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What to expect as a timetable for buying a business

It won't happen overnight. We look at a timescale for buying a business

A business-buying timeline: a rough idea of the chronological order of events 

Weeks 1-12

What do you want to do? If the idea's been floating round your head, catch hold of it and consider how you can turn that dream into reality

When? A week later and you have your concrete plan: even if it's still hazy around the edges, now's the time to start thinking about when you're going to do it. Be rational, take a holistic approach, and make sure that all things considered, the timing is right

Research It's time to do your homework. Find out as much as you can from resources such as the internet, your library, your local business venture office and trade associations. Allow a good few weeks to do this, because you want to do it right 

Weeks 12-16

Roll your sleeves up This is where things start to speed up. You should approach agents about properties and also start working on your business plan. With any luck you should also find your premises

Weeks 17-21

Contracts This is the period during which your solicitor will thrash out the details on your contract so that you get the best deal.

Weeks 22-25

Signed, sealed and delivered Your offer has been accepted; now there's just the final tweaks to be made and the documents to be drawn up. By the end of week 25, the keys to your business should be in your pocket


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