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What do I need to know before I consider buying a business?

I am considering buying a cleaning/maintenance business in Suffolk County NY. How do I find out if the asking price is fair? What documents should I request from the current owner to back up his profit claims? How do I find out if I can operate the business from my home? How can I learn what other similar businesses have sold for? Any advice would be appreciated.

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I'm not selling anything, just wanting to help if I can.

Jul 7, 2011