If you are the owner of a small or medium-sized business and are looking to acquire another business, you should give strong consideration to hiring a mergers and acquisitions attorney. Perhaps you want to expand your business by buying a smaller competitor, or perhaps you want to achieve vertical integration by acquiring a supplier. Either way, you should have an attorney before you begin this process. The following are a few good reasons for having this type of attorney.
They can analyze the books
Sometimes a business is not what they seem to be, especially a small business. There may be a significant liability that is not carried on the books of the company. Often, a business that has a single owner and is not incorporated will have one or more liabilities that are mixed in with the business owner's personal finances. You want to make sure that the owner is not going to saddle you with a liability you were not aware of. You will want to make sure that you are buying all the assets of the business as well, and not find out later that one of the assets actually belonged to the owner.
They can explain the risks to you
You are likely excited about the prospects of what your business will become after the acquisition. Unfortunately, it is common for a business owner to look at the benefits of the acquisition and overlook the potential negative impact of the deal. An acquisitions attorney can look at the deal objectively and assess the risks involved. This doesn't mean that the deal is bad, but you will know what the consequences are for your business and not just the benefits.
They can draw up the contracts properly
Your attorney can draw up the paperwork and make sure that it is the best deal for you and your business. It is not uncommon to create a new business entity after an acquisition. In this sense, there will be elements of a merger rather than an acquisition. But there are many considerations that factor into what your business will look like after the deal. For example, you may also be a sole proprietor, but after the acquisition, you may want to form a corporation.
You should get yourself a mergers and acquisitions attorney from the start. They can do an analysis of the company you plan on buying and determine how accurate the books are, as well as estimate the true value of the business. They can objectively determine both the risks and benefits of the deal, and they can draw up the contract for the deal, including the creation of a new business entity.