Choosing your Advisors when buying or selling a business.
I have previously addressed the importance of finding the right business broker when selling or buying a business.
But what about other advisors? As a Business Broker I am very careful not to offer tax, legal or financial advice. My expertise is in the field of business acquisition. I help people buy and sell businesses and I am careful not to veer off into other areas of expertise. Therefore if you need advice in these other areas then you will need to reach out and find an expert in these fields.
When you seek out a CPA, Business Attorney or Financial Advisor be sure they have the expertise you need. If buying or selling a business then you will want someone who has been involved in these types of transactions in the past.
Lawyer: Look for an attorney who specializes in business law and very importantly has expertise in business transactions. Business transactions need to be a win/win to get across the finish line. An attorney who takes a strongly adversarial stance will make it very difficult to get there. Instead an experienced business attorney knows what steps are standard in a small business acquisition and won’t make unnecessary waves. In addition it is important to ensure that your attorney is familiar with the size of transaction you are contemplating. A mom & pop business is not going to need the same attention as a large scale merger or acquisition and vice versa.
CPA: In addition to experience in business transactions you will need to ensure that your CPA has the time available to assist you. The due diligence process can be very time consuming for both buyer and seller and the CPA will need to be available to help you as needed. This can be very difficult during tax season so if you are selling a business have your business broker provide you with a list of documents a buyer is likely to want to see.
Financial Advisors: Managing their own money is a trap many small business owners fall in to. If you are a buyer check with your financial advisor. But again remember not all have knowledge of business transactions. Some will steer you away from this kind of investment simply because it they are unfamiliar with these transactions. So a comfort level in business acquisition as an investment is a must. For sellers you need to develop a strategy to manage your proceeds after the sale. In many instances this may be part of the funding of your retirement. Obviously the time to start this conversation is early in the process. But late is better than never.
The Team: Most of all your advisors should be willing to work together with your Business Broker as one team with the same goal in mind.
Time is of the essence: All your advisors Business Broker, CPA, Attorney, Financial Advisor will need to make you and the deal a priority. Business transactions by their nature come with a tight deadline. Everyone needs to perform their work in a timely manner. You may have the best Advisors in the world but if they can’t be available when you need them then you may want to keep looking.
Lastly remember that all of these professionals work for you. You may receive conflicting advice. And the end of the day the decisions you make must be yours.
Anthony John Rigney is a Florida based Business Broker. He is the owner and found of Quorum Business Advisors and has been assisting people in the purchase and sale of businesses since 2008.
For a free consultation call Anthony today 904-725-7677