Buying a Small Business or a Large Business : Buyer's Guide

So you have decided to buy a business.

We at RS Business Transfer Agents have compiled this short guide to give you an idea of some of the procedures that may be involved in buying a business.

To help you expand your knowledge of buying please refer to other sections of this site:

Please remember - If there is anything you are unsure of on the site, or if you would like any areas explained further - Contact Us.

Take good professional advice at an early opportunity. Talking to your bank, a commercial solicitor and an accountant is strongly recommended.

You will inevitably see a business (or businesses) you are interested in, so what do you do next?

  • Contact the Agent.
  • Agree to the Confidentiality Agreement.
  • Make an appointment to view the business through the Agent.
  • When you view - be discreet - the vendor more than likely will not want his customers and staff to know that the business is up For Sale.
  • Ask the vendor all the questions you feel need answering.
  • Always report back to the agent to give your feelings - good or bad.

If after viewing a business, you would like to proceed further - what next?


  • Request the Business Accounts and discuss these with your accountant.
  • Ask the Agent to answer any queries you may have.
  • Confirm to the Agent that you can raise or have sufficient funds to complete the purchase.
  • Make an offer (Subject to Contract) through the Agent.
  • Once an agreement has been reached through the Agent it's now that you will instruct your solicitor - choose a solicitor experienced in Business Transfer.
  • Try to negotiate with the vendor a transitional period, (for In House training for an agreed period) for you to familiarise yourself with the business, its practices and its customers.
  • Your Agent will now complete Head of Terms and supply these to both parties' solicitors.

Remember, as a Vendor or a Buyer - If any problems arise - Contact the Agent.