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How To Find A Good Attorney When Selling Your Limo Biz

Posted on November 10, 2011 by Spencer Tenney

Spencer Tenney, vice president of The Tenney Group (www.thetenneygroup.com), is a member of the International Business Brokers Association and a Certified Business Intermediary (CBI). The Tenney Group is focused on business sales, acquisitions, business valuations and exit planning exclusively in the transportation industry. Spencer can be reached at (817) 274-0054 or [email protected]
Spencer Tenney, vice president of The Tenney Group (www.thetenneygroup.com), is a member of the International Business Brokers Association and a Certified Business Intermediary (CBI). The Tenney Group is focused on business sales, acquisitions, business valuations and exit planning exclusively in the transportation industry. Spencer can be reached at (817) 274-0054 or stenney@thetenneygroup.com

Over the course of selling 170 transportation businesses, The Tenney Group has enjoyed working with many fine transaction attorneys. These professionals have provided tremendous services for our clients. We also encountered attorneys who had no business being involved in a transportation business sale. If you are preparing to sell your chauffeured transportation or charter and tour business, I encourage you to consider the following tips as you hire an attorney to protect your interests at the closing table.

1. FOCUS MORE ON VALUE...LESS ON HOURLY RATES.

Not all attorneys are created equal. You don’t necessarily need an $800/hr attorney to receive excellent work. But don’t assume any attorney who passed the bar will effectively and efficiently represent your interests as you sell your transportation business. Paying the lowest hourly rate often results in paying more than you should as a result of attorneys “learning” at your expense. An experienced transaction attorney can assess a challenging situation and often apply a creative solution that works for both parties in one phone call. Whereas an attorney who is not focused on transactions may spend several hours usually calling other experienced attorneys to find a solution — while running up your billable hours.

2. MAKE SURE THEY HAVE TRANSACTION EXPERIENCE IN THE TRANSPORTATION INDUSTRY.

Ask about how he or she has represented business owners in similar transportation business sales. How many transportation business sales has he or she been involved with? Has the attorney received any professional honors or recognition? What will be the estimated costs of handling the transaction? Above all, do not be lazy in your search. By that I mean do not limit your options to a family friend.

3. GET REFERRALS FROM OTHER BUSINESS OWNERS, PREFERABLY FORMER TRANSPORTATION BUSINESS OWNERS

One of the many difficulties in choosing the right consultant is that the field is broad. For example, security is made up of hundreds of individual disciplines, all of which must fit carefully together like pieces of a large jigsaw puzzle. Unfortunately, no one can be an expert in all of the related topics. Here is just a partial list of specialties: perimeter fences, exterior access control, workplace violence, emergency planning, security force management, security policy and procedure, training, video surveillance, logical access control, intrusion detection, systems integration, key management, door and window hardware, building design issues, crime prevention through environmental design. The list could keep right on going.

Some projects can be handled by an individual, while others may require a team to ensure the proper depth of knowledge in each critical subject area.

4. MAKE AVAILABILITY A TOP PRIORITY

This sounds so basic, but it may be the most important factor when hiring a transaction attorney. When your business broker has the buyer ready to hand over the cash, your attorney’s job is to get the deal signed before they change their minds, while protecting your interests. It won’t matter if you get the best lawyer in your market; if he or she cannot be available when the deal is on the line, such an attorney is worthless to you. Make sure the transaction attorney you hire will be readily available through the time it takes to finish the deal. When you interview referrals, ask about the attorney’s accessibility and document turnaround time.

If you do not have access to very many attorney options, The Tenney Group would be happy to refer you to several experienced transaction attorneys.

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