Most people who are looking to relocate to Florida are doing so for a complete change of life style. Not only for the sunshine, beaches and golf, but to spend more time with the ones they love. Owning your own family business creates not only a valuable asset for your future, but a way in which to create your own work schedule, and enjoy family the way it should be. Your the boss, you set your hours! School events, vacations and that weekend at the beach become reality.
Are you tired of working in an office, factory or outside? If so, search our business listings and see what possibilities are out there for you? And remember, even if you think you do not have enough money to do this, ask? Financing may be available?
For those of you who are residents, have you considered an SBA loan? These types of loans are very favorable compared to a conventional loan, however you must talk with an SBA consultant in order to understand your options?
For those of you who are Overseas Investors, unfortunately at this point your only option is Owner Financing. This is where an owner is willing to hold a personal note against you and the business you buy. Be aware that if you are considering this option, the majority of the purchase price should be invested by you, and not through a loan. The purpose of an investment visa is to invest, not borrow!
Owner finance is a very good thing, no matter who is buying a business. Most sellers will not want to offer this option as they may well require the proceeds for their next venture in life. However, if you can obtain owner finance, it generally shows that the seller is pretty confident with what they are selling. It also allows you less cash out of pocket, which can never be a bad thing. Especially if you are going into an industry where cash flow is imperative.
Below, you will find a brief explanation of how the process would work, if you did purchase a business? If you have any further questions, please feel free to e-mail me and I will do my best to guide you to your dreams.
FINDING A BUSINESS
You can begin your search for a suitable business by browsing business listings . You will be directed to a database of listed businesses for sale through out Florida. For those who did not know, Florida is a state where we use the Multiple Listing Services. This basically allows for all brokers and real estate agents to share in each others listings. Therefore, as a seller you will have more exposure and a higher chance of selling quickly, and for the buyer, you have far more choice, ensuring that you are not limited to a single offices listings. Also, in both Commercial and Residential real estate, the seller will always pay the commissions to both the sellers agent and the buyers agent. Yes, that means you buyers do not have to give any money to any broker ever! We work and are paid at the end, when you have closed on your business and achieved your goals. This is also why it is a good idea for buyers to find one broker, that they are comfortable with, and as long as they are board members of the MLS and BBF, stick with them. I can show you everything, and should show you everything.
Be sure to think about what type of income you require to support your lifestyle, and then search. Remember, you mostly “pay for what you get” and a smaller business will not support a larger family. Once you have found the businesses of interest, let me know which they are, by listing number, and I will send you a disclosure to sign. This disclosure will ensure the sellers that you are serious and will bind you to not discussing your findings with others.
DETERMINING A BUSINESS
MAKING AN OFFER
Now that you have made a decision as to which business you like, we are in a position to make an offer. This would be a written offer where you would sign a contract and we would present it to the seller. If the seller accepts the offer, or even counter offers and you agree, you will now be in a “binding contract” and will be expected to place at least a deposit into escrow. We recommend your deposit be held with an escrow agent/title company or attorney rather than a real estate brokerage. At this point, and once the deposit is in place, we can begin Due Diligence.
Now that we are in contract, the buyer has a right to request any and all information he and his accountant need in order to be sure that the business is what it says it is? From licenses and pay roll to financials, we will ask for it all. When a seller/company provides their financials, due diligence allows for up to a 5% discrepancy. If the discrepancy is over that percentage, the buyer shall choose whether to withdraw or renegotiate the purchase price?
Now that you are satisfied with Due Diligence, those of you applying for visas can submit your visa application. If you have applied for a visa, closing will not happen until such point that you have been both approved, and have received your passports with visas in hand. Generally you will need to close on the purchase within 14 days of receiving your visa, so be sure that you are ready and packed.
Those not needing a visa, you will move straight from Due Diligence to closing, as stated in the contract.
At closing, both the buyer and seller shall meet to sign the closing documents.These papers will have any and all documents needed to record the sale and ensure legality of said purchase. For protection to the buyer, the closing agent shall provide a record of any debts outstanding on and through said business and if such debts are found, the closing agent should withhold the amounts owed and make final payments on behalf of the seller, or have the seller pay and prove. Each party shall be given a copy of said documents to leave with. This shall also include any relative documentation required for the buyers to run the business and apply for licenses.
Finally, if required and dependent on the type of business, any monies that the seller may have in escrow will be handed over to the buyer/new owner. It will also be at this point that the seller will begin their training period with the buyer. We suggest a schedule be agreed whilst at closing so that all parties know their commitments and an easy transition can begin.
Good Luck and remember, just because you have closed on the transaction, our offices and staff are always available.
You will need to be sure that you fully understand the state laws and guidelines for the particular business you buy. In every business you will be required to have city, county and state licenses for your new venture and upon closing, a seller should guide you with this. An occupational license will be obtained from the respective city or county office that you wish to trade in. If you should work in several counties, then you should have licenses for each. Visit stateofflorida.com to find out more.