How to Become the Owner of a Company

Man with keys in his hand

To become the owner of a company you need to either build your own from scratch or buy an existing business. If you go the second route, you’ll also have the choice between running it ‘as is’ or changing some of it and creating a new company using its assets. This all sounds simple, right?

Unfortunately, once you get deeper into it, the matter gets much more complicated. You’ll need to evaluate your options, ideas, resources, and even drive with extreme care. Becoming the owner of a business is a challenge no matter which route you take. Millions of people think about starting their business but never take the risk because they seek the security of steady income (84%) or worry because the odds of success seem low to them (66%). I can understand those worries and have experienced them myself. So, today I’ll try to put some of them to rest by offering you some helpful info on how you can reduce the risks of becoming a company owner.

Become the Owner of a Company Route 1: Buy a Business

This is the least risky route and the one that will require minimal effort on your part. You simply need to survey available businesses for sale, shortlist the ones that are most interesting to you, evaluate them, choose one, and make a purchase.

You’ll need a substantial capital to do this, but financing will be easier to obtain as you’ll have a well-performing business to show prospective lenders. Add a solid business plan with some minor improvements and you’ll have the needed money ass the risks will be minimal. If you want to protect yourself, make sure that you consult a general contractor to assess the physical condition of the company building before you make an offer.

If you want to become the owner of a business this way you should look at the offers at:

Of course if you aspire to become the owner of a company that brings you profit, you’ll need to evaluate the options really well. You will also need to have a business plan for managing it in the future. That one will be necessary to get financing as well as to ensure the business doesn’t fail because of a change in ownership.

When evaluating the options, consider all factors that effect business performance. This means evaluating the business itself and studying its books with extreme care. However, this also means researching the market and predicting its developments. The most important question here is ‘will the business continue to be profitable?’

Even if you don’t plan to make a complete overhaul of the business (for that see the next paragraph) you’ll need to plan for improvements. You might also consider rebranding if you already have or want to establish a recognized brand of your own. If the business you purchase has a good local reputation, changing its name and individual peculiarities might damage its performance. So assess the situation from every angle and choose wisely.

You must also consider whether you want to buy an existing company yourself or with investors. The former is a relatively straightforward process, but the latter can be a bit complex.

It makes sense to discuss the idea with experienced commercial lawyers like Accuro Maxwell before embarking on the purchase of an existing company with investors. That way, you can be sure issues like shareholder agreements get ironed out before you begin.

Become the Owner of a Business Route 2: Buy Assets of a Business

This route is virtually the same as the previous one. The difference is that you don’t need to search for a stable and profitable business to buy. In fact, you should be focusing on floundering companies on the verge or in the process of going bankrupt. This way you will get a much lower price.

The things to look for in this case are the assets you need to start your own business. This is a halfway solution between buying a business and building your own. Choose it when the possible deal can cut the costs of creating your company from scratch. For example, buy a failing restaurant that has a great lease that will give you a chance to open a store in a prime location. Opening a different kind of restaurant will work as well. The point is that by making this deal you do not become the owner of a company that already exists. You buy the part of it that will help you build a company you want to establish.

To give you some idea of how flexible this option can be think of a case like this:

You have a great idea of making a completely new kind of energy drink that will combine an already existing drink with some extra additions. You buy a company that makes those drinks (all rights and patents included) and only invest in adding the extra step to the production process. Hence, you get a brand new startup that’s not really all that new.

Become the Owner of a Company Route 3: Start from Scratch

This route is the most challenging as building a business from scratch requires more time and has exponentially more risks involved. I strongly suggest choosing this option if you have an original idea. In this case, use one of these plans (or one of the hundreds of books on the subject):

You might think that despite the difficulties this way is the most rewarding. But let me be clear, being a successful business owner is rewarding no matter how you obtained that company. Yes, you might get a higher level of emotional satisfaction because you’ve built it with your own hands. However, this won’t be much of a consolation if you don’t succeed.

If you become the owner of a business this way, the first challenge you’ll face will be making the decision to take the risk. This is sure to be hard with the Internet full of attention-grabbing statistics like ‘90% of new startups fail’.

Do not panic and read this debunking of startup failure statistics instead.

So, if you want to become the owner of a company by building it from scratch and have resources and drive to do it, you should! Evaluate the risks, research the market, develop your business plan, get financing, and proceed. While you’re at it, do not forget that the most common reasons for small business failure are ‘running out of cash’ and ‘not having a market for their product’. Protect your company from both by thorough planning and you’ll cut down the risks of starting your own venture.


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    March 22, 2018

    Speaking as the person who has done both options 1 and 3 over her lifetime, there’s nothing better than telling people that you own your very own business. Yes, I have never worked so hard and long in all my life since becoming a business owner, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I wish younger people would think of this as a viable option.

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    Not a 9-5 Guy

    March 24, 2018

    Hate to say it, but sometimes it’s exactly that hard work and long hours that put the younger generation off this route, though I do not include everyone here! I bought a business a decade ago, and though I still run it successfully, for the first few years, I was astounded at just how much work you do need to put into it.

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    Daniela Bucatele

    March 26, 2018

    I think we need to catch students early and give them the chance to see the real side to running your own business. I don’t think such an experience is always possible for those taking the college route, which is such a shame.

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