You may think your attorney has your best interests at heart, but some lawyers are so focused on protecting their client’s business that they can’t protect buyer interest. From a lack of industry understanding to a tendency to drive too hard of a bargain, here’s how general attorneys kill perfectly good ambulance business deals.
Lack of Flexibility
Successful business sales involve a certain amount of give and take. Unfortunately, many general attorneys come to the table unwilling to budge on terms. As your legal representative, your lawyer naturally wants to protect your interests with an airtight agreement. However, it’s also important to protect the viability of a good deal. Sometimes, what’s good for the buyer is also good for the seller – especially if it allows a beneficial deal to move forward. An inflexible attorney can stall negotiations, frustrate buyers, and ultimately cost you the sale of your medical transportation business. An attorney who specializes in business transactions knows when to hold and when to fold.
Limited Market Knowledge
Many business owners find their lawyers through recommendations from accountants, acquaintances, or friends and family. In some cases, a seller may retain an attorney who has been helpful with tax or estate planning. But while convenient, these lawyers may not be experienced in the specific realm of business sales. It’s hard enough to find an attorney familiar with business sales, let alone one fluent with the intricacies of the medical transportation business. A general attorney may not recognize the details most relevant to putting ambulance services for sale. Without transaction skills, he or she may require additional hours – and make frequent mistakes – when drawing up important documents such as the letter of intent or employee agreements. You don’t want your general attorney learning the ropes of the ambulance industry on your dollar. Likewise, motivated buyers won’t waste time waiting for you to train your attorney. Instead, they’ll move on to the next medical transportation business for sale.
Little Motivation to Close a Deal
Attorneys are often so paranoid about the thought of losing a client that they will nitpick over every detail of a deal to avoid making a mistake. In the process, they may make the biggest mistake of all: losing your best buyer. Because attorneys are typically paid by the hour rather than by commission, they often have little motivation to close a deal or close quickly. As a seller, you retain the right to question an attorney’s business sale experience and make it clear that your goal is a successful transaction. An experienced transaction attorney understands that representing an ambulance transport business owner requires providing not just legal protection, but the opportunity for a smooth and efficient deal.