Legal Advice on Buying or Selling a Cafe

Law Firm Advising on the Purchase or Sale of Cafes

Sitting in a crowded cafe full of suits at lunchtime, it’s easy to see the appeal of getting into the cafe business. The baguettes, sandwiches and salads seem to fly off the shelves, and a river of white cups filled with steaming coffee is flowing from behind the counter. “Easy money,” you find yourself thinking. “How hard can it be seving cups of coffee all day long?”

Not surprisingly, there’s a lot more to it than that, and getting your cafe to run as smoothly or profitably as your average Starbucks is no easy matter.

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  • Legal Advice on Starting a Cafe is a Necessity
  • Advice on Permitted Use When Buying a Cafe
  • Legal Advice on a Cafe Sit Out Licence
  • Advice on Cafe Trading Hours Permitted by the Lease
  • What Alterations Can I Make to the Cafe Premises?
  • Case Studies: Solicitor Advises on Unfair Coffee Shop Lease Terms
If you’ve found a cafe you want to buy, lease or sell then you’re probably feeling quite impatient to get started. Unfortunately, you really do need to take the time to get some advice from a solicitor on buying, leasing or selling a cafe business. You’re risking too much by simply signing on the dotted line. The good news is we’ll make the process quick and painless. Because we’re experts at buying, leasing and selling cafes we only stick to the essentials.

Sound legal advice on the law relating to leasing a cafe will save you time and money. Here are some typical important issues that always need to be considered when buying a cafe:
Pay close attention to exactly what you can and cannot do in the cafe. Do you plan to sell any food? If so, are we talking takeaways, proper sit down restaurant-style meals or simply a snack? Will you sell alcohol? Whatever you want to do in the property, make sure your lease lets you do it and there is a planning consent in place.
Ask yourself; can my customers sit on the street outside my cafe? It is often crucial for cafe customers to be able to sit out in the street. Does the lease provide you with the right to do so? If not, then you may need to approach the local council to arrange permission for this.
Some landlords are keen to restrict trading hours to avoid upsetting neighbours or residential tenants in a development, or simply because it makes management of the building/shopping centre easier. Running a cafe is very different from having a clothes shop or an office. Flexible hours can be crucial. It’s not unusual for cafes to be open all hours, including weekends.
When our clients buy a cafe they will normally want to make some alterations to the place. These can range from serious fit out works involving the installation of a commercial kitchen with flues to simply putting up a neon sign outside. Whatever changes you’re planning, chances are you will need the landlord and/or the local council to approve some of them. It is vital to sort these issues out before signing the lease or contract. We believe sound legal advice on negotiating cafe lease terms is crucial.
Christopher Bartlett was the solicitor negotiating the lease terms for a coffee shop. A well-known city centre coffee shop had some major fit out works planned for the cafe they were going to rent. The landlord wanted them to agree that if he gave them notice at any time they would have to remove those works to let the landlord refurbish the building. We helped our client remove these potentially lethal clauses from the lease. Now the works are finished, the place looks great and our client knows that at least it will stay looking that way whilst they’re there.

The owner of a popular coffee shop in Kingston upon Thames was asked to sign a lease which gave her the right to seat her customers outside. So far so good. Unfortunately, the lease gave the landlord the right (elsewhere in the lease) to end that right on a whim. Imagine if he did that at the height of summer! It could have ruined the business. Needless to say, we advised our client to put her foot down until the landlord agreed to remove the offending wording.

Why Choose Bartletts Solicitors?

Solid Traditional Values Delivered
in a Modern Convenient Manner

Our firm has years of experience in buying and selling cafes across England and Wales.

Benefit from a free no obligation quotation, competitive fixed fees and no hidden costs.

Our solicitor, James Edwards, and his team of support staff are very experienced in the purchase and sale of cafes. You can expect that your transaction will be completed promptly at a competitive fixed fee.

Bartletts Solicitors was managed by John Bartlett for over 40 years, the last 25 of which he was assisted by Trevor Morris. Trevor is now the managing director, representing continuity for the firm’s traditional values and customer satisfaction ethos.

Send Our Commercial Property Law Team an Enquiry:
(or give us a call on 0151 227 3391)

Commercial Property Solicitors:

Commercial Property Solicitor
James Edwards is a commercial property solicitor advising on buying and selling businesses. He also has experience in commercial property leases. James and his team will be happy to offer you a free no obligation quotation.

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