Buying up the local tractor trade

I’m on here seeking legal help because, well gosh darn it, I’m cheap, which is how I got to where I am, which is in a position to buy businesses…at least, I think that’s the position I’m in.

That’s what I need advice about. I own a small business repairing tractors and other farm equipment. We do well because we’re located right smack dab in the middle of the country where every other lot is a farm of some sort. I’m in a small town out in corn country, and out here, in the immediate vicinity, there’s just me and this other fella’s business that compete for every farmer’s favor.

It’s been a friendly competition between us for some time, for more than a decade in fact, and sometime before that when we were both working our way up in the business. I wouldn’t call us friends, but I’d call us friendly, which has worked out fine for both of us.

Well, this friendly fella of mine has decided to throw his hat in the ring. He’s giving up and moving out to the coast to retire early. He’s got a place on the beach in Florida in mind, which sounds quite fine, assuming he can avoid the hurricanes. Well, and what do you think this fella has gone and done? He’s asked me to take over his business. Or, not take over so much as buy him out.

That sounds fine as well, I’d say. I have the money he’s asking, or I should say, I’m square with the bank and in a good way to get the money together that he’s asking. It’s all quite reasonable, which makes me think I may have been doing quite a sight better in this business than my rival across the way these last few years. Buying him out now means I’ll be the only game in town, literally. A farmer can jump on his broken down tractor and ride it out fifty miles to get another offer, but if he wants to spare himself the saddle sores of that one, he’ll have to work with me.

I like the sound of that, I must say. Not that I’ll be unfair, mind you. I won’t raise my prices a penny. I know these farmers, many of them are my friends (not just friendly, but friends, I’m telling you), and I wouldn’t cheat them. It’ll be nice, though, to know I don’t have to worry about the competition anymore. I won’t have to sweat keeping the prices rock bottom. That’s not the same thing as raising them, you see. It’s just a little less stress.

What I’m asking all of you for right now, if you’ve got it, is advice on how to buy a business. I know there’s a whole legal rigamarole, and I’ll probably need a lawyer in the end, but I’d rather put it off and save the cost long as I can. Best I can figure out is what I read on that site I linked to above. And that’s really not enough to go by.

So friends, or friendly internet folks, what can you tell me about this? I’ll throw in a discount on your tractor repair if you can steer me in the right direction.

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