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How to Write a Business Purchase Agreement the Right Way

Buying a business is a complex process that involves many legal and financial considerations. One of the most critical documents in this process is the business purchase agreement. This legally binding contract outlines the terms and conditions of the sale, ensuring that both parties are clear about their obligations and rights. Writing a business purchase agreement the right way is essential to avoid potential disputes and ensure a smooth transaction. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you draft a solid business purchase agreement.

1. Understand the Basics

Before you begin drafting the agreement, it’s important to understand the fundamental elements that should be included:

  • Parties Involved: Clearly identify the buyer and the seller, including their full legal names and contact information.
  • Description of the Business: Provide a detailed description of the business being sold, including its location, assets, and any intellectual property.
  • Purchase Price: State the total purchase price and the payment terms, including any deposits, installments, or financing arrangements.
  • Closing Date: Specify the date when the transaction will be finalized and ownership will be transferred.

2. Include Detailed Terms and Conditions

A thorough business purchase agreement will include specific terms and conditions to protect both parties:

  • Assets Included: Clearly list all assets included in the sale, such as equipment, inventory, real estate, and intellectual property. Specify any assets that are excluded.
  • Liabilities Assumed: Outline any liabilities the buyer will assume, such as outstanding debts, leases, and contracts.
  • Due Diligence Period: Provide a timeframe for the buyer to conduct due diligence, including reviewing financial statements, contracts, and other pertinent documents.
  • Representations and Warranties: Both parties should make certain representations and warranties about the business and themselves. These assurances can cover the accuracy of financial statements, the condition of assets, and the authority to enter into the agreement.

3. Address Contingencies and Conditions

Contingencies are conditions that must be met for the sale to proceed. Common contingencies include:

  • Financing: The buyer must secure financing for the purchase.
  • Inspections: Satisfactory completion of inspections, such as property, equipment, or environmental inspections.
  • Third-Party Approvals: Obtaining necessary approvals from landlords, franchisors, or regulatory bodies.
  • Employee Matters: Addressing the status of current employees, including whether they will be retained and under what terms.

4. Outline the Closing Process

The closing process is when the business ownership is officially transferred. The agreement should outline:

  • Documents to be Delivered: List all documents that must be exchanged at closing, such as the bill of sale, assignment of leases, and transfer of licenses.
  • Prorations and Adjustments: Address how certain expenses, such as taxes, rent, and utilities, will be prorated between the buyer and the seller.
  • Closing Costs: Specify who will be responsible for paying closing costs, including legal fees, transfer taxes, and filing fees.

5. Include Dispute Resolution Mechanisms

To avoid lengthy and costly legal battles, include provisions for resolving disputes:

  • Arbitration or Mediation: Specify whether disputes will be resolved through arbitration or mediation rather than litigation.
  • Governing Law: Identify the state or jurisdiction whose laws will govern the agreement.
  • Venue: Determine the location where any legal proceedings will take place.

6. Seek Professional Help

Writing a business purchase agreement involves complex legal language and concepts. It’s advisable to seek help from professionals:

  • Attorney: Hire an experienced business attorney to draft or review the agreement to ensure it complies with all legal requirements and protects your interests.
  • Accountant: Consult an accountant to understand the financial implications of the purchase and ensure the terms are financially sound.


A well-drafted business purchase agreement is crucial for a successful business acquisition. By including all necessary details, addressing contingencies, and seeking professional advice, you can ensure that your agreement is comprehensive and legally sound. This not only protects your interests but also facilitates a smooth transition of ownership.

For any M&A transaction, whether you’re buying or selling a business, a virtual data room (VDR) is an essential tool. A VDR provides a secure online space where all parties involved can store, search, share, and edit necessary documents. The data within the VDR is safeguarded by permission-only access, managed by the administrator, ensuring strict control over the transaction-related documents.

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