The valuation, sale and acquisition of businesses has long formed part of the practice of this firm. We work with the client's accountant and solicitor as necessary to gain a proper understanding of the business, its saleability and the complications that are likely to arise on transfer.
The value of a business is usually made up of a property value (whether freehold or leasehold), goodwill and fixtures, fittings and equipment. Stock is transferred at valuation but the amount of stock which a buyer is asked to take over can affect the value of the other assets. Liabilities and potential liabilities such as redundancy payments have to be taken into account. The area which causes most uncertainty and where experience is important is in the assessment of goodwill. This is the amount that someone will pay to take over the running of the business. The buoyancy and optimism of the market as a whole and the supply and demand for the particular type of business are both important factors in assessing goodwill.
A successful business sale is often the result of good presentation. The often complex arrangements that make up a business have to be simplified so that they can be easily understood. The principal selling points are identified together with the best places to market the business. Key information that will be demanded by any prospective purchaser needs to be gathered together.
Timing a business sale is important, not only to meet the seasonal fluctuations in the market but also to ensure that accounts are up-to-date and well presented. Liaison with staff, suppliers and the company's customers has to be considered and making sure that the proprietor's solicitor has the deeds and necessary documents available in order to prepare a contract at short notice
In all our business dealings we appreciate the need for discretion and all confidences are respected.