TotalFranchise UK Franchise Opportunities and Business Opportunities For Sale
Signs Express Signs and Graphics Franchise Special Feature
Signs Express Signs and Graphics Franchise Special Feature
Signs Express have partnered with Franchising Specialist Law Firm EMW Law to break down each stage of the legal process associated to buying a new business.
Signs Express Signs and Graphics Franchise Special Feature
Franchise Information
  • BFA Membership StatusFull
  • UK Years Established29 years
  • Current UK Coverage60%
  • Franchisee Support Staff24
  • Personal Investment Req.£65,000
  • Total Startup Cost£215,000
  • Territory-based business locationYes
  • Business to business servicesYes
  • Franchisee employs staffYes
Next Steps

Legal Requirements: Buying a Business, The Process

When it comes to buying a business, it can certainly seem quite daunting. Whilst Signs Express support you every step of the way, they want to ensure you’re getting expert advice at all times, therefore they partnered with Franchising Specialist Law Firm EMW Law to break down each stage of the legal process associated to buying a new business.

Signs Express Franchise | Graphic Design Business Signs Express Franchise | Graphic Design Business

In legal terms this process is known as a “Transaction”. There are a number of key steps that must be completed in order to protect the interests of both parties, and they can be summarised in six steps:

Step 1 - the buyer identifies a company it wants to purchase (the “Target”) and it begins exploratory talks with the seller or a seller may actively seek a buyer whether that be the management team or a third party;

Step 2 - before conversations go into too much detail, the parties will sign a non-disclosure agreement to protect the confidentiality of the Transaction;

Step 3 - the buyer begins initial due diligence to check for any obvious red flags;

Step 4 - the parties will draw up an indicative agreement. This document may also be referred to as the heads of terms or letter of intent because it sets out the terms of the Transaction that have been agreed in principle between the parties. The heads of terms will form the basis of the agreement documenting the Transaction;

Step 5 - full due diligence is conducted. This will enable the buyer to scrutinise every aspect of the Target, including, but not limited to, information about the corporate structure, any existing or historic litigation that could affect the value of the business, the financial stability of the Target, and information about its employees. The level of due diligence will depend on the type of Transaction and the buyer. If the sale is to management it may be that they know enough about the business to not need legal assistance with the due diligence.

Step 6 - contract negotiation and disclosure. The type of agreement typically entered into between the parties is a ‘share purchase agreement’ commonly known as an “SPA”. The SPA is usually drafted by the buyer’s solicitor and will include a number of statements about the Target, called warranties, that the buyer expects the seller to give. Where the seller knows that it cannot agree to a warranty, he must tell the buyer in the form of a disclosure. The warranties are important to the buyer because it will allow him to make a full and fair analysis of the Target and the Transaction.

All disclosures are collated into what is known as a ‘disclosure letter’. The seller’s solicitors will be responsