The most important consideration when buying a business in Belize is knowing what you are getting into. It is very easy to lose sight of the important business considerations of buying a new business if you let the decision become an emotional one.
Moving to paradise is exciting and a dream come true for many of us, but you need to keep focused on the fundamentals of the business you are looking at buying. Do not get distracted by promises the real estate agent or owner are telling you but rather look closely at the actual performance of the business.
Many times, you will be told that the business does not keep proper records. This should be a warning sign as any legitimate business will be able to produce proper records. These records can be verified by looking at recent bank statements and deposit and customer receipts.
You may hear that the business does not have records, but my advice is to walk the other way if the vendor is not willing to show proof of the numbers they are discussing with you. The price you pay for the business needs to be based on the actual past and recent performance of the business and you should be able to buy the business with some certainty that this price is legitimate and fair to all concerned.
Businesses here in Belize are supposed to keep accurate records for the GST, Social Security and Income tax departments so don’t be fooled if you hear ¨the owner doesn’t keep records¨.
If the owner doesn’t keep records, then how does the Real Estate Agent know how much the business should sell for and how does the owner know how much money the business makes or loses each year?
So work with an experienced business broker who will guide you through this process and ensure you make the right business decision to help you prosper in Paradise.
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