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Buying a Business in South Africa

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Buying a Business in South Africa

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Buying a Business in South Africa

Many people will find that buying an existing business is a safer option than starting a new business from scratch.

The benefits of buying a business are self evident. The business you buy will have a trading history, will have customers, and will have (probably) staff who know how the business runs. By looking through the books you will be able to determine turnover and profit percentages, and perhaps find some ways to save money, or make more money. Always engage the services of an accountant who understands how to buy a business, and who can help you drill down into the figures to make sure the price you are paying for the business is fair. When you buy a business it is important to understand why the business is for sale. Is it due to retirement or ill health? Does the owner need to sell to fund other projects? Has the business reached the highest level of turnover and profit likely ever to be achievable? Or is the business struggling?

There is no right or wrong answer to these questions, it is simply a fact that you need to know.

Looking for the right business to buy in South Africa

Businesses for sale in South Africa will be listed on local websites, in local magazines, and in local directories. By using the services of a business broker or business transfer agent, you will also be informed about businesses coming on to the market, and businesses that are for sale, but which are not publicised. A good agent will have many, many businesses on their books and will be able to guide you through the choices.

Buying a business in South Africa is likely to be the biggest investment you ever make, so it goes without saying that the legal and financial aspects of buying a business are hugely important. Employ the right people, ideally a local accountant who understands the local market, and will be able to advise on the potential of the business, as well as the history of the business. Work alongside your accountant to ascertain likely levels of competition, the real value of any good will attributed to the sale of the business, as well as how the business might be improved after purchase.

The business transfer agent will be able to give you most of the information you need but remember they will also have an agenda - they get paid when the business sells. A good accountant will have your best interests at heart.

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