Rather than start your restaurant from the bottom up, you may feel it makes more financial sense to buy a currently existing restaurant in North Carolina. This may be true, but you still have to be careful about how you handle the transaction.

SCORE.org breaks down points to ponder about buying a restaurant. Keep these insights in mind as you work out the details of your deal.

Ask why the owner decided to sell

Besides outright asking the owner why she or he decided to sell the restaurant, do some digging on your own. It may be local competition, rising crime rates, the establishment’s reputation or a shifting neighborhood that led to the decision to sell.

Investigate liabilities

One thing to know about buying a restaurant rather than opening a new one is that you inherit the restaurant’s liabilities. See what outstanding debts or legal issues you may become responsible for as the new owner. You do not want to learn about code violations or lawsuits looming over the restaurant after the ink dries on your business contracts.

Research assets

Something else to learn about before buying a restaurant is the type of cash flow you can expect, which you can do by studying financial statements. Restaurant equipment serves as another type of asset, and the same applies to insurance coverage, business licenses and contracts.

Get to know the employees

Something else you can expect to inherit is employees. Get to know how the current employees work, their schedules, training procedures and money matters. Decide what you may want to keep and what may need either a change or an upgrade.

This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.