A business transfer agent could also be called a commercial estate agent. They are agents who are involved and help with the buying and selling of businesses. Their role is very similar to that of an estate agent, however they have expert knowledge of the business market and how to sell these products. It is essential to use a business transfer agent if you wish to buy or sell a property to guarantee a smooth sale and the best price possible. These agents are able to perform sales on businesses both nationally and internationally, and will have specialist knowledge on markets in these areas.
What does a business transfer agent do?
The agent will work on your behalf to obtain the best price possible or acceptable for you, whether you are selling or buying a business. They will have expert knowledge on the local market, as well as of national and international marketing. They will also have a comprehensive understanding of each category of this market.
If you are selling a business:
- The agent will be responsible for all promotion and marketing that needs to be done. This will include producing a prospectus of the business, and any other items that are included with the sale, and issuing this to all possible buyers. They will be able to get in contact with potential buyers through their database, and thus may already know people who may wish to purchase your business.
- The agent will perform all communication with the clients; as the seller you will not be responsible for any of this.
- The agent will set a price on how much he or she thinks that the business is worth, and how much it should be advertised for. Many factors are taken into consideration in this process (see below) and the outcome must be justifiable.
- They will also deal will all conveyancing, which is the actual process whereby the ownership of the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer.
If you are buying a business:
- The agent will deal with all correspondence and carry out all communication with the owner/buyer of the business, which will include negotiating a price.
- They will obtain all necessary paperwork, and perform a valuation on the business to establish what they believe is an appropriate price.
- The agent will be able to provide access to funds for finance or re-finance if they are needed.
- Again, they will deal with all conveyancing.
Typically the agent will be qualified to deal with the majority of legal issues (see below) however a solicitor will be needed for the actual sale. The agent will usually be able to recommend a solicitor, or they may have one working within their firm.
What will the agent need?
- If you are selling your business then the agent will want to see the stocktaker’s results, copies of any accounts and any relevant VAT returns from the last three years, and details of any assets which are to be included in the sale of the business.
- If you are buying the business, then the agent will request copies of these, and any other relevant paperwork, on your behalf.