An acquisition or a merger could be the way quickest way to grow your business and at the same time, increase your market share and reduce competition.

Unlike an acquisition when you take over another business and take full control of it, a merger means the businesses are integrated and control is then shared with the owners of the other business.

If you decide to take this route to expand and develop your business, there are a number of legal issues on which you should always seek professional advice.

Before making the decision, a process of ‘due diligence’ should always be carried out which will establish any liabilities or obligations the other company has so there shouldn’t be any nasty financial surprises further down the line.

Drawing up an agreement should also be handled by legal professionals and they may advise you to obtain warranties from the seller – written statements about key aspects of the business (assets, employees etc).

You may also ask for indemnities – an undertaking to reimburse you if particular situations arise in the future.