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Who Do You Need On Your Team When Buying a Business

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The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) says that the best way to find a suitable business to buy is to “use your network.” 

“Leaders seeking to hand over the reins [of their businesses] don't usually shout it from the rooftops. Your network of contacts is your most valuable asset in finding the right company to buy.”

This sentiment is not wrong—having a network and team of professionals working alongside you during your acquisition journey is paramount for the success of your business purchase. But, how exactly do you find, or better yet, grow that network of people?

Finding Your Team

As an individual working alone—whether you’re a student entering the work field, a professional seeking a career in a new field or an entrepreneur looking for a new business opportunity—being told to “find a network” can feel somewhat maddening. Growing a network takes a great deal of time and nurturing. If you’re unsure of who to connect with or how to connect with them, it’s easy to feel isolated and incapable of moving forward. 

Unfortunately, in the business buying ecosystem, buyers are typically their own main representative. Buyers don’t usually have one main intermediary—like a seller would have a business broker, for example—to help them through the acquisition process. Buyers are responsible for finding their team of trusted advisors, commonly piecing together their acquisition team one advisor at a time. 

Village Wellth wants to change this affliction for buyers by creating a communal space for acquisition professionals and buyers to connect. We’ve created a network that bridges links between buyers, sellers, brokers, lawyers, accountants and more to make the buying process more accessible and more effective for interested entrepreneurs. 

Regardless of how you go about journeying your path to acquisition, it’s important to be aware of the individual forces who make up the business buying ecosystem; you need to know who to connect with. 

During the buying process, buyers form relationships with 4 or more professional advisors, depending on the size and scope of their target transaction. Knowing who each advisor is, what they do to progress an acquisition and how they aid in the purchasing process will help you understand why you need to interact with them and how to harness their significant expertise.

Legal Advisor

Who are they: Business, Corporate or M&A Lawyer

How will they help you?

It’s never too early to connect with a lawyer when buying a business. Make sure that the lawyer you seek is someone with previous acquisition and business law experience. Buying a business is not just a financial transaction. It’s also a complex legal process, so ensuring that you have the proper representation to help you complete the procedure is very important. 


Lawyers are the one advisor who will help you through each stage of your process from offering on a business to beginning negotiations with a target to closing a transaction and deal. 

Bria Fallen, senior associate at Gowling WLG, expresses that lawyers are always looking to build relationships with businesses to foster strong working  relationships. 

Fallen states, “when you’re looking for a lawyer, you want to look for someone that you can have a long term business relationship with...a lawyer can add a lot of value to your business beyond the point of transaction.” 

A lawyer will help a buyer with the following during acquisition. A lawyer’s tasks include but are not limited to:

  • Offer Letter Review (LOI)
  • Negotiation Support
  • Financial Due Diligence Guidance
  • Legal Due Diligence Guidance
  • Drafting of Purchase Agreement
  • Closing Document Preparation
  • Offer Letter Preparation
  • Financing the Deal Advice

Financial Advisor

Who are they: Chartered Accountant (CA), Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Chartered Valuator

How will they help you?

financial advisor

Buying a business is a meticulous financial undertaking. An acquisition transaction is never as simple as handing over payment and receiving a receipt.

CAs and CPAs who have experience with mergers and acquisitions are important professionals to have on your team because they have the knowledge and ability to deep dive into a target business’ financials to determine whether or not the opportunity is a desirable venture. They do so by conducting due diligence to review a target’s EBITDA, tax information and fair market value but also to scope out cracks and red flags in the business’ books and recordings. 

Likewise, accountants can help you understand your financial position, so you understand what sort of business opportunity is feasible for you as a buyer. By creating a good relationship with your accountant during the buying process, you solidify yet another professional kinship that you can carry through succession. 

A good accountant is always an important person to have by your side, especially when you become a business owner. 

An accountant will help a buyer with the following during acquisition. An accountant’s tasks include but are not limited to:

  • Offer Letter Review (LOI)
  • Financial Document Review
  • Negotiation Support
  • Personal Tax Planning
  • Opinion of Company Value
  • Financial Due Diligence Guidance
  • Financing the deal
  • Thorough Valuation

Lending Advisor

Who are they: Banker

How will they help you?

According to the BDC, “a critical part of making a successful acquisition is negotiating an optimal financing structure. You want a financing mix that will allow for a smooth ownership transition and position your company to flourish in the years to come.”

a lending advisor

Every business purchaser will need some sort of financial lending. Don’t underestimate the importance of researching the different banks you may want to work with. Make relationships with those banks prior to offering on a business. In weighing your options and fostering relationships with financial lenders, you’ll better understand how much capital you need to purchase a business. You’ll also understand how to negotiate a deal based on what kind of lending is available to you. 

A respectable relationship with a banker is always worthwhile. Later down the road, when you own your business, a banker can continue to help you manage your finances, potentially refinance your business or, even, help you obtain the financing to acquire additional businesses. 

A banker will help a buyer with the following before and during acquisition:

  • Providing senior loans for acquirers
  • Providing working capital loans for maintenance of day-to-day business operations
  • Working with lawyers to finalize transactions
  • Giving advice on strategic planning, financial management and HR management


Who are they: Business Broker

How will they help you?

As a buyer of a business, having a business broker on your team isn’t essential. It’s more or less standard for brokers to be the representatives of sellers, so their allegiance is with business owners, not necessarily business buyers. 

While a broker won’t be the intermediary guidance a buyer needs to help them throughout each phase of the buying process, buyers hire brokers to help them find business acquisition opportunities. 

Brokers help buyers and sellers connect. 

Not all businesses for sale are on the open market; therefore, it can be useful to form relationships with business brokers to find leads and gather information about businesses looking to sell. It also shows them that you’re an interested, motivated buyer who is actively looking for opportunities. 

A business broker can help a buyer with the following:

  • Conduct a passive search to connect buyers with acquisition opportunities as they arise 
  • Conduct an active search by seeking out opportunities for buyers according to their criteria 
  • Gather information about a business for the buyer to assess 
  • Introduce buyers to sellers 

For some people, building a network may come easy. For others, knowing how to build a solid team of trusted professionals, especially in a business context, can be challenging and nerve-wracking. 

The good news is that in the business buying ecosystem, advisors are already connected. Lawyers have excellent relationships with banks and brokers have strong connections with accountants. Once you have one trusted consultant on your team, your network instantly grows a new web. When cultivating your network it's still important to make sure you choose advisors that you're able to communicate with and work with comfortably.

Village Wellth prides itself on the community we’ve built of highly knowledgeable and dependable acquisition professionals. We work with buyers to ensure that they unite with the right advisors for their specific acquisition needs—the people who will foster the success of their acquisition and drive their new business to new levels of growth and accomplishment. 

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September 9, 2021
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