I can’t believe it is so long since my last article. Things have really taken off since the new financial year started (1st July for the non Aussie readers) in that we are now finally getting genuine business buyers in the market place who are prepared to make realistic and acceptable offers. This is resulting in deals being done and businesses changing hands!
Yeah! We say. But it doesn’t come without some frustrations. One of the most common frustrations is people’s lack of “attention to detail”. In Australia we are famous for the “She’ll be right, mate!” attitude. Unfortunately, when it come to legal contracts and the exchange of large sums of money if “She ain’t quite right mate!” then it can end up costing someone a lot of money, time and stress. And none of us need any more of that.
An example is the legal entity of the seller’s business and the buyer’s business. It’s one of the first questions I ask people. And they tell me it is, e.g. XYZ Pty Ltd. It gets put on to the paperwork and the owner signs the Authority To Act, for example. In spite of repeated questions it turns out later, at a critical time, that there are multiple directors and some don’t want to sell. Or, there is a “trust” involved and the Pty Ltd is a trustee for the trust.This can cause all kinds of complications down the track.
Another trick that gets pulled on us is the incorrect spelling of business names. Over a period of time the owner forgets that they registered XYZ (W.A.) Pty Ltd and not just XYZ Pty Ltd or something along those lines. When I pull them up for it they ask “Well isn’t that close enough?” to which I always answer “If you are one digit out dialing a telephone number, does it really matter?”
Of course it matters!!! And then settlement of the deal gets delayed and people get angry and frustrated and start looking for people to blame. No matter how much as brokers we strive to get the correct information and detail, we are usually at the mercy of the owner’s memory (apart from certain things which can be searched on government databases) – which has often faded with time!
TIP: Always check what you are writing on forms BEFORE you fill it in. And the old adage “NEVER ASSUME” – please!
Next article to be posted will be “Read the damn documents BEFORE you sign!)
P.S. Check out my upcoming workshops in Perth – next one is October 23rd – go to Workshops tab for info.
“Helping business owners achieve their life goals through buying and selling businesses!”