Selling your business? Read this post first

If you’re planning to sell your business, you may be feeling a little worried about what to expect. After all, commercial property law is complicated and sometimes convoluted. Luckily, The Law House has created the Law House Final Transfer infographic and uses the hashtag #TheFinalTransfer to help business owners planning to sell.

There are a number of steps you’ll need to take during the conveyancing process. Once you’ve found a buyer, their solicitor will investigate the legal title of your business. Then, your solicitor can go ahead and prepare the Contract for Sale. You’ll also have some Commercial Property Standard Enquiries forms to complete. These enquiries are sent on the behalf of your buyer, and they ensure that they understand the property they’re acquiring. The more detailed you are here, the better, since this will reduce the risk of delays.

You’ll also need to provide details about the fittings and fixtures in the premises, along with information like an Energy Performance Certificate. Your buyer’s solicitor may ask further questions once they’ve read this documentation.

Now, you’ll exchange contracts. Your buyer will pay you a deposit, and the contract will become legally binding. Once your solicitor approves the buyer’s Transfer Deed, and arranged to discharge any mortgage, you’ll arrange completion. This is when the buyer gives you the remaining balance. As soon as this has been paid, you’ll need to hand over the (vacant) premises to the buyer.

It’s not uncommon to be buying a business around the same time that you’re selling one. If this is the case, there are a number of legal steps you’ll need to take here as well. Just as your buyer’s solicitor investigated the title to your premises, you’ll need to get your solicitor to do the same thing. If they have any enquiries after reading the CPSE forms, they’ll raise these with the seller’s solicitor.

As soon as they’ve satisfactorily answered any issues and questions, you’ll receive a report letter, along with documents like the Stamp Duty form, contract, and mortgage deed. You’ll then give your solicitors the paperwork and cleared deposit. They’ll then prepare the Transfer Deed, the seller will approve it, and you’ll pay the remaining balance for the purchase.

Whether you’re buying or selling a business (or both), you’ll need to remember that either you or the buyer/seller can walk away without any penalties up until the exchange of contracts. Don’t make any solid plans based on your completion date until this has happened.

As you can see, it’s important that you have an experienced solicitor to help guide you through this process. Get in touch with The Law House to reduce the stress and ensure a smooth transaction.