Legal Advice on Buying or Selling Any Business

Solicitors for Buying and Selling Businesses

Our firm regularly handles the purchase and sale of the following business types:

Pubs & Bars, Cafes, Restaurants, Retail Shops, Letting Agents, Bed and Breakfasts, Hair Salons and Beauty Salons & Nail Bars.

Bartletts Solicitors offers a cost-effective and efficient fixed fee service for prospective business buyers and sellers. Our legal fees for buying and selling a business depend on the complexity of the business that you are intending to purchase or sell. For small businesses such as cafes, hairdressers, restaurants, and pubs, we usually charge a simple fixed fee of £550 (+VAT). For this price we:

Check VAT issues to see if the buyer or seller has to pay VAT

If a business is being purchased or sold as a going concern, i.e. the ownership of the business is being transferred outright, then it is not treated as the ‘supply of good or services’, and no VAT will be payable on the business transaction. However, when only specific assets of a business are being purchased, such as machinery or fixtures and fittings, these transactions will normally be subject to VAT at the appropriate rate. Though this sounds relatively straightforward, in reality there are various conditions and provisions attached, and failure to deal with VAT in the correct manner can result in penalties and interest being charged by HMRC.

Recent Customer Review (25 August 2021): 'James Edwards dealt with a new commercial property lease. His advice, expertise, accuracy and speed of work was exemplary and I wouldn’t hesitate to use him again.'  Read more >

  • Advise on Apportioning the Purchase Price Between Contents, Stock and Goodwill
  • Check for Restrictions on Trade
  • Assist with Website Transfer
This is extremely important for tax purposes. The seller is likely to seek the maximise the amount that is apportioned towards goodwill and understate the value of contents and stock, as this will reduce their tax liabilities. However, in the interests of tax relief, it will be in the buyer’s interest to apportion as much as of the purchase price as possible towards contents and stock, as these will qualify as capital allowances. The split in value between contents, stock and goodwill will therefore need to be negotiated between the buyer and seller, and must of course be realistic, though with sound legal advice the buyer will be able in reduce their tax liabilities as far as possible.
Before buying a business or entering into a lease agreement, it is essential to check for any restrictions on trade which may affect the viability of the business going forward. Trading hours may be restricted either by the landlord, the local authority, or both, which could have serious implications for a pub or restaurant, for example, as would the absence of a license to sell alcohol. Delivery and loading times, rubbish collection, access and parking are other factors which may need to be checked. It is also important to ascertain the current permitted use class of the business premises to check that it can be use for the intended purpose of the new owner, as planning permission will otherwise be required from the local authority to change from one use class to another, and there is no guarantee that an application to do so will be successful.
Increasingly often, the web presence of a business is one of its most valuable assets in terms of generating new business and keeping in contact with existing customers. The prospective business buyer will need to make sure that the domain name, website content, hosting account, customer databases and any relevant files are transferred seamlessly from the previous owner (depending on the specific plans and requirements of the new owner). The ownership of the business’s social media accounts will also need to be transferred. This is an area that is often overlooked or not handled efficiently, and which can potentially cause serious problems for a new business owner.

The commercial property law department at Bartletts Solicitors can also assist business buyers in negotiating with landlords regarding lease terms, and examining commercial lease documents to help the prospective tenant avoid the common pitfalls that it may contain. Contact our team of specialist commercial property solicitors today for a free no obligation quotation.

Our commercial property team can work with our Liverpool divorce solicitors if you have any questions regarding the disposal of assets, such as a business or other commercial interest, and the divorce process generally.

Why Choose Bartletts Solicitors?

Solid Traditional Values Delivered
in a Modern Convenient Manner

Our firm has years of experience in buying and selling businesses 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 buying and selling businesses. You can expect that your transaction will be completed promptly at a competitive fixed fee.

Customer service is very important to us. John Bartlett has been managing the firm for over 40 years and takes customer satisfaction very seriously.

Send Our Business Purchases & Sales Team an Enquiry:

Commercial Property Team:

Commercial Property Solicitor
Contact James Edwards for a free no obligation quotation today by phone or via our contact form. James is a commercial property solicitor advising on buying and selling businesses.

James also has experience in commercial property leases, an essential skill as many businesses come with a property lease. He is friendly and very approachable. James works with Christopher Bartlett, who is an experienced commercial property solicitor working on large development projects.

About Our Commercial Property Team >>

Bartletts is proud to support a number of public bodies and charities, including Liverpool Cathedral, National Museums Liverpool, the Walker Art Gallery and Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice. You can find out more on our blog or on social media.

“I was delighted Bartletts Solicitors continued their tradition of philanthropy with Liverpool Cathedral this year. Thank you so much for your generous gift.” - The Dean of Liverpool, The Very Revd Dr. Sue Jones (Dec 2020)