*This information is taken from the North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC). To read the entire packet, click here.
*We also have a blog post on how to finance your business.

Buying an Existing Business

Always evaluate the business by reviewing its history and its operations. Learn the business’s marketing strategies, how it generates its sales, acquiring customers, and an understanding of its finances.

Some items needed from the existing business:

  • Financial statements
  • Tax returns
  • Copies of leases and deeds
  • Debt and loan repayment schedule
  • Inventory list
  • Supplier list
  • Customer list
  • Employee contracts
  • Equipment leases and financial commitments

Important Questions to Ask:

  • Why is the business for sale?
  • Has the business been making a profit?
  • Does the sale include equipment, property, inventory, debts, employee contracts, name, logo, etc.?
  • Has an accountant reviewed the financial statements?
  • Have you reviewed existing business contracts?

Buying a Franchise


  • Small capital investment
  • Corporate support
  • Management training and counseling
  • Brand name appeal
  • Standardized quality of goods/services
  • Proven products and business format
  • Proven business model


  • Franchising fees
  • Required to share portions of business profits with corporation
  • Loss of control over use of a name, advertising, territory, purchasing products, etc.
  • Limited control over pricing, product lines, and suppliers
  • Actions by the corporation may affect business of franchisee

Contact us!

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email me at john@beerlawcenter.com or john@mathesonlawoffice.com or call 919-335-5291.

Be sure to check out Beer Law Center and Matheson Law Office for all things NC legal.

Contact the SBTDC