A checklist for purchasing a company

Table of content
Content Sections

1. Select the company you want to buy

  • If you are still looking for a company to buy, visit the online marketplaces (in Finnish ‘yrityspörssi’) where you can find suitable companies for sale.
  • If you are about to become an entrepreneur, evaluate whether your own expertise supports the running of operations in the company being sold. If you already have an operating company, assess whether the company being sold supports your existing business.

2. Get to know the company being sold

  • What’s the company’s present condition? Have its finances been managed reliably?
  • Has the company’s business been developed systematically and continuously in recent years?
  • Has the company been competitive, and what factors could pose a threat to its future competitiveness?
  • How could the company’s profitability and competitiveness be improved?
  • Does the company have contracts or similar arrangements with customers, and can they be renewed?

3. Select the method of acquisition

  • A company acquisition can take place either as the sale of business or as the sale of the company’s stock.
  • The acquisition method should always be considered on a case-by-case basis, and an expert’s help is always useful when planning the acquisition.

4. Use the help of outside experts

  • An outside expert’s review and opinion of the company is often necessary, especially if the company has many employees or operations in several localities.
  • You may also use an outside expert’s help for selecting the method of acquisition (purchase of business or purchase of the company’s stock) and for assessing and organising issues pertaining to taxation, determination of value, financial management, contract law and financing.

5. Start financing negotiations early enough and plan the financing in advance

  • Contact your bank and Finnvera as early as possible in order to avoid delays in closing the deal for the lack of funds.
  • Ensure that you have sufficient self-financing and that you’ll be able to contribute to (invest in) the company in the coming years, too.