Searches to undertake before buying a business

Purchasing a business can be an extremely daunting exercise. The process is fraught with legal complexities and risk but with appropriate guidance, business ownership is extremely rewarding!

One little understood risk in business acquisition is failure to ensure the business assets are unencumbered. That’s why it’s extremely important that you conduct a thorough search of the Personal Property Securities Register.

Of course, you will conduct a search using the seller's ABN, but an astute business lawyer will also conduct searches of:

  • Seller’s company name (if company)
  • Seller’s ACN (if company)
  • Seller’s Trustee name (if trustee)
  • Individual directors (if company) AND
  • any other identifier connected with the business, seller, or persons connected with the seller (could include ARBN and ARSN or similar).

These searches are $14.25 each…!

Remember that the grantor will not always be entered appropriately by the secured party, and your search will only return a result if the “grantor” matches.

So consider the appropriate “grantor” when searching and be broad. It will almost always be worth the $14.25!

For advice on purchasing a business, talk to MDL

If you need help navigating your business acquisition or need further advice about the Personal Property Securities Register, call the experienced Business Law team at McCarthy Durie Lawyers today on 3370 5100 or fill out the contact form here.

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