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I am meeting at a local pub with the owner on a possible purchase. What should I ask to see from the owner

The business is fully established in a great location. I have looked into certain items during my 9 years of patronage at this location. Now it has come around to possibly purchasing the business. My dilemma is the right questions to ask when meeting with the present owner of the establishment. I am aware of lease costs, lottery revenue for the last 2 years, infrastructure, # of employees, new equipment, etc... But I don't know the real specific questions that will pertain to everyday operating costs. What questions do I need answered, or what should I ask to see from the owner?

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Answers (2)
Michael Hamlar
Hamlar Enterprises, LLC
Roanoke City County, VA

Mr. Frizelle,

I hope this finds you doing well. Congrats on finding a business to explore further. I am going to post a partial checklist on here for you due to the character limit. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us toll free at 1-800-682-1950 ext 101.

? Copy of the financials (3 years)
? Copy of the Lease, and its assignments from any previous sales
? A list of the fixtures and equipment that will be included in the sale
? Copy of the franchise agreement, if applicable
? Copies of any other documentation pertinent to the business
? Sales brochures, menus, press releases, and any other sales material, etc. on the company and its business.

Again this is a partial list and there is more to ask so if you would like more information please contact us.


Michael Lawrence Hamlar
President & CEO
Hamlar Enterprises, LLC
Hamlar Business Broker
P.O. Box 3336
Roanoke, VA 24015
Office: 1.800.682.1950 ext 101
Fax: 1.800.682.1950
Skype: MHamlar

Dec 18, 2010
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Bars are extremely tricky. A lot of the money is cash and not on the books. They are extremely hard to get financed--even with good books.
How much money is the owner making NOW the way it is being run NOW? How many hours is he working to make that money happen.
How much is he getting from illegal gambling machines and what would be the impact if they were taken away?
How much inventory and is it included in the sale price?
What is payroll and how much is off the books?
How much does insurance cost?
Make sure you really want to do this. Most of the time the worst owners of places are people who think they can run a bar because they drink. I am not saying this to offend you but I own a restaurant and a lot of people think they can do what I do but invariably they are just people who like to eat who have no clue and don't have the money, the guts or the work ethic to do what I do.
How much sh@@ are you willing to put up with? The bartenders will steal (either by money orr giving away product. What if some drunk grabs your girl's breasts? Are you going to be able to solve the situation with calmness or are you going to beat him with a baseball bat and lose your business? What about fights? Drug activity?
Putting up with drunks really blows--- especially when you are not drunk also. Bar owners are a special breed-- the successful ones watch the money and have the right mentality for the biz. My advice is to think everything through and if you do it then do it right. There is a lot of money to be had if you have 'it."

Dec 17, 2010

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