10 Jan Do I need a lawyer?
It may be advisable to have a lawyer review the legal documents. It is important, however, that the lawyer you hire is familiar with the business buying process and has the time available to handle the paperwork on a timely basis. If the lawyer does not have experience in handling business sales, you may be paying for the lawyer’s education. Most business brokers have lists of lawyers who are familiar with the business buying process. An experienced lawyer can be of real assistance in making sure that all of the details are handled properly. Business brokers are not qualified to give legal advice.
However, keep in mind that many lawyers are not qualified to give business advice. Your lawyer 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 lawyer goes too far in trying to protect your interests, the seller’s lawyer will instruct his or her client not to proceed. The transaction must be fair for all parties. The lawyer 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!