Should You Buy Assets Or Stock When Buying A Business?


Stock Sale VS Asset Sale For Business Buyers

Many times when buying a business there are reasons why buying stock or buying assets is the better business decision.

Let's go through the advantages and disadvantages from a buyer's perspective:

Advantages & Disadvantages of an Asset Sale from a Buyer's Perspective

Advantages:

* No legal liability for the corporation prior to the purchase (but you will still be named in the lawsuit)
* No liabilities for employees
* Costs paid for the assets are depreciable (but taxable at time of purchase)
* "Clean" credit, reputation, workers comp, etc. (sometimes existing history is better)

Disadvantages:

* No established credit (many times vendors will put you on COD)
* Rehire the employees (typically they ask for raises)
* Negotiate transfer of leases & contracts (typically everyone wants more)
* New licenses
* Operating Capital

Advantages & Disadvantages of a Stock Sale from a Buyer's Perspective

Advantages

* Established credit
* Many times, no or minimal operating capital required
* Leases are in place (if they are in the corporate name)
* Contracts are in place (if they are in the corporate name)
* Employees are in place with worker's comp rate established
* Licenses are in place
* No public notification of the sale
* No sales tax on the FF&E
* No deposits required
* Corporation, tax & employment numbers & all documentation in place

Disadvantages

* Legal liability for the corporation prior to the purchase (Seller can indemnify & defend, if around)
* Assets are normally fully depreciated
* Sometimes stock is a hard sell to CPA's & lawyers

There are always exceptions to all of the above but most of the time these advantages and disadvantages hold true.

Categories: BizBen Blog Contributor, Buying A Business, Deal And Escrow Issues, How To Buy A Business

Contributor:

Peter Siegel, MBA
Areas Served: All Of California
Phone:  925-785-3118 Cell, 925-785-3118 Text
Founder Of BizBen.com (since 1994). I am the Lead Advisor for the ProSell, ProBuy, & ProIntermediary Programs. I consult daily with buyers, sellers, and brokers daily about buying and selling California small to mid-sized businesses. Call 925-785-3118.





  Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses
Janet Carrera: Escrow & Bulk Sale Service - SF Bay Area

Redwood Escrow Services, Inc. is a full service, licensed independent escrow company. We are EAFC Fidelity bonded, fully insured & licensed with the Department of Corporations. Committed to offering our clients the most comprehensive variety of escrow services available. Phone Janet at 510-247-0741.

Diane Boudreau-Tschetter: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - CA

California Business Escrow, Inc. is a full service independent escrow company serving all of California and has expertise in a wide range of escrows. Our team prides itself on providing an exceptional escrow experience. For more info phone Diane Boudreau-Tschetter at 888-383-3331 or 209-838-1100.

Elizabeth McGovern: Escrow Services - San Francisco Bay Area

McGovern Escrow Services, Inc., is a leading independent escrow company. We are a trusted partner with our clients, assisting them through the tangled bulk sale & liquor license transfer process. We provide attentive, quality & innovative customer service. Phone Elizabeth McGovern at 415-735-3645.

Helen Yoo, New Century Escrow - Escrow Services In Southern California

New Century Escrow, Inc. is a fully licensed & bonded independent escrow company. Over 20 years combined experience in handling bulk escrow transactions. Multi-lingual staff that speaks your language, including Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese. Call Helen Yoo direct at 626-890-1151.

William F. Ziprick, Attorney: Legal Services For Buyers And Sellers

Through creative problem solving, attention to detail, accessibility, & understanding that unnecessary delay is often a deal killer, I work closely with my clients and other professionals to consistently achieve a high rate of closings. Office: 909-255-8353, Cell: 509-951-7230.

Shalonda Chappel: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - Southern California

Escrow services to brokers/agents, sellers, & buyers. Established 43 years. Extraordinary service. Experienced with handling difficult transactions. One stop for all your escrow needs: Bulk sales, lien searches, UCC searches, liquor license transfers, publishing & recording services. 951-808-3972.

Brad Steinberg, Business Broker: Laundromat Specialist

PWS is the leading laundromat broker in California. Since 1968 PWS has brokered over 2,500 laundromat sales. With over 90 employees dedicated to the coin laundry industry, PWS has 18 licensed agents, a 3 person in-house finance department, 10 service technicians and a 20 person parts department.


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