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Buying an existing business

| Aug 19, 2016 | Buying & Selling Businesses |

North Carolina residents who wish to go into business for themselves can either start a new company or buy a going concern. Purchasing an already thriving business allows entrepreneurs to avoid many of the challenges of helping a fledgling commercial venture through its nascent stages, but finding a suitable company for sale is often difficult. North Carolina is one of several states that have laws in place requiring the sellers of businesses to make certain important disclosures, and sellers must file documentation with the Consumer Protection Division of the state’s Department of Justice before such transactions can proceed.

Just as home sellers tend to arrange their furniture to cover up flaws, business owners hoping to cash in will generally try to present their companies in the best possible light. Identifying opportunities and determining how a company will perform over time can be made easier by studying documents like balance sheets and profit and loss statements, but those unfamiliar with financial documentation may wish to consult with accountants or attorneys before drawing any firm conclusions.

Other documents that need to be reviewed when purchasing businesses include business tax returns, articles of incorporation and bylaws. Potential buyers should also obtain information about any assets owned by the business in question as well as a list of all employees and their job descriptions.

Experienced business law attorneys may be able to help entrepreneurs who are thinking of buying a business by scrutinizing financial and legal documents for indications that the data provided may be concealing vulnerabilities or shortcomings. Attorneys could also take steps to ensure that the business in question has no regulatory or liability issues that could lead to legal disputes in the future.

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