Buying an existing business in Florida requires a strategic approach. To help you attain your goal, an attorney will provide expert legal counseling and protect your interests to ensure a fair deal. Keep reading to find out how to hire an attorney to buy a business in Florida.
How to Hire an Attorney to Buy a Business in Florida – In-Depth
Understanding the Seller’s Mindset
The first step involved in buying an existing business is identifying an interesting business offer. An expert attorney may help clients by searching for offers using the seller’s viewpoint to filter the best opportunities.
When selling a business, the company’s owner will define a goal and structure an exit strategy. Depending on the company’s size and structure, the exit strategy will affect the price paid by the buyer.
An attorney will help buyers to understand the range of value involved in a business purchase. If the business seller and prospective buyers have colossal differences in terms of value expectations, it is impossible to get a mutually beneficial purchase price.
In most cases, buyers tend to look for businesses with a positive cash flow (either current or potential), customer diversity, and potential for long-term growth.
Proceeding with the Business Purchase
After working with an attorney to understand the seller’s viewpoint and the motivations that led to the business sale, it is time to select the most interesting offer. Upon finding the right company, the attorney will help buyers to value the business.
Valuing a business requires a strategic approach, as it may involve the assistance of different professionals (e.g., appraisers, CPAs, etc.). During this process, the legal advisor will help research the company’s liabilities, assets, and equity.
Once the buyer decides to move forward with the acquisition, the negotiation process begins. The attorney will serve as a valuable partner throughout the negotiation, using legal knowledge and real-world experience to protect the buyer’s interests.
If the parties agree to the terms and price, the buyer must submit a letter of intent (LOI). Although this document is not a purchase agreement, it will outline the terms previously negotiated with a statement confirming the intent to acquire the company.
After submitting the LOI, the buyer must work with the attorney to complete due diligence, which includes reviewing:
- The company’s organizational documents
- The company’s tax information (including tax returns)
- The existence of customers lists and proprietary information
- Whether the purchase of a company includes the acquisition of confidential business information
- Whether the company’s existing contracts will be assigned to the new owner
- Employee and management information
- Marketing and advertising materials
- The company’s legal records
- The existence of pending litigations against the company
Closing the Transaction
The attorney may draft any documents necessary to close the deal. If applicable, he or she will alert the buyer of any conditions under a contract that may incur negative impacts in the future. When drafting the necessary documentation, the attorney might negotiate on a client’s behalf to modify specific contractual terms.
After each party has signed the documents, the attorney may continue to represent the new business owner to oversee the company’s management, fix any existing issues, and leverage the business’s potential.