Congratulations on your decision to buy a business.  Please check out our listings page for current small businesses on the market.  To start the process, submit the non-disclosure agreement and client information form by email.

Buyers are often grouped according to their experience as inexperienced buyers or experienced buyers.  Based on their reason for buying, they may be further separated into three categories: strategic, financial and individual buyers.  Strategic buyers look for businesses that offer synergies with buyer’s existing business holdings.  Financial buyers look to acquire an additional revenue stream by purchasing a business and look to the bottom line financial results of the acquisition target.  Individual buyers often buy businesses that satisfy personal needs and wants, or could be considered to be “buying a job.”

(Extensive educational resources are on the Resources page.)

Key Steps For Buyers:

Start with a self assessment

Why do you want to buy a business?

What types of work activities do you like, and not like?

What type of lifestyle do you want?

What will the impact be on family and are they on-board?

Establish Financial Expectations

How much money do you need and want to earn?

Are these expectations of financial return realistic for the amount of time, effort and money you will put into the business?

Buyer Preparation Includes

Personal financial statement – list your assets and liabilities.  Determine how much liquid capital you can use for the initial investment.  (A personal financial statement serves as proof of your financial ability – be prepared to share this information with an intermediary.)

Update your resume’ – Sellers want their businesses to continue to be successful and want to sell to qualified buyers.  They are looking for someone with the experience to continue their legacy and take care of existing staff.  Remember, as a buyer, you are selling yourself and your skills to sellers, lenders (banks, etc.) and professionals representing them.

Acquisition criteria – Includes knowledge of your targeted industries, geographic preferences, and transaction size.  A well-thought out set of search criteria demonstrates buyer committment to finding the right business fit.

Enlist help – Inform your professional advisors (attorney, accountant, financial planner, etc.) of your search.  They, along with your Intermediary, will assist you in evaluating available companies that meet your qualifications and criteria.

Non-disclosure Agreement –  Your Confidentiality Agreement will be required prior to receiving specific company data on listed businesses.

Data To Know About Yourself

  1. How much money do I have to work with (What is my acquisition budget) ?
  2. Is the money liquid ?
  3. What is my time frame for being in business ?
  4. Who is the decision maker in my purchase ?
  5. Do I have reasonable expectations relative to earnings, cash availability, and working capital requirements ?


The Business Buying Process

  1. Agree to Confidentiality Agreement.
  2. Review your background and experience with broker and establish targeted company list.
  3. Review broker’s listings.
  4. A meeting between you, the seller and Southeastern is set to visit seller’s facilities and describe your qualifications to the seller, answer questions about how the business operates.
  5. Southeastern Regional Business Brokers will assist you in writing an Offer to Purchase to present to the seller.  Earnest money will be required to demonstrate your seriousness to the seller.  Most offers are contingent upon your inspection of the books and records, agreements on leases, training periods, non-compete clauses, financing contingencies, etc.  The Offer to Purchase is not binding until all contingencies are met.
  6. Southeastern Regional Business Brokers will present your offer and your background, financial information, experience and thought process in arriving at the offer price, terms and conditions to the seller.
  7. Southeastern Regional Business Brokers will carefully explain the terms and conditions of the offer to the seller and decision makers.
  8. Acceptance of the offer, or a counter-offer from the seller, is received.
  9. When buyer and seller agree to all terms and conditions of the sale, the offer becomes a Purchase and Sale Agreement.
  10.  The agreed upon inspection period (“due diligence”) is begun.  Buyer and seller meet to examine the financial and operating records, etc.  Questions are resolved at this time.
  11. Contingencies are removed and the agreement becomes binding.
  12. Southeastern Regional Business Brokers works with buyer, seller and Landlord to get an assignment of the current lease or a new lease.
  13. Southeastern Regional Business Brokers provides all documents to the transfer agent (closing attorney) so they can prepare closing documents.  The attorney also will conduct lien searches and make arrangements to assign any notes, equipment leases, etc.
  14. Inventory counts are made by (or for) buyer and seller to price inventory, if required.
  15. Transfer of Ownership / Closing meeting is held for formal acceptance (signing) of documents.
  16. Congratulations!  You’re in business!