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corporate support & business sales
If you plan to buy or sell a business that includes freehold or leasehold property, then you will need specialist advice to ensure that the corporate and real estate elements of the deal are in order and that they progress in tandem to enable a synchronised completion.
Our commercial property team work closely with our company lawyers to support clients through the business acquisition and disposal process, carrying out additional due diligence, advising on deal structure to take account of property considerations, resolving landlord and tenant issues, and undertaking all required commercial conveyancing.
We have experience in dealing with business sales that involve the sale of shares in a target company, and also those that are based on the acquisition of assets and goodwill.
We also have experience in dealing with transactions of varying sizes, from the sale of small family-run enterprises operating out of a single owner-occupied building, to the purchase of larger companies trading from a mix of owned and leased premises.
How we can help
Our corporate support and business sales service covers:
- investigation of the seller’s property interests;
- identification of title anomalies and other areas of concern;
- assessment of seller and buyer risk exposure;
- overview of available risk mitigation strategies;
- advice on secured funding arrangements;
- freehold property sales;
- commercial lease assignments;
- new lease negotiations and licenses;
- sale and leaseback arrangements;
- property portfolio transfers; and
- consideration of future property development.
We recognise that every business deal is different and requires a unique approach, depending on the nature and value of what is being bought or sold, any fixed or target deadlines that have been set, your immediate and longer term commercial aims and your attitude to differing levels of risk.
We appreciate that the property aspects of some deals justify a light-touch, which perhaps involves no more than checking the seller’s title and attending to the steps needed to transfer the property interests being acquired. However, in some cases a more in-depth approach will be needed, which may include considering future development opportunities, assessing the prospects of planning permission being obtained and commissioning specialist land contamination and environmental reports.
With this in mind, our corporate support property service has been designed to flex according to your needs, and to be scaled up or down to suit your budget.
Businesses being sold with trading premises
Where you are looking to buy a business with trading premises that are leased, like a restaurant or shop, then we will usually suggest that we work with your appointed surveyor to assess the current condition of the premises and to advise you of any urgent or costly works that the seller or landlord ought to be asked to carry out before the deal is finalised.
We will also review the existing lease to ensure that it is capable of being assigned, that the terms of the lease work for you from a business perspective and that any obligations you are being asked to assume are not unduly onerous or restrictive. We will pay particular attention to permitted use clauses, rules around alienation, rent review provisions, contractual break rights and repair and maintenance requirements.
Where the sale is to include fixtures and fittings, we will obtain a list of everything that is to be handed over and seek confirmation as to whether individual items are owned by the seller outright, subject to a loan or charge that needs to be cleared, or governed by a hire purchase, contract hire or lease agreement that you may or may not be happy to take on.
Businesses being sold with tenanted property
Where a property being sold as part of a business deal is already occupied under a commercial or residential lease, we will advise you on the terms of the existing letting, the circumstances in which a current tenant may be asked to leave, and your ability to secure vacant possession where you wish to occupy the property yourself or incorporate it into a proposed development.
Why choose Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors?
Our property team are recognised experts in their field and have extensive experience in dealing with the real estate aspects of a wide-range of corporate transactions. This includes business acquisitions and disposals, but also related activities like corporate restructures and refinancing arrangements.
Working in close collaboration with the lawyers in our company and commercial team, we have helped to ensure the smooth completion of hundreds of business sales up and down the country and which have involved properties of all types, from office buildings and retail units to manufacturing sites and warehousing facilities.
What our clients say:
“You made what could have been a complicated and daunting process for us, very smooth and stress free.”
KDK Archaeology Ltd
For more information about how we can help, you can read testimonials from our commercial property clients
The Legal 500: “Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors LLP’s commercial property team is well versed in the areas of construction, property investments, planning and property disputes. Its clients include housing associations and occupiers (landlords and tenants). The practice is headed up by Darren Millis and Richard Willis.”
The Commercial Property Team
Richard Willis Consultant Solicitor
Commercial Property 01908 689315Richard specialises in Property Law, representing clients from small family businesses to large PLC’s’ He also acts for local Councils, Parish Councils, landowners, investors, developers, lenders, Housing Associations and Charities.
David Barton Consultant
Commercial Property 01908 689395David Barton joined Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors in 2014 along with his planning and property development team from Williams & Company in Ampthill. David is widely known for his expertise in helping farmers, landowners and property developers grow houses on their land. David now assists the team as a Consultant.
Georgina Page Chartered Legal Executive
Commercial Property 01908 689361Georgina joined Geoffrey Leaver Solicitors in October 2014 from Williams & Company in Ampthill. Georgina completed the Legal Practice Course at Sheffield University after graduating from Sheffield Hallam University with a 2:1 in Law (LLB) and qualified as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in 2020.