It’s almost always advisable to have an attorney help you prepare review the legal documents, particularly as it concerns the Business Asset Purchase Agreement. It is important, however, that the attorney you hire is familiar with the business buying process and has the time available to handle the paperwork on a timely basis. If the attorney does not have experience in handling business sales, you may be paying for the attorney’s education. SGA has a lists of attorneys who are familiar with the business buying process. An experienced attorney can be of real assistance in making sure that all of the details are handled properly. M&A Advisors are not qualified to give legal advice, and this is outside the scope of SGA’s services. Not only are we not authorized to practice law, but it contravenes our role as impartial intermediaries whose job it is to facilitate, not take sides, in a transaction.
However, keep in mind that many attorneys are not qualified to give business advice. Your attorney will be, and should be, looking after your interests; however, you need to remember that the seller’s interests must also be considered. If the attorney goes too far in trying to protect your interests, the seller’s attorney will instruct his or her client not to proceed. The transaction must be fair for all parties. The attorney works for you, and you must have a say in how everything is done.
If you know someone who has owned their own business for a period of time, he or she may also be a valuable resource in answering your questions about how small business really works.
You have to make the final decision; that “leap of faith” between looking and actually being in business for yourself is a decision that only you can make!