Buying & Selling

When contemplating acquisition or sale, we will provide essential advice and assistance throughout the process, and make sure that you achieve the best possible tax outcomes from your deal.

The UK tax code is complex and wide-ranging. At Harold Sharp, we pride ourselves on providing an intelligent, experienced, well-rounded and integrated tax planning service to our clients, throughout your lives and the lives of your businesses.

The arena of acquisitions and disposals is one to which taxation planning is inextricably connected. Badly managed tax can make a transaction simply unaffordable, either in absolute terms or in cashflow terms, while tax managed well can close a commercial gap between the buyer and the seller. Early advice and assistance is essential to plan your approach to the target event and maximise your chances of the best outcome.

In pursuit of acquisitions, buyers will try to achieve reliefs for the prices paid and costs incurred, wherever possible. They will seek to minimise their exposure to things like Stamp Duty and Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) and also to potentially catastrophic VAT implications if they are not adequately factored in. Buyers will also need to protect themselves against potential “back duty” liabilities which might come to light, in the businesses they have bought, after they have paid and taken control. 

Our routine advisory procedures take care of the planning and the protection.

Where disposals are concerned, sellers will normally want to minimise the tax arising on their proceeds, often wanting to ensure that the “trickier-than-you-might-realise” 10% rate of Capital Gains tax known as Entrepreneurs’ Relief, is safely achieved. Sellers will also need to understand the various tax risks and implications associated with deferred proceeds and contingent proceeds, negotiating to remove those risks in the deal as far as possible, without reducing the gross monies achievable or inhibiting the deal. Sellers also need tax protection in the contract, not least because they will likely be subject to tax indemnities given at a time when they hand over control of their company’s tax affairs to the buyer.

We provide these essential services to buyers and sellers of course.

“We follow a simple principle laid out by our founders: It’s not about keeping up. It’s about staying ahead.”

Chris Wrighton,
Director

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It’s our job to clear the way so you can focus on what inspired you to go into business in the first place.

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