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  1. #1
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    Dear all,

    I do need some legal advice and hope some of the forum members who has knowledge or experience about this can help me please.

    I would like to buy a business. It's a 'Lease Hold' takeaway shop. Now after few weeks bargainning the price the lease holder agreed to sell for the price I offer. This is a very BIG step for me because I have no experience AT ALL.

    I used to run myown restaurant in Thailand and you know it's totally different compare to here. I don't know where to start?

    The seller and I are happy with the price. We agreed to pay our own legal cost but I have to pay for landlord's on top of mine.

    The shop is a lease hold and has just 18 months left for this present lease holder then the landlord will extend may be another 5-10 years.

    The seller wants £5000 cash deposit before we start transferring progess. So? What should I do to start with please? How about the solicitor? In this case do I have to have my own as well or the landlord will deal with that?

    Apart from business insurance...anything else I should have to run take away shop please?

    Thanks in advance.

    Best Regards,
    Nana

  2. #2
    Moderator rolyshark's Avatar
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    Go and see an independant solicitor as soon as possible.

    The first thing to check is that the person you are negotiating with is able to let the property to you. Obviously any letting period appears to be short term,at least initially. What happens then? In other words,what can stop the landlord
    a/ evicting you
    b/ selling the property
    c/ increasing your rent
    d/ letting to someone else

    Even when taking on the property you need to ensure that a schedule of delapidations is undertaken ie the property inspected.
    How is your purchase price/rent broken down? Are you paying for stock/fixtures/fittings/goodwill?
    Are there any restrictions on the landlord or present tenant operating his new business next to yours?
    Any restriction on you when your period of occupation expires?
    Has the premises got adequate planning permissions?

    See your own solicitor ASAP

  3. #3
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    As soon as the seller starts asking for £5000 "in cash" alarm bell's would start to ring.

    Follow Steve's advice, go and see a solicitor.


    Nick

  4. #4
    Moderator rolyshark's Avatar
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    Additionally,you are presumably aware of all the food safety and hygiene regulations concerning the storage,preparation,cooking and packaging of food.

    Likewise, you are aware of the declarations you need to make to your local authority concerning the environment and waste from the premises.

    There are potentially hefty fines,or even closure,if you don't comply. What happens to the rent then?

  5. #5
    Veteran ผู้มีประสบการณ์ Cliff's Avatar
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    The government's Business Link website might be useful.
    Cliff - คลิฟฟ์

  6. #6

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    If you are buying the business, you should expect to see the accounts of the business. Check turnover, profits etc. If the seller is reluctant to show them - walk away, it's probably worthless.

    If you want to run your own business in the UK, maybe try working as a manager for someone else first. Get to know what's involved with the type of business you want to run.
    aka Spud / aka MF

  7. #7
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ
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    Yes be careful, it sounds like the lease is being assigned to you, you should check if it is a protected tenancy as it it is outside the landlord and tenant act you will have no right to renew the lease when it runs out in 18 months.

    Best advice is to see a solicitor

  8. #8
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    Also it is worth checking that the premises hold the relevant planning consent, although it is used as a restaurant now, best to check anyway

  9. #9
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    dont pay cash, try a bank transfer so it will show on bank records, etc. go and speak with local buisnesses around the location, do house to house and ask what reputation the buisness had before, etc etc
    Andy c, Pattaya Pattaya, sexy man, mak mak

  10. #10
    Forum Dinosaur ไดโนเสาร์ Linne's Avatar
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    please go and get advice quickly

    who else is setting up in business locally

    covenants/permissions ?????????

    talk to local police about any issues

    budgets need doing

    is the rent/lease competative

    if it it all, goes wrong how do you get out

    sound like you are missing a lot preparation

    "think twice buy once"

  11. #11
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    Dear All,

    Thank you so much for all warm and kind advice and concern. I am concern about cash deposit and the short lease time as well. I did ask the lady (the lease holder) she said I can provide my own solicitor and also she will get the confirmation letter from the landlord that he will extend the lease once it's finished in 2010 and the price he will charge will have to follow the market price at that time.

    She won't take anything with her. I can have everthing in the shop at the moment, another word she said I can start as soon as I wish to cause all are set up.

    I looked around the area I can say there are a lot of Chinese and Indian Take away. When I told her I will run Thai take away she said it's good because it has no competitors.

    Anyway, this shop is located in a centre town of Weston-Super-Mare with the accomadation above. There are fews other shop to let as well but the price is sky high I cannot afford and it's only a shop no accomadation.

    I confess that I am not that well prepare for this because it's too good to let it go so it looks like I jump into this too quick. To have a Thai take away shop is my dream. However I will very very careful and will take all the advice I was given from this forum reminding me all the time. This offer is too good to be true and what my mom always tell me is if it's that good no way the people will give you easily, they better keep for themselves.

    Gary and I will go to see the independent solicitor on this Monday and will also asking the lady for thier yearly account

    Best Regards,
    Nana

  12. #12
    Moderator rolyshark's Avatar
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    The first thing your solicitor will ask you (apart from how you're paying )is for a copy of the proposed lease. Take all the documents and correspondence you have been given with you,together with notes of conversations you have had with the lessor/present tenant. It will save you time and money.

    Do not be afraid to ask the solicitor how much it will cost. He will provide you with his best estimate and,ideally, his hourly rate. At this stage,it is impossible to say how much it would cost,as it depends what is involved. £500-£1000 plus VAT and disbursements perhaps,if simple.

