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Help & Frequently Asked Questions

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Buying a business


  • To work for myself
  • To earn a living
  • To create an investment for the future
  • To supplement other income
  • A business that is realistically affordable
  • Will maintain my interest over time and in line with my capabilities
  • A business that will supply sufficient income

Enough capital for the following:

  • To buy either a leasehold or freehold premises
  • To buy the going concern and stock
  • To cover all professional costs incurred including solicitors, accountants and survey/valuation costs
  • Sufficient working capital, enough money to live on, cover my initial overheads and replace stock

There are several fund generating options:

  • Release equity in family home
  • Obtaining a loan via bank, building society or finance house

This will be dependent upon:

  • Financial position
  • Nature of the business
  • Personal preferences
  • Make an appointment through the agent
  • Prepare in advance a list of key questions you would like answered
  • Be discreet – the vendors may not want their staff or customers to be aware of the sale of the business
  • Take notes - summarise your general impressions and feelings of your visit
  • Communicate your conclusions to your agent, even if they are negative. It will enable them to obtain a clearer picture of your requirements
  • Make a formal offer through the business agent 
  • Retain a reputable firm of commercial solicitors to assess the legal implications
  • Agree with the vendor if you need a professional stock take and undertake that you will share the cost of this service on completion
  • Negotiate a hand-over period to enable you to familiarise the day to day running of the business on completion, (the business, its practices, its customers and suppliers)

Do not hesitate to contact the EMF Group, we are able to offer: A service and reputation that is second to none, having been established over 55 years, with offices throughout England and Wales, having highly knowledgeable and competent personnel, giving totally independent and confidential advice.

Selling a business


In order to ensure that you get a satisfactory and objective valuation, together with an effective sales service, it is essential to choose your business transfer agent with care.

These are some of the key points to bear in mind.

  • How long have they been established?
  • Is their fee structure competitive?
  • Have they the expertise to value your business?
  • Is their track record successful and respected in selling your type of business?
  • Do they offer a strong, user friendly website, together with extensive national marketing?
  • Do they provide a national network of offices with competent personnel based in your area?

You should expect the following from a good business agent:

  • Discreet and confidential service at all times
  • Professional valuation of both business and property
  • Draw up an attractive and informative prospectus
  • Be proactive and advertise your business nationally and locally (as appropriate)
  • Arrange appointments to view your business and vetting applicants prior to appointments
  • Brief you on prospective purchasers
  • Follow-up the visit by prospective purchasers to establish the level of interest
  • Assist the purchaser with finance (if required)
  • Maintain regular contact with all appropriate parties right through to completion

This will depend upon many different factors including:

  • Profitability of the business
  • The value of the Freehold or Lease
  • The condition of the business and trading equipment
  • Size and versatility of the premises
  • Location of the business
  • The demand for the type of business

You can help the process along the way by:

  • Ensuring that all the accounts relating to the business are up to date
  • Ensuring that copies of the terms of your lease are available
  • Ensuring that your business and property is presented in its most favourable light

When you have an appointment with a prospective purchaser to view your business;

  • Make sure to attend the appointment personally. The prospective purchaser will want to make an assessment of both the business and its current owner.
  • Allocate sufficient time to allow the prospective purchaser to view at their own pace
  • Allow for the fact that you may have to discuss the business in layman's terms
  • Communicate the outcome of the viewing to your agent, this will enable them to follow-up more efficiently on your behalf.

Advise your Agents immediately so that they can keep in touch with the prospective purchaser

A good agent will run further checks on the prospective purchaser

Negotiate how legal, professional and stock taking costs will be split

Establish a timeframe for transfer and completion

  • Whilst many transactions run smoothly, problems can and do arise. The secret is not to panic - just contact your business transfer agent. 
  • A long-established business agent such as the professionals at EMF will have seen most problems before and will be able to advise how to overcome them.

Don’t hesitate to contact your nearest EMF office – as one of Britain’s largest network of business agents we are able to offer:

  • More than 55 years of experience
  • A fine reputation that is second to none
  • Highly knowledgeable and competent personnel based local to your area
  • Totally independent and confidential advice
  • A professional but friendly approach.

Find Your Local Office

Please select your region to find your local EMF Office