Some tips for a smooth business takeover

In addition to starting a business with your own business idea, taking over the business as part of a succession is another way of taking the step of “ starting your own business ”. But although more and more start-ups are ready to be handed over, around 70% of all company successions in medium-sized companies fail. A major reason for this is a lack of or insufficient planning and a lack of comprehensive know-how, which is required for taking over the founding of the company . Certain tips can support entrepreneurs in the acquisition process.

Have an in-depth conversation with the business owner

A company succession can only be successful if the ideas of the founder and the old owner match. However, views often differ greatly from one another. For example, the owner has a completely different idea of ​​the purchase price or the handover time of the business start-up than the potential buyer.

Therefore, it makes sense to sound out the situation thoroughly in a first meeting and to clarify important questions in advance. In this way, both parties can explore the opportunities and risks in the course of the company succession in the initial meeting. In the best case, both parties will quickly come to an agreement and find a joint solution for the company succession.

Put your financial situation to the test and draw up a cost plan

Whether and under what conditions company founders take over a business depends not least on the financial possibilities. Business start-ups tend to underestimate the capital requirements for a company takeover . It is often assumed that starting a new business costs more money than taking over an existing business. In practice, however, the opposite is often the case. Because according to the Institute for SME Research for Berlin, the purchase price is in many cases higher than for start-ups (external link). Reasons for this can be the following:

Too little investment by the old owner in upgrading the technology: Business start-ups now have to pay a larger sum than planned due to the investment backlog.
Outdated factory equipment: Founders then have to pay for the purchase of new office furniture, machines and equipment.
Lack of competitiveness of products: A lot of money for investments in new products.
Excessive price expectations of the old owner.
Inheritance claims from other family members: If these are asserted, start-ups have to pay additional costs that were not planned.
Business founders who do not plan exactly what costs they could face must reckon with an early end of the company foundation.

Because if just one of the above points is not observed, this carelessness can cause a company takeover to burst. It is all the more important to approach the financing carefully and to consider and consider all possible aspects.

Create a detailed business plan including a financial plan

To determine the economic situation and to get an overview of all costs incurred, a financial plan must first be drawn up. In addition to the costs, this should also contain information about all equity and debt capital (e.g. bank loans, public subsidies or cash).

A financial plan is the heart of a business plan . Such a business plan has the goal of showing founders the right direction during the start-up, comparable to a compass.

Based on a financial plan, business founders can see whether a company takeover is possible at all under the required conditions and which of the required components in the takeover agreement, for example, are out of the question.

Tackle the company succession safely with business start-up advice

There can be many stumbling blocks on the way to a company succession . So that founders do not fall here, it is advisable to rely on a professional consultant (service tip: search for a consultant ). This can provide information about possible risks and help to apply for subsidies or loans.

Existing owners can also benefit from business start – up advice, with an experienced consultant providing detailed advice on topics such as tax law and inheritance law.