This statement seems obvious, right? From experience, I can tell you that while obvious, some sellers find out during the diligence and sale process that they do not own what they thought they owned. Take intellectual property and software rights as an example. Ownership of the software and the underlying source code can be complicated especially if the software went through a number of iterations. It can be fatal to a transaction to find out a key piece of software is not owned by the seller, or the seller has not secured the proper underlying licenses granting it the authority to do what it is doing. A best practice for all business owners is to regularly inventory their assets and confirm the ownership sourcing. Hard assets are easy to source, but finding titles and releasing liens during a transaction can add unnecessary stress. Soft assets can be tricky. A businesses’ name, logo and tag lines can be issues if the business never took the proper steps to register and confirm there were no conflicts. There is nothing worse than determining a business’ name has a conflict with another business and having to then rebrand the business and take a new course. In sum, the time to determine asset ownership and the status of any clean-up is well before being asked by a buyer to provide confirmation of ownership during the sale process.
Do you want to vet a business opportunity? Is there an anticipated commercial dispute? Is a second legal opinion warranted? Grab 15 minutes with me, and I will work with you to understand your situation and provide my thoughts based upon successfully representing business owners for almost 25 years. You will receive a confirmation with a Teams Meeting invitation after you pick a time for our discussion. You can also reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT MIKE MERCURIO
Michael N. Mercurio is a leading attorney in the field of mergers and acquisitions (M&A). He serves as outside general counsel in buy-side and sell-side M&A, as well as in all business law and real estate law matters. As a strategic partner to firm clients, Mr. Mercurio regularly counsels entrepreneurial individuals and assorted entities on the many challenges, issues, and opportunities companies face throughout the business lifecycle—from start-up to eventual exit.
ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN
Offit Kurman, one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the United States, serves dynamic businesses, individuals and families. With 16 offices and nearly 250 lawyers who counsel clients across more than 30 areas of practice, Offit Kurman helps maximize and protect business value and personal wealth by providing innovative and entrepreneurial counsel that focuses on clients’ business objectives, interests and goals. The firm is distinguished by the quality, breadth and global reach of its legal services and a unique operational structure that encourages a culture of collaboration. For more information, visit www.offitkurman.com.
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