Are you buying shares or are you buying the assets of an existing business?
We’ve done this several times ourselves so we know what it’s like from both sides! Deciding what you are buying has financial and tax implications. Are you buying shares or are you buying the assets of an existing business? Buying shares can be more expensive because you will acquire not only business assets but also liabilities and those liabilities may include hidden liabilities – contingent liabilities arising from events in the past in which you had no part!
So you will need an investigation into the target business – this exercise is often referred to as due diligence and it involves a skillful investigation by experienced accountants, working with your solicitors, into the target business. The aim is to identify important issues that need to be wrapped up in the Sale & Purchase agreement e.g. are there any unsettled tax liabilities or claims from customers, employees etc. The exercise starts with a thorough investigation of the latest accounts.