The principle of caveat emptor (buyer beware) is never more relevant than to those brave souls seeking to purchase a maritime business.
Although there may be some chance of recovery in a circumstance of misrepresentation, it is a much superior commercial strategy to make vigorous investigations into a target business in order to satisfy yourself of its worth and prevent unnecessary losses.
These investigations are known as due diligence, but less fancily are just common sense inquiries. Matters that should be looked into include:
- Regulatory and litigation searches on the vendors
- Contracts of employment, supply and procurement
- Leases or licences over property
- Future developments likely to impact on the business
- Qualifications required to operate business
- Intellectual property
- Regulatory and survey status of any vessels
- Condition and age of vessels
- Schedules of equipment and inventory
- Detailed physical inspections
- Interviews with employees, competitors, commercial partners
Whether vendor or purchaser, Pacific Maritime Lawyers can guide you through this process.
Contact us to arrange a consultation.