The UK's Guide to buying a business

Guide to Buying a Business

Decide what you are looking for?

 Bullet  What type of business are you looking for?
 Bullet  Where in the UK are you looking to be located?
 Bullet  Tenure, are you looking leasehold or freehold?
 Bullet  What price are you looking up to?
 Bullet  Do you require accommodation?

Now you have decided on the above it is time to Register and see the different businesses available for you. Registration is FREE, we will send your user name and password via royal mail and you will be able to Login and access the full details online.

Nationwide Businesses is one of the few business transfer agents that displays full business details online including photos, address, maps and you can even make appointments online.

How much capital is required?

You need to have the money for:
 Bullet  The business purchase price.
 Bullet  Stock at valuation
 Bullet  Solicitors fees
 Bullet  Rent is payable in quarterly in advance (if leasehold).
 Bullet  Rent deposit may be required (if leasehold depending on references).
 Bullet  Finance arrangement fees (if required)
 Bullet  Wholesalers deposits

How do I arrange finance?

 Bullet  Approach your own bank - the small business advisor is there to help. Alternatively, let a broker find you a deal. We can recommend reliable financiers eager to lend.
 Bullet  Re-mortgage / sell your house

How much is the maximum borrowing using the business as sole security?

 Bullet  55% of the purchase price on a leasehold.
 Bullet  75% of the purchase price on a freehold.

What’s the difference between leasehold and freehold?

On a freehold you purchase the business, goodwill, fixtures and fittings and the building. On a leasehold you purchase the business and the lease – you rent the building / premises from the landlord.

Can I look at the location before disturbing the vendor?

YES, we are happy to give out addresses for customers to look at the location of a business, please note: all address are given in confidence, if you want to meet the owner you must make an appointment.

How do I make an appointment?

Contact us either online or via the telephone, request a day and time that suits you, we will contact the vendor on your behalf and arrange the appointment as requested.

When going to see a business ask for the vendor, please be discrete, as most vendors will not have told staff, customers or other shops know that they are wishing to sell.

If you are running late for an appointment or unable to attend please call either the vendor or Nationwide Businesses Ltd who will be pleased to reschedule the appointment on you behalf.

What do I do once I have seen a business?

Contact Nationwide Businesses either via this site or on the telephone, even negative feedback is good as it helps us to help you find the business that you want.

If you are interested in taking the business further:

 Bullet  Request a copy of the accounts, VAT returns, copies of takings figures.
 Bullet  Contact us and make an offer.
 Bullet  All written correspondence mark ‘Subject to Contract’

What do I do once my offer has been accepted?

 Bullet  Appoint Solicitors - Solicitors who will legally transfer the business.
 Bullet  The solicitor will undertake local searches, approve the contract, advise on the procedure of transfer of ANY licences (for Pubs, Wine bars, Off Licences, etc.) as appropriate, verify the lease, liaise with the landlord, etc.
 Bullet  Arrange the Finance - Business Finance - Shop around for the deal that suits you. Approach your own bank - the small business advisor is there to help. Alternatively, let a broker find you a deal. We can recommend reliable financiers eager to lend.

All loans are subject to valuation, survey, references and interview.

What happens at exchange of contracts

 Bullet  Exchange Contracts - a deposit is paid and there is a legal commitment and a completion date is set.
 Bullet  At this stage vendors allow purchase to come to the business meet customers, suppliers, etc.
 Bullet  You must arrange Insurance: Life cover and building insurance, contents to cover the stock, and your processions.
 Bullet  Arrange for an independent stock-taker Stock Valuation this is usually a shared cost between vendor and purchaser and will take place on the day of completion.

What happens next?

 Bullet  Complete – you are now the owner of the business.

NB. We can recommend reliable financiers, thorough solicitors, conscientious insurance brokers and efficient stock-takers.