Legal Advice on Buying or Selling Any Business

Solicitors for Buying and Selling Businesses

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 (30 October 2023): 'James was excellent. Thorough, helpful and very professional throughout. Fees were made clear from the beginning and no hidden extras.'  Read more >

  • Advise on Apportioning the Purchase Price Between Contents, Stock and Goodwill
  • Check for Restrictions on Trade
  • Assist With Website Transfer
  • Buying or Selling a Shop
  • Buying or Selling a Beauty Business
  • Legal Advice for Restaurateurs
  • Buying or Selling a Letting Agency
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.
The purchase or sale of a shop, supermarket or other retail outlet by freehold or leasehold can be a complex business, and specialist legal advice from a commercial retail solicitor will normally be necessary to make sure you get the right deal.

There are many issues to consider when acquiring or selling a shop, especially the terms of the lease or the contract of sale on the premises. We can handle all aspects of the transaction, and any other issues related to the use of the property.

We have solicitors specialising in the purchase and sale of shops, supermarkets and retail premises with many years of combined experience in handling these business purchase transactions from our Liverpool City Centre office. We offer a nationwide service, a free no obligation quotation, and a highly competitive fixed fee structure.
Beauty salons and nail bars have mushroomed on British high streets in recent years, as grooming treatments and beauty routines have become mainstream and part of everyday life for millions of women. Buying or selling a business of this kind can be a complicated process, and for this reason it is essential that prospective buyers and sellers seek specialist legal advice to make sure that the deal is right for them.

Would-be buyers of beauty and nail salons who are taking on a lease with their new business will need to decide whether to simply transfer the current lease on the same terms or negotiate a new lease with the landlord. In both cases the lease terms will need to be examined by an experienced solicitor to ensure that the lease serves the intended purpose of the new business and to identify any potential hidden pitfalls, such as an obligation to repair the property, which can have significant financial repercussions down the line.

If the salon is being purchased outright, the contract for sale and transfer documentation will need to be checked and/or negotiated with the seller for similar reasons. Various property searches (e.g. with the Land Registry) will also need to be carried out and enquiries raised to check for possible issues affecting the transaction or the future viability of the business, such as local authority development plans, access to water and drainage, and environmental factors.

There may also be issues related to the use of the property and planning consent which may or may not have been addressed by the previous owner or occupier. Changes to planning consent will take at least 3 months for an application for change of use to be processed by the local council, which can seriously disrupt the purchaser’s business plans and finances in the meantime. Employment issues may also need to be addressed when a salon is being taken over as a going concern, as the contracts of current employees will need to be honoured by the new owners, which raises a number of potential problems.

We have solicitors specialising in the purchase and sale beauty salons and nail bars with many years of combined experience in handling these business purchase transactions from our Liverpool City Centre office. We offer a nationwide service, a free no obligation quotation, and a highly competitive fixed fee structure.
It is important for the prospective owners and occupiers of restaurants, sandwich bars and similar establishments to make sure that the terms of their purchase or lease are agreed at an early stage, to prevent subsequent misunderstandings.

We can examine your lease and help make sure that it serves your intended business purposes. We also offer advice if you are selling a restaurant, as well as regarding issues such as licenses for serving alcohol, outdoor seating arrangements, ventilation and disabled access.

We have solicitors specialising in restaurant purchases and restaurant sales, with many years of combined experience in handling property transactions of this kind from our Liverpool City Centre office. We offer a nationwide service, a free no obligation quotation, and competitive fixed fee legal services.
Both the prospective buyer and seller of a letting or estate agency are likely to require legal advice. We can examine the contract of sale, and advise on your rights and responsibilities when you purchase the business.

We can also handle all matters connected with employment law, and any other aspect of how to run your letting agency business in your own way.

We have solicitors specialising in the buying and selling of letting agencies, with many years of combined experience in handling these transactions from our Liverpool City Centre office. We offer a nationwide service, a free no obligation quotation, and a competitive fixed fee structure.

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.

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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