making this all work.
Negotiation: A seasoned business attorney will be able to help with negotiations regarding sales agreements, leases, and more. When buying or selling you want to make sure to establish a deal that is in your best interest. Don’t let items get left out due to lack of legal knowledge.
Once the final paperwork is signed, it will be too late to make changes or additions. Too many times in the early stages of a buy-sell situation, seemingly “little things” are left out. This is why working closely with a trusted business attorney is so important.
There are many legal documents that should be part of selling a business. An attorney will help you sift through all financial and legal documents, decide which ones are relevant to the transaction, and ensure nothing is left out. Working with an attorney you trust and are comfortable with is key to making this process as seamless as possible.
O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss Attorneys are experienced in working through buy-sell business transactions. Before proceeding with the sale, make sure to contact one of our attorneys today to set up an appointment to discuss your options.
Image Courtesy of Flickr/Diana Parkhouse