As a business owner when you determine you require professional advice on the process of selling or buying a business, who do you talk to?
Your Business Accountant
While your accountant will definitely be a valuable part of the process to prepare and support a transaction, the fact is most accountants (not all) are not involved in the buying and selling of businesses on a continuous basis. This can impact you the business owner as the practice of applying general rules of thumb for business valuations and lack of expertise on current trends in fair market value of transactions inevitably leads to a lower transaction value. The difference is your money.
While your business lawyer will definitely be a valuable part of the process to prepare and support a transaction, you will benefit from engaging a lawyer that provides your team with experience and expertise in the buying and selling of a business. There are a number of legal firms which include a transaction advisory team for mergers, acquisitions & divestitures. They will have the expertise to protect your best interest in the fine “negotiating” and “papering” of the transaction.
It has been our experience transaction lawyers are great at the legal side however they require the buyer and seller be located and connected by some other party i.e.: Lawyers typically do not excel at cold calls and opportunity development. The difference is your money.
Your Transaction Team Leader
Titles for various roles in the Buying and Selling of Businesses:
- Investment Bankers – Work for a financial institution that is able to assist you in raising capital by acting as your agent in the issuance of securities. Some specialize in strategic M&A transactions including asset purchases, and corporate restructurings. Are able to handle public and private transactions.
- Business Brokers – Assist buyers and sellers of privately held small businesses. A licensed commercial real estate agent (in AB) who may act as your agent in the sale.
- Individual Consultants – Individuals who feel they have enough experience in the field to comply with legal requirements, and are able to negotiate on your behalf.