There are many advantages when buying an established business.  Not only are you purchasing a fully functioning business, but you also benefit from purchasing an existing customer base, set supply chain, assets and inventory.

In this blog we share some legal tips provided by our fixed-fee commercial lawyer, Avanthi De Alwis, on how you can minimise your risks when purchasing an established business and hopefully ensure that you purchase the business for the right price!

Head of Guarantee

Before signing a contract to purchase an established business, you may want to consider asking for a head of guarantee clause to be included in the terms.   A head of guarantee is essentially a trial period where you can observe the daily workings of the business for a limited period of time.  This can be advantageous as it helps to ascertain whether the minimum takings of the business that the vendor has represented in the contract is in fact correct, and in the event that it is not, it may mean you can negotiate a reduction in the purchase price.

A Head of Guarantee is also a further way to gain an understanding of the day-to-day operations of the business and can provide you with an opportunity to speak to employees and suppliers, obtain feedback from customers, check out the equipment and other assets, and gain a better overall understanding of the business you are purchasing.

Minimise Your Risks

Avanthi cautions, however, against using a Head of Guarantee as the sole means of decision making when purchasing an established business.  Avanthi strongly recommends obtaining financial advice from a financial professional, and to complete the proper due diligence prior to signing any contact to purchase an established business.

Avanthi also cautions that some vendors may inflate sales during the trial period, so it is always good to take seasonal fluctuations into consideration.  For example if you are purchasing a small café with a large alfresco area in the summer months, this may mean that minimum takings are a lot higher than perhaps they are in the colder months and you need to make an adjustment for this fluctuation.

So if you are thinking of purchasing an established business and you would like to speak to a fixed-fee commercial lawyer, please contact us at We will connect you with Avanthi for a complimentary consultation and fixed-fee quote.


When you need a lawyer, it’s important to get it right. At Legally Yours we connect you with high quality, fixed price commercial lawyers. This means you’ll know upfront exactly what you’ll be paying. No more hourly billing, no more price uncertainty.

For a complimentary consultation and fixed-fee quote connect with us at or call us on 1300 822 708.

Written by Mira Stammers and Karen Finch from Legally Yours and in consultation with Avanthi De Alwis.