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Do I need to bring my own people in to assess if the sellers are being honest about financial claims, or does

I've seen a few listings here which I am VERY interested in, if the owners are on the level. I know the finance company will probably check this information out as well of course.

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Answers (4)
Mrs. Elizabeth White
Washington County, FL


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Aug 19, 2017
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Signal Hill Holdings, LLC
General Partner

Yes. It's called due diligence and you will need to arrange a review of the seller's books and records, among other things, when the time comes. You can hire a person to do the due diligence or you can do it yourself(not recommended in most cases). I have done it both ways and arguably doing it myself was equal to not doing it at all. That said, DD is by no means foolproof, and buyers often overlook the negative findings. "A bartender knows 50 ways to steal from an owner, but the owner knows all 49 of them"

Dec 14, 2015
William Bruce, ABI
William Bruce Business Sales & Acquisiti
Baldwin County, AL
Premium Broker


I've written a 67-page booklet entitled "How to Buy a Business in a Safe and Organized Way." It walks you through a logical step-by-step process for buying a business to make sure there are no surprises at the end.

To request a copy, email me at I'll send you a digital copy.

William Bruce, President
American Business Brokers Association

Dec 5, 2015
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The BAF Group LLC

When you apply for a loan – and I assume you are talking about an SBA-backed loan application – you will be asked to supply the last three years of tax returns from the business you are attempting to purchase. For the most part, the bank will do nothing more than to request information from the IRS that suggests that the tax returns you supplied match what the seller has filed with the IRS. Any further "due diligence" of the seller's financial records would be left up to you and your CPA. Depending upon the business, this can be an easy task or very difficult one. If for example you are dealing with something that accepts only credit cards and checks, Revenue is theoretically very easy to track. If, on the other hand you are dealing with a coin laundry, a convenience store or perhaps a restaurant, many payments can be made with cash and are then difficult, if not impossible to completely validate. This is where a good CPA is worth his/her weight in gold.

Dec 2, 2015