    Your solicitor will tell you whether or not the lease can be extended and on what conditions,once he has seen the paperwork. This may not be what you are being told.

    Do not rush into anything,or be rushed into anything by someone else,merely because it is your dream. It could be very expensive for you.
    For example,the lessor/tenant could merely be asking for £5000 cash because they have tax and/or VAT or other bills to pay immediately. I'm guessing that that is for the contents of the shop and goodwill. You really need a valuation-that would save you money and if time goes on they might be more desparate for a lump sum and accept a lower amount.
    Either way do NOT pay anything now,until you have received advice.

    I hope it works out more you,but there's a bit of work to be done first.

  13. #13
    Moderator John's Avatar
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    go and see a solicitor
    As well as that, you need to get tax advice. The first thing you need to ask about is VAT and the fact that it appears you are taking on an existing business, that is, a Transfer of a Going Concern.

    Also Nana, are you proposing to operate the business personally, or alternatively through a Limited Company that you own all the shares in? Another matter to get advice about.

    The takeaway place ... what is it selling at the moment? And what are you proposing to sell? If those two things are rather different, how do you know there is a market for what you are hoping to sell?
    John

  14. #14
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    Nana,
    Good luck with your plans ! - try and go and see your local Business Link advisors in addition to looking at their very informative website. They'll help you through the whole process of starting your business, from finance to leases to regulation.
    And its free

    Rob
    Honour good men, be courteous to all men, bow down to none.

  15. #15
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    Thank you so much Rolyshark, all information you gave me is very useful to me and it also slow me down my decision as well. Like you said it may be a very expensive dream to me.

    I am concerned like you said may be the lease holder have something to hide or not right at the moment. Seems like she tried to rush me. She said she gave up her biz because she wants to take her 3 years old daughter back to China and already booked the ticket to travel in the next 2 weeks time.

    John; thanks for all your points! It is a chinese take away at the moment the lease holder now is Chinese but they also do Thai and Malaysian dishes. I would like to do Thai takeaway shop. I used to work in my local Thai restaurant and I think I am not gonna do that. Too much problems, too many people get involved and you have to rely on them. They don't care about your cost, waste everything at the end I think the profit is not that much you should earn.

    Thai food in the UK quite expensive and look like just for rich people. I've never seen any Thai take away shop only or it's very fews. So I think it would be good to start this kind of biz plus I can keep it just like a family biz to save the cost and gain the most profit.

    Roberrrt; where can I find that local biz link advisors as you mentioned above please? It's like CAB?!?

    And also thank you for every advice again

    Best Regards,
    Nana

  16. #16
    Forum Regular สมาชิกประจำ
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    Nana,
    On their website are links to your local center. Use Cliff's link . You'll still end up paying something for legal contracts, courses on food preparation etc, but these people will guide you through it and will only recommend the best value sources of advice.
    What you are looking at is potentially very profitable as long as you can keep the overheads down as far as possible (and can cook )

    Rob
    Honour good men, be courteous to all men, bow down to none.

  17. #17
    Moderator rolyshark's Avatar
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    as long as you can keep the overheads down as far as possible
    There's the rub...
    I can quite easily see that Nana might have to sell 15 £8 meals a day,every day, to get to break even point;which is why of course she needs to have done her financial planning.

  18. #18
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    nana, go and speak with the local police, find out if the premises is known, and if so what for,( you know what i do ) i know of buisneses like these being targeted by local youths for anti social behaviour, and have been very threatening, and on a racial side, also i have known of local villians asking for buisneses to pay them to stay in there area, etc etc, hope it all is ok, and then we can come and see you, andy & sa
    Andy c, Pattaya Pattaya, sexy man, mak mak

  19. #19
    Member สมาชิก
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    UPDATE MY PROGRESSION.

    Thank you so much indeed again for everyone. The site that Cliff gave me is very useful. And all other advice are helping me at the moment.

    Regards, to Andy's advice, I was gonna go there again and speak to local police but I don't think I have to do it with this property anymore.

    The lady who agreed to sell her lease to me is to pushing and rushing me. We just agreed for the price on last Sat (26th) she asked me for £5000 CASH deposit straight away. And yesterday she send me text again asking am I still want to buy her place because I haven't been in touch since that Sat. She said if I want it she DEMAND £5000 cash by the end of this week cause she is going for holiday shortly for 3 weeks (which is when I spoke to her last time she said she wants to sell because she wants to move back to China and already book the flight ticket in the 2 weeks time.)

    She also said she has other customer who's interested to buy at the same price if I am not hurry to pay her

    So I just text her back that I have a money problem at the moment so I don't think I can pay her and I won't hold her chance if other customer is interested to buy. And just let me know after she comes back from holiday if this property still available.

    Then she kept ringing me few times but I didn't pick up the phone and look like she gives up with me now (in fact I should say I an the one who give up lol) I just feel that she has something wrong with the property or anyhting more than you expect to hide so it's best to not bother anymore otherwise it would be an expensive dream like Rolyshark warn me...thanks

    However, I am not giving up my dream!!! I found a new place now with the same price and it is sold buy a proper property agent. I hope it will work better this time

    Best Regards,
    Nana

  20. #20
    Moderator rolyshark's Avatar
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    I found a new place now with the same price and it is sold buy a proper property agent.


    Let's see if the original lessor/tenant comes back to you with a "special price" of £1000 deposit for a quick deal

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