Planning on Buying a Business in Virginia? Tips on How to Write a Business Purchase Agreement

Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur looking to expand your portfolio or someone transitioning into business ownership for the first time, navigating the legal intricacies of transferring ownership can feel overwhelming.

However, having the right documents in place upfront will help make negotiations clearer and set both parties up for long-term success. One of these crucial documents — perhaps the most crucial — is a business purchase agreement.

This blog aims to help any would-be business owners in Virginia feel informed and confident as they craft their own business purchase agreement.

For those who want to leave nothing up to chance, the best thing you can do is hire an experienced business transaction lawyer. A knowledgeable and experienced Fairfax business lawyer can ensure that all legal bases are covered, and help navigate any unforeseen issues that could derail the purchase process.

At PJI Law, PLC, our clients are our top priority. We’re committed to providing personal attention and premium service. If you want to create a legally sound business purchase agreement that protects your interests, contact us at (703) 865-6100.

What is a Business Purchase Agreement?

A business purchase agreement, sometimes also referred to as a buy-sell agreement in Virginia, is the central legal document that governs the terms of the transaction between a buyer and seller of a business.

This contract outlines vital components of the deal, including:

  • Purchase price 
  • Timeline for closing
  • Specific assets and liabilities being transferred
  • Conditions of sale
  • Representations and warranties 
  • Consequences of default

The agreement protects both parties by formally establishing their respective obligations and rights in writing. Essentially, it is a roadmap for facilitating an orderly transition of business ownership that clearly defines expectations. With a comprehensive business purchase agreement, the buyer and seller can enter the deal with confidence, knowing their interests and rights are protected.

What’s Included in a Business Purchase Agreement?

While business purchase agreements can be complex, they generally contain several standard components. Crafting a comprehensive agreement requires the help of an experienced attorney; however, familiarizing yourself with the basic structure and key provisions is certainly worthwhile. Entering negotiations with a working knowledge of standard terms can help facilitate crucial discussions.

Party Identification

The first provision in a business purchase agreement establishes the identities of the buyer and seller transacting the deal. It provides their full legal names, entity types (if relevant), and contact details. Misidentifying parties in the contract has legal implications, so ensure names, signatures and all details are accurate.

Business Description

This section paints a full picture of the business being sold, including an overview of its operations. It also confirms the seller’s capacity to legally authorize the transaction. Representations and warranties about the company’s good standing, compliance with relevant laws, and absence of pending or threatened litigation provide both reassurance and recourse for buyers. A factual yet comprehensive business synopsis at this stage establishes full transparency about what the buyer is purchasing.

Financial Terms

Key transactional details are outlined here, beginning with the agreed-upon purchase price. Provisions indicate any deposits payable, how and when funds will change hands, including details about the closing date and transfer of ownership. By clearly spelling out payment expectations and the financial mechanics of the deal, this section sets the stage for a smooth exchange.

Terms of Sale

This section unambiguously defines the type of sale, as well as the assets that are included or excluded from the deal. Additionally, it provides important information abound the transfer of tangible property, with details on the condition and value of equipment, tools, facilities and other resources that are critical to operations.

Covenants

This part of the agreement delineates responsibilities for both parties as ownership changes hands. It spells out obligations the seller must fulfill regarding matters like tax commitments, loan repayments, transferring employment benefits and wages, etc. Post-closing, ongoing protections are listed here, as well.

Transition

To facilitate a seamless leadership change, this section establishes expectations for responsibilities like outlining the seller’s ongoing advisory or support role (if any). It also determines who will manage the training of new hires to ensure business continuity, and how customers, vendors and other stakeholders will be informed of the sale to maintain key relationships.

Third Parties

When third parties aid the transaction, this part of the business purchase agreement records their formal details. It lists their full names and contact information, and clearly assigns responsibility for paying commission fees or other forms of compensation.

Closing Details

To smoothly wrap up the purchase, this straightforward section lays out the logistical plan. It establishes the definitive closing date, timeframe, location where title transfers will occur, and the monetary sum to be paid at closing.

Dispute Resolution Clause

This section outlines procedures for resolving any transaction-related conflicts via mediation or litigation, providing clarity upfront on addressing issues that could arise after closing.

These standard provisions cover common bases, but business purchase agreements can vary in complexity depending on factors like business type and the assets/liabilities involved. Additional terms may require negotiation. To ensure a smooth purchase, consult an experienced Virginia business transaction lawyer.

Can You Write Your Own Business Purchase Agreement?

Yes, you can. However, while it is legal for a buyer and seller to write their own business purchase agreement, it is not always advisable. Drawing up a legally binding contract on your own carries certain risks. Critical terms and disclosures could be overlooked or clauses can be written in a way that leaves potential loopholes.

How Can a Business Transaction Attorney Help?

A business transaction lawyer can provide valuable assistance to buyers and sellers involved in a business purchase agreement. They understand the legal intricacies and can identify issues that an individual may miss. Attorneys will make sure all regulatory disclosure requirements are satisfied. They can review financials, contracts, and other documentation to catch any problems.

Additionally, an attorney can draft ancillary documents like non-compete agreements, and ensure a smooth closing process. Their expertise helps minimize risks so both parties are properly protected through every phase of the transaction.

Ensure Your Business Purchase Agreement Protects Your Interests with the Transaction Attorneys at PJI Law, PLC

Purchasing a business isn’t something you do every day. Given the high stakes involved, enlisting the help of an experienced business transaction lawyer is wise.

With personalized service and attention, our dedicated team at PJI Law, PLC will leave no stone unturned to ensure that your business purchase agreement reflects your best interests and protects your rights. Take the first step today and call our office at (703) 865-6100 or complete our online form to schedule your consultation.

Copyright © 2023. PJI Law, PLC. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

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Fairfax, VA 22030
(703) 865-6100
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