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Buying a koisk business in a local mall. The seller wants me to make a contract with him, but not the mall.

Or to submit a leasing application for my new business through him and he shies away from letting me talk with the leasing office. Technically the business is worth 0 if there is no favorable leasing contract. How is this issue supposed to be handled? I'm guessing I'll be ignored if I contact the Mall for cooperation. What type of lawyer do I need to complete the whole process since there is no broker involved?

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Jon Holmquist
Edgemaster Mobile Sharpening
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Ron, this option would scare me to death, what has he got to hide. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is probably a golden goose? Look at a Christian person who will tell you everything he can except Item 19 and will refer you to franchisees who will tell you $$$$. Good Luck! Jon

Jul 19, 2009
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The BAF Group LLC
MD

Ron, ask for a copy of the lease. You need to know whether his rights under the lease allow him to sublease the kiosk, in the first place. Many leases do not, and if that is the case, you absolutely need to deal with the mall office to determine whether you will be able to purchase the business. There are some leasing offices that will require you to have a contract signed before they will talk to you, but such a contract should contain a contingency of obtaining a lease or sublease, prior to the contract being binding.

He may simple not want you to talk to the mall office until the contract is finalized, because he does not want to screw up his relationship with the landlord, if you don't take the business and he is left working with a mall office that now figures he is out of there, as soon as possible. That can taint any relationship. But don't assume that is his only motivation. He may be hiding something, for all you know. You need to protect yourself, very carefully in this area.

Mall leases are some of the toughest in the industry. You definitely want to find and get the counseling from a buisness contracts attorney. And even if there is a Broker involved - and I am one - the Broker does not take the place of a good attorney. For one thing, the Broker normally, only represents the best interests of the Seller. And even if you have a Broker working directly for you, with your best interests at heart, the vast majority of Brokers are not attorneys. We can take initial looks at leases, and we can informally tell you some of the things that will need to be addressed in the contract of sale, but we do not practice law! And we do not have the ability to put together a contract, or even insert the kinds of wording that safeguards your position, in either the contract or the lease.

Jul 16, 2009

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