Law Office of Peter Cusimano, Barrister & Solicitor
Business Lawyer · Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Legal Help in Buying A Restaurant

by: Peter Cusimano
Business Lawyer - Barrister &  Solicitor

If you are planning to buy a restaurant, there are several legal issues that you need to deal with.

Some issues include:
  • Franchise or Private operation - if the restaurant is a franchise, you will need to obtain a copy of the franchise agreement and address any issues with the franchisor
  • Offer to purchase document - Often times the use of a basic offer to purchase is not sufficient to protect the buyer and as such I generally recommend not using an offer to purchase that has been either pre-printed on a form or provided to you by an agent or non-lawyer
  • Purchase and sale agreement - a purchase and sale agreement will need to be prepared. It is not generally recommended that you use a basic purchase and sale agreement that has been either pre-printed on a form or provided to you by an agent or non-lawyer
  • Lease review and assignment - sometimes you may want to make changes to the lease, or there are terms in the lease that place on your obligations or risks that you were not aware of or that you would prefer not to assume
  • Searches against the Business - a lawyer will conducts certain searches against the business to assess if there are any special problems that require attention such as whether there are any lawsuits against the restaurant
  • Assignment of Liquor License - the liquor license will need to be transferred.
  • Employee matters - employee issues can become complex and without proper advice you may be assuming unexpected risks that could result in significant liability to you after you have purchased the business in the event you have to terminate the employment of an employee whose employee you continued as part of the purchase.
  • Co-ordination with other professionals. Often times, there will need to be discussions with your accountant and banker, and other professionals.
  • Other issues: There are several other issues that will need to be considered including the continued use of the restaurant's name, transfer of the telephone number, continuation of any telephone book listings, transfer of restaurant's website

If you are contemplating buying a restaurant, please feel free to contact me to discuss the legal aspects of the transaction and the legal assistance that I can provide to you.

Revised: .
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