The sale of any ongoing business, even a sole proprietorship, can be a complicated transaction. The buyer and seller (and their attorneys) must consider the law of contracts, taxation, real estate, corporations, securities, and antitrust in many situations. Depending on the nature of the business sold, statutes and regulations concerning the issuance and transfer of permits, licenses, and/or franchises should be consulted. If a license or franchise is important to the business, the buyer generally would want to make the sales agreement contingent on such approval. Sometimes, the buyer will assume certain debts, liabilities, or obligations of the seller. In such a sale, it is vital that the buyer know exactly what debts he/she is assuming.
In any sale of a business, the buyer and the seller should make sure that the sale complies with any Bulk Sales Law of the state whose laws govern the transaction. A bulk sale is a sale of goods by a business which engages in selling items out of inventory (as opposed to manufacturing or service industries). Article 6 of the Uniform Commercial Code, which has been adopted at least in part by all states, governs bulk sales. If the sale involves a business covered by Article 6 and the parties do not follow the statutory requirements, the sale can be void as against the seller's creditors, and the buyer may be personally liable to them. Sometimes, rather than follow all of the requirements of the bulk sales law, a seller will specifically agree to indemnify the buyer for any liabilities that result to the buyer for failure to comply with the bulk sales law.
Of course the sellerýs financial statements should be studied by the buyer and/or the buyerýs accountants. The balance sheet and other financial reports reflect the financial condition of the business. The seller should be required to represent that it has no material obligations or liabilities that were not reflected in the balance sheet and that it will not incur any obligations or liabilities in the period from the date of the balance sheet to the date of closing, except those incurred in the regular course of business.
This form is a generic example that may be referred to when preparing such a form for your particular state. It is for illustrative purposes only. Local laws should be consulted to determine any specific requirements for such a form in a particular jurisdiction.