Planning a merger or acquisition?
If you want to become an entrepreneur, buying a company is a good option. By buying a company that is already in operation, you get many things ready, and you don't have to worry about all the stages of setting up, for example.
Buying a company is a convenient way to become an entrepreneur in many ways, as the finished company often comes with, for example, suitable production equipment, notoriety and customer base. Acquisitions are also beneficial for the national economy and employment. For example, when an aging entrepreneur gives up his or her business, a continuing new entrepreneur can secure jobs and maintain skills and customer relationships.
According to the 2021 SME Barometer, about 85,000 companies will change owners in Finland over the next five years. About one in three of Finland’s small and medium-sized enterprises is planning to change ownership in the coming years.
For example, you can get information about buying a company from Finnvera, banks or numerous store locations and services.
If you are considering buying a company, you should contact Suomen Yrittäjät in or near your area. There are change of ownership coordinators in the regional organizations who know how to tip over the companies for sale.
You can also find companies for sale in various services. One of these is Yrityspörssi.fi. Other trading venues are for example Yrityskaupat.net ja Firmakauppa.fi (in Finnish). In addition, the search engines provide a number of other places to trade and broker, as well as free and paid services.
You can research the above locations for sales and brokerage and find out if a business in your area would need a successor. You should openly talk about your intentions, for example, in your circle of acquaintances, as opportunities may open up surprisingly close. For example, according to a study conducted by Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, in 60 percent of acquisitions, the buyer and seller know each other in advance, and in as many as 80 percent of cases they operate in the same or a neighboring locality. You can also contact the company you are interested in directly, where a change of ownership may be a topical issue.
It is the price at which the seller is willing to give up, the buyer is willing to pay and the financier is willing to finance. A lot of things affect the price of the company you buy. Particular attention should be paid to the fact that the final price may differ from the tax fair value of the company, which often has tax consequences. You can use search engines to find online counters and consulting services to help you evaluate.
What kind of expert help is available?
You can find all the information related to starting your own business free of charge, for example, in our guide on starting a business, on the website of the Finnish Enterprise Agencies, on the Finnish state-owned financing company Finnvera and on the website of Suomi.fi.
Own acquisitions are a risk, and you should seriously consider seeking the help of industry experts. The use of a professional ensures the success of the acquisition without hindsight and is in the interests of all parties – the buyer, the seller and the financier.
However, it is a good idea for the person planning the acquisition to ensure that the expert used has experience specifically in the change of ownership and the resources to successfully complete the acquisition. Generational changes within the family often require different skills than selling a business to an outsider. It is a good idea to check which specialty the expert is more representative of.
Members of Suomen Yrittäjät can also take advantage of the advisory service in matters of change of ownership.
The regional and industry associations of Suomen Yrittäjät have contacts with experts on change of ownership.