20 Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Business

  • There are many questions to consider regarding financials, sales and marketing, legal issues, employees and company assets.

  • Why are you selling your business?

  • When did you decide to put your business up for sale?

  • Are you the business founder? How long have you owned the business?

  • What will you do if you can\'t sell the business?

  • How did you value your business and set your asking price? What are your current debts?

  • What financial documents do you have to support the sale?

  • How will you train the new owner and support the business transition? Are you available for a period after the sale to answer questions, provide information or consult?

  • Do you have any lawsuits or liens on your business? Have you ever had any lawsuits or liens?

  • What are your current debts?

  • Will you sign a non-compete clause?

  • How many hours per week do you work? Are you paying yourself?

  • How do you promote and market your business?

  • What is your businesses reputation? Have you won any recognition or awards? Are you rated by the Better Business Bureau or review sites such as Yelp? Do you have a following on social media?

  • What is the value of your current contracts? When do they expire?

  • What licenses and permits are required to run the business? When do they expire? What are the fees?

  • Does the company rely on any trademarks or patents? Who owns them? Will they be transfered with the business sale?

  • Is your business seasonal, or steady year-round?

  • Who are you main competitors? What are their advantages - and disadvantages? What market share do you have?

  • Are your employees aware the business is for sale? Do key employees have a non-compete clause?

  • What do your employee benefits cost? Are your employees unionized? Do they want to be?

This checklist was created by anthonycaliendo

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