Buying and selling a business can be a daunting prospect and for many people who find themselves involved in a buying a business for the first time, nothing in their previous experience will properly prepare them for it.
There are two main ways in which to acquire a business that is already trading:
An asset sale, in which all (or only some) of the assets and contracts of the business are transferred to the buyer, but the company that owns the business does not change ownership.
A share sale, in which the shares in the company that owns the business transfer to the buyer.
Where the business is owned by an individual or a partnership and is not a limited company, the deal will have to progress by way of an asset sale. However, where the business is owned by a limited company, the buyer and seller can choose whether to proceed via a share sale or an asset sale. If an asset sale, then the company will be the seller. If a share sale, then the company itself will be what is being sold, and the seller(s) will be the shareholder(s) in that company.
Our Commercial team are very experienced in advising on business sales and purchases. We can also advise on all the legal issues that arise in running a business, such as property and employment matters and all kinds of commercial agreements.