Guide to buying a business

Buying an established business rather than starting a new business can be a good option for many potential business owners. Established businesses come with an existing customer base and are already trading. However, you may also inherit any problems that the business has. You need to know exactly what you're signing up for, and be clear about your ability to run a business.

Buying a business is a complex and time-consuming process. You will need to investigate in detail the business you plan to buy, making sure it is feasible and has a well-developed market for its products or services.

You will have to check business records, plans and operations, and familiarise yourself with your competitors and the industry. You will also need to check that the business has the appropriate licences, permits and registrations and find out which ones can be transferred to you.

Buying a business is a serious investment. You should always seek professional legal and financial advice before signing any documents. This guide provides an overview of buying a business.