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7 expert tips for dealing with a business intermediary


In a follow up to his previous article, which covers the differing costs of using a business intermediary, managing director of Lucas & Weston Ltd Howard Weston shares his top 7 tips on how best to cover yourself through any process in which you deal with a business intermediary.

Tip 1: To avoid any unpleasant surprises at the end, check all the small print in any contract. Understand what is included and what is considered as the total sales consideration.

Tip 2: Get multiple quotes from at least two or three potential advisers. Make sure fees are agreed and fully itemised, in writing, before you begin.

Tip 3: If you are presented with a long set of small print, it could be worth getting it checked out by a lawyer. Be cautious if you’re not sure. Don’t sign any fee agreement if you feel pressured. Any reputable adviser will understand that it is a big decision and that you can’t be rushed.

Tip 4: Make sure the vast majority of fees are earned only on a completed sale. Ideally an adviser’s interests should be aligned with yours.

Tip 5: Shop around. Don’t be afraid to negotiate or ask for certain services to be included. Nothing is set in stone. It’s a buyer’s market with plenty of choices.

Tip 6: Who’s doing the work? It can often pay off to pay a little more and have an experienced director lead your deal, rather than a trainee or a less experienced practitioner. Experience counts and can save you time and money.

Tip 7: Check if there are any exit or cancellation fees involved. If a sale goes wrong or your circumstances change, you might want to rethink the sale.

Choose your adviser carefully, and they should pay for themselves in terms of the extra value they can create and the time and hassle they can save you.

Howard Weston is managing director of UK business brokers Lucas & Weston Ltd

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