If you are going to hire a CPA or Attorney to assist you in either the sale or purchase of your business, who you hire really does matter. As business brokers, there are certain matters that we can’t give our buyers and sellers advice on: financial and legal. So, you will often hear us say that we recommend that you speak with an attorney or CPA regarding those matters. However, not all CPAs and attorneys were created equal, especially when it comes to the knowledge and expertise that you deserve to get regarding a business sale transaction. While the CPA or attorney that you have an existing relationship with might be the easy one to hire for the job, it’s important to realize that they may not be the best professional for this specific task. Here we will discuss why it’s important to hire an attorney or CPA with the right experience and knowledge to best help you navigate a business sale.
They Understand the Process
Professionals who have been through a business sale and understand the process of how it all works, will be quite an asset. They know what to expect, and they can help guide you. More importantly, a CPA or attorney who has experience with business sales will understand how important it is that they become part of the team that is all working together to get you to your goal of selling or buying a business. When we see a buyer or seller hire their family attorney or their CPA, who’s expertise is in tax preparation, it can become a sticky situation if they don’t understand how business sales work. While any attorney or CPA technically are able to give advise on these matters, if they don’t have business sales experience, it often does more to hurt the deal than help it. These professionals, because they don’t have the experience or knowledge on these specific topics, can complicate the process for all parties involved.
They Will be Better Positioned to Help
Hiring an attorney or CPA who has extensive knowledge in business sales transactions to help you through the financial aspect of the due diligence period or to advise on contract matters will make a big difference in the quality of advice you get and it will make for a much smoother transaction overall. Professionals who have this specialized expertise are better positioned to identify and work through potential issues, they know what to look for, and what the possible pitfalls are. Overall, the quality of financial or legal advice you get, as it pertains to your business sale transaction, will be much more precise and tailored to what you need.
What If My Trusted Professional Doesn’t Have Business Sales Experience?
If you reach out to your family attorney or the CPA who’s done your taxes for the past decade, ask them if they have experience advising on the sale of a business. If they do not, ask them for a referral to someone who does. Often attorneys will specialize in one specific area of the law, and they might know just the person to send you to. Also, your business broker should be able to give you a list of names that you could reach out to as well. See if any of them are the right fit for you, and if they are, great. Business sale transactions tend to be a highly specialized field, but finding the right professional to help you will often make or break a deal. A few times, we have seen deals fall apart because of the professionals selected, so it is important to choose wisely.