Get an accountant’s advice before you buy a business
Some people start their new business from scratch, others prefer to buy one that’s already up and running. You should always consult an accountant before buying an existing business. They will be able to look into the company’s accounts in detail and find out if anything looks wrong.
For example, they can check whether the company’s assets (like equipment), are fully owned or leased or part-paid for, and whether the company has any outstanding debt.
It’s a good idea to consult a lawyer too. Working together, your accountant and lawyer should discover all there is to know about the company you intend to buy and run. This will give you peace of mind that you’re getting everything you’re paying for.
Get advice from an accountant before you sell your business
It’s unlikely that you’ll have run your business for years without employing the services of an accountant. But if you have, you should seriously consider hiring one before you sell up.
An accountant will put your company’s financial records in order and produce statements of accounts that you can show to prospective buyers. Using high quality accounting software, they can create useful charts and tables to show your company in a good light. They can also talk to any potential buyers’ accountants during the due diligence process, which is often a legal requirement when a business is being taken over.
And, perhaps most importantly, an accountant can help you structure your financial affairs so that you get the most money from selling your business. Depending on how the sale is structured, the amount of money you receive after tax can vary considerably. For example, a lump sum might be less tax-efficient than monthly payments over a period of years.
Every company sale is different, and a good accountant will help you get the best result when you sell up.