Thinking of Buying a Business? Watch Out for These Warning Signs

buying a business, Wheaton business lawyersAre you considering buying a business? Being a business owner is a challenging and rewarding career, but it can also be a risky endeavor. Many entrepreneurs purchase a standalone company or a franchise location with the best intentions, but then later realize that they have gotten into something they wish they could get out of. While you are on the hunt for your new business venture, make sure to be on the lookout for the following telltale signs that a particular business purchase is not in your best interest.

The Franchisor Seems Focused Only on Upfront Fees

Many potential business owners choose to invest in a franchise location of an existing company because it is often less risky than investing in a standalone company. When you buy a franchise, you already have an established brand and business model. Furthermore, you will likely receive guidance, supplies, and training from the corporate team. However, an unprofessional or incompetent franchisor can nearly ruin your chances of success. If the franchisor you are considering purchasing from offers to decrease future royalties in exchange for increased upfront fees, this could be a red flag that the company is desperate for funds.

The Deal Feels Too Good to Be True

In business, when something seems too good to be true, it usually is. Make sure to do your due diligence and research any potential businesses thoroughly. Check that the information provided by the current owner matches financial documentation and records. If you can, look at the last five years of the company’s federal and state tax returns. When a deal seems impossibly good, this is usually an indication that you are missing part of the puzzle.

The Current Business Owner Lies or Withholds Information

Anyone selling a business should expect to provide potential buyers with ample information about the business. If a business owner is not interested in providing you the information you need to make an informed decision, he or she may be hiding something. Business owners who are worried about sharing sensitive financial data or other company information should utilize a nondisclosure contract to protect themselves. Concerns over confidentiality is not a valid excuse for withholding critical information from potential buyers. The owner should also be able to tell you why he or she is selling. An owner who cannot answer this question may be selling because the business is already failing.

Contact a DuPage County Business Lawyer

For help with buying a business or for other business law concerns, speak with an experienced Wheaton business law attorney from Stock, Carlson, Oldfield and McGrath LLC. Call 630-665-2500 today to schedule a consultation with our knowledgeable team of business law professionals.

Sources:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/195020

https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrismyers/2018/07/06/the-top-ten-red-flags-to-watch-out-for-when-buying-a-franchise/