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buying a running website

what precautions to take when buying a running website? Does it need an attorney to close the contract? How does escrow work?

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Answers (3)
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Gateway Franchising
Saint Louis County, MO

I'd be very cautious when buying an operating website. You're likely really buying nothing more than content and goodwill. The content will change quickly when the existing owner exits stage left and the goodwill may follow them.

Would you need an attorney? No, but it's obviously recommended that you make use of one. An astonishing percentage of attorneys are really grossly unqualified to handle even basic tasks, so I would suggest that you drive past your corner lawyer's office and use someone who has mergers and acquisition experience.

Mar 21, 2012
Joshua Lindsey
Salt Lake County, UT

Definitely an attorney to review the contract but more importantly you need someone who knows about websites to ensure you don't get scammed. I'm a partner at a national firm, but I have bought and sold 3 of my own website businesses totaling $5 million. There are very few attorneys that understand analytics, Black hat seo, ppc, cpa, meta tags, and other crucial items. If you need help we can represent you and ensure your site will produce. Contact me directly for

Mar 14, 2012
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The BAF Group LLC

You would be best to work with an Attorney on the closing, but even more so on WRITING the Contract. Escrow is held by a Broker, Attorney or Title Company. Exactly how it works is up to each state law and the terms of the Contract - which is one of the many reasons you need an Attorney.

Precautions? It depends on the Web Site, exactly what you are buying, the nature of the revenue streams, what liabilities the Seller may have (if any) and what he/she is expecting, in the way of Contract Terms. It is not stuff that can be easily answered without knowing a LOT of detail. Once again, an Attorney at this point is crucial, as well as a CPA that handles business exchanges.

Feb 22, 2012

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