The buyer of an SME is typically a person starting their own career as an entrepreneur. According to an EU survey, starting a company based on an existing, operating company is three times safer than establishing a completely new business. Therefore, the option of buying a company should be carefully considered as an equal alternative to starting up a new one.
Before buying a company, the entrepreneur's own business management competence and economical knowledge, in particular, usually needs to be strengthened. It is also wise to carefully familiarise yourself with future prospects and the competitive situation of your selected line of business.
Once you have completed your own business plan and acquired adequate knowledge of the line of business, you can start seeking a company to buy. You should prepare a purchase plan for this, with a list of criteria that should be met in order for the purchased company to meet your own plans as closely as possible. When you find interesting companies, get to know their operations in detail, such as by:
reading newspaper articles, advertising and product catalogues.
making online searches on the company and its owners.
by visiting the company several times. Look around, get a sense of the atmosphere, keep score of the customers visiting the company and how the customers are served. Take a look at the outside areas of the company as well. If these are carefully maintained, it often indicates that equally good care has been taken of the business operations.
If no companies meeting your requirements are currently for sale, do not hesitate to directly contact a business owner if you are interested in their company.
By the time you reach the negotiation stage for acquiring the company, you should find an acquisitions expert to help you with the technical implementation of the transaction, takeover and further development of the company.
In cases of a change of ownership or generational transfer, local Employment and Economic Development Offices (TE Offices) can appropriate discretional start-up grants to persons engaging in full-time entrepreneurship.
My EnterpriseFinland provides you with an electronic tool for creating a business plan. (Log in with banking credentials.) Your local business service organisations will help you prepare your purchase plan.