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Specialist legal advice on business exit strategy and sales

The decision to exit or sell a business that you have spent time building is significant and there are many legal and financial aspects to consider. If it is succession planning for a family business, there are likely to be emotional considerations as well.

You may have a firm company exit strategy in mind or you may be unsure about what your goal is. Our solicitors will listen, provide guidance, and advise you on the steps you need to take. We will ensure all bases are covered and that the risk to you, your business and your employees is minimised, leaving you in a strong position to take your next step, whatever that might be.

Working with expert advisors makes a real difference to the success of an exit or business sale and the value received. Clarke Willmott is a full-service law firm and we have the expertise to advise business owners on every aspect of succession planning and company exit strategy. We work with corporates SMEs and family businesses across a wide range of sectors and our experienced, multi-practice area team will work with you to understand your business and its position in the marketplace.

How we can help you

Expert advice on exiting or selling your business

For any business exit or sale, our Corporate team will be your main point of contact. They will work closely with other specialists in the business to ensure due diligence is dealt with smoothly and everything is taken care of on time. Our considered and thorough approach will ensure you are in the best position to exit or sell your business and get the result you are seeking.

Our corporate lawyers can:

  • Explain the business disposal or exit options that are available to you and the pros and cons of each, including tax considerations, and the types of payment options that might be available to you
  • Clarify the ownership of the business if necessary and review any outstanding share options
  • Review your corporate and commercial agreements, identify risks and potential liabilities, and help you plan your strategy for dealing with them
  • Work with our Commercial Litigation team to resolve any existing disputes
  • Ensure you are complying with all regulatory requirements
  • Negotiate the legal documents relating to the business sale in order to minimise any risk to you and ensure that you can feel confident that nothing will come back to bite you

Employment and HR strategy for business sales

A sale can be unsettling and disruptive for employees. The uncertainty caused can have a negative effect on the business at a time when its performance is key. Knowing when to tell employees about an exit or sale can be a difficult decision and care must be taken.

Our employment and HR team can:

  • Help you identify what steps you must take to ensure your employees are treated fairly and that all of your employment documentation is compliant
  • Resolve any outstanding grievances, including at senior level
  • Advise you on the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment Regulations) (TUPE), if the sale is to be carried out by way of a business and assets sale

Commercial property considerations

For some businesses, property assets can be key to the value of the deal. In other cases, the business does not own the property they work in or trade from and so the considerations are different. Whatever your situation, our Commercial Property team can help you understand your rights, obligations, and agreements when it comes to your business’s property.

Our lawyers can:

  • Review your property agreements, including break clauses, and advise on the best way to proceed
  • Understand the implications of including or extracting out property in a business deal
  • Identify issues before they become a problem and, working with our Property Ligation team, resolve any outstanding disputes.
  • Address any planning or environmental issues, including land contamination, prior to the sale.

Safeguarding intellectual property and IT

Intellectual property (IP) or information technology (IT) may be of significant value to your business. For instance, you may have a valuable brand, underlying know how, or registered/patentable technology.

Our lawyers can:

  • Help you understand to what extent to which IP and IT is owned or used by your business
  • Explain how your IP and IT will impact the deal
  • Ensure you meet the buyer’s due diligence requirements when it comes to IP and IT
  • Guide you in protecting your own IP interests as you step away from the business

Protecting your assets

When you sell or exit a business, it is important to consider how you will structure and protect your wealth. Our specialist lawyers can guide you through all aspects of succession planning and tax-efficient ways to protect your assets.

Contact a solicitor now for expert advice

For a free, no-obligation chat, request a call back or contact one of our specialist corporate lawyers for expert advice on business disposals and exit strategies.

Clarke Willmott has offices in Birmingham, BristolCardiffLondonManchesterSouthampton and Taunton.

Your key contacts

Ed Foulkes

Partner, National Head of Corporate team

Ed is a ‘pragmatic and practical’ corporate lawyer dealing primarily with mergers and acquisitions. He has specialisms in the financial services, fintech and professional advisory sectors.
View profile for Ed Foulkes >

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