At Genesis Law Firm, we assist with the purchase and sale of businesses in the Snohomish County area. Every acquisition or disposition presents a unique set of risks and rewards, and we structure our representation accordingly. Our hourly rates are among the best in our region, as are our academic backgrounds. Call us to speak with an acquisitions and dispositions attorney in Everett’s city center.
Frequently Asked Questions:
I’m buying (or selling) a business and the building it’s in. Can you help with the real estate aspect of the transaction? Yes, one or more of our attorneys focuses his or practice in real estate law. Of note, we cannot act as escrow agent.
I keep hearing about due diligence. What does that phrase mean? Performing due diligence means to investigate the businesses being acquired (and sometimes the business being acquired investigates the purchaser). This is standard practice, and it generally involves requesting and reviewing numerous records. Due diligence helps reveal the following crucial information:
- What the business’s assets are, including physical assets, accounts receivable, and intellectual property;
- What its liabilities and potential liabilities are, including mortgages, wages owing, taxes, and potential lawsuits;
- The backgrounds of remaining employees;
- The business’s policies and procedures, such as employee handbooks;
- Zoning limitations of the properties on which the business is located;
- Status of regulatory compliance;
- Whether accounting records have been properly kept;
- Agreements with other entities, such as non-competes and indemnification agreements; and
- Information about cash flow, such as whether the business has been turning a profit.
If I hire an attorney, will I need a real estate agent as well? An attorney can perform all the work of a real estate agent. Thus real estate agents are not necessary if you have an attorney. However, real estate agents do add value. They sometimes perform their work for less than attorneys, and they generally work on commission, which can reduce your financial exposure should the transaction fail to close. Real estate agents also have access to listing services, which can increase your access to other potential buyers and sellers.
If I have a real estate agent, will I need an attorney? Often yes, you will want an attorney even if you already have a real estate agent’s help. Real estate agents cannot legally perform many aspects of the traditional buy-sell process, such as most parts of the standard due diligence process.
How do I know how much the business I’m buying (or selling) is worth? The glib answer is “however much someone is willing to pay.” A better answer is that the business can be valued many different ways, and we can help you hire someone who values businesses professionally, if the size of the potential transaction warrants the valuation fees.
Do you help negotiate the terms of the sale? We can help with every step of the negotiation process, or we can limit our involvement if you would prefer to keep your fees down. Generally, the bigger the transaction, the more involved we should be in the negotiations.