Why go to a Business Broker/ Business Adviser?
The professional business broker can be helpful to a buyer in many ways. In addition to showing several different acquisition targets, a professional broker:
• Will have likely been a business owner / operator and will have a vast amount of practical knowledge.
• Will have businesses that a buyer may not be able to find on his own.
• Is an excellent source of information on the buying process.
• May be able to assist you identifying what attributes you are really seeking in the acquisition.
• Can help with financing options.
• Has information on pricing and trends and other information taking place locally.
• Has relationships with other professionals that may be required or utilized in some way.
Seek out an experienced business broker who can assist you in finding a suitable business and coordinate the sequence of events.
Arizona Business Sales professionals are knowledgeable and skilled in profitable and timely business transfers.
Call us today to find out how we can help.(623) 295-9620
All Business Information Is Strictly Confidential
Therefore we carefully screen potential buyers regardless of how sophisticated they may appear. All potential buyers must complete a “Confidentiality Agreement” and are interviewed to determine their qualifications prior to any discussions. Many buyers are disqualified from time to time.
There are many reasons why someone makes the decision to go into business for themselves. To do my own thing, control my own destiny, don’t want to work for someone else, to better utilize my skills and abilities or to make money are just a few. There are also unique reasons why someone decides to acquire an existing business rather than go through a startup. Some of the attributes of purchasing an existing business are: the business has an existing track record, giving you the ability of knowing what it’s capabilities are under current leadership; there are skilled and trained employees in place; future capital needs may be leveraged with your instant equity and acquired tangible assets; there are established customers and a history of those relationships; there may me some licenses or permits that transfer or are assignable; working capital requirements may be reduced by immediate cash flow; avoiding the high failure rate of startup by some estimates as high as 75%, and most importantly the financial and lifestyle benefits.
Buying a business should not be taken lightly. Working with professional advisors is the key to successfully finding and purchasing the right business. Friends and well-meaning relatives are not usually qualified to provide the broad range of advice needed for a business acquisition.
Once you have made the decision to acquire a business, you should be prepared to execute a non-disclosure agreement AND a profile with the broker. You will have to do this with each broker you contact. These two documents assist the broker in the qualification process and it is in your best interest to provide them quickly and with little resistance. Be prepared to discuss your background, work experience and financial capabilities. (Remember that sellers, lenders and landlords will be very interested in your credit and personal financial statement at some point in the process).
If you have identified a specific target, the broker should share a detailed overview of the business that may be titled “Executive Summary” or “Profile”. It frequently contains a multi-period summary of its financial performance along with many other details such as brief employee information, leasehold or real property summary, a SWOT analysis, financing options, a brief history and terms of the sale. Do NOT expect to receive tax returns or financials at this time.
Remember to keep all information provided to you about the business confidential. Discuss only with your professional advisors and significant other and remind them that the information is confidential and is not to be disclosed to other parties. In most cases, the employees, customers, suppliers, landlords and lenders are not aware that these businesses are for sale. Premature disclosure could have a negative impact on the business being sold which could harm you and the seller.
After reviewing the information on the business profile, the broker will answer any questions you may have or will obtain the answers from persons deemed reliable. Assuming your satisfaction with the answers and review, the broker will schedule appointments with the business owners to view the facilities, operations and spend some time with the owner. This is a terrific opportunity to hear directly from the seller what it is like to own and manage the business. Will you have pride of ownership?
You now have a decision to make!
Due diligence can be very time consuming and costs will be incurred on both sides of the transaction. The seller does not want to go through a detailed due diligence process without knowing the buyer is serious and willing to make an acceptable offer to purchase the business. Therefore, before copies of tax returns and other business documents can be obtained and before any contact can be made with landlords, bankers, suppliers, employees, or customers, an offer is made.
The broker will draft the offer based on your terms and conditions and present the offer to you for your review. There are many terms and conditions; price, payment terms, contingencies on both sides, non-compete terms, closing dates, earnest money, financing, seller familiarization and many more. After your approval of the agreement demosrated by your execution of it, the broker will present it to the seller.
Once buyer and seller have come to terms in the agreement and it has been executed, an escrow will be opened and the due diligence will commence. It is important to know that the escrow company does NOT represent either the buyer or seller, but represents the contract.
During the due diligence period, the broker will coordinate your request for documents and assist in arranging meetings with related parties to the transaction including the business owner’s professional advisors, your professional advisors, the landlord, lenders and others as needed. While you are performing your due diligence, the escrow company will be conducting public record searches for liens and other encumbrances.
Once you are satisfied with all aspects of the business, you will authorize the escrow company to prepare closing documents for all parties to review. These documents may include bill of sale, chattel security agreement, promissory notes, etc. After the closing documents have been approved by the principals, a closing date will be scheduled. Certified closing funds (cashier’s check or bank wire) will be required at closing for the amount due.
The broker will coordinate with the principals and their advisors, landlord, lender, and others, to insure that all the necessary paperwork is completed by the closing date.
Now you, Mr. Buyer are in business, and with your new leadership and enthusiasm the business will grow to the next level and provide you with pride of ownership and an opportunity to live the American dream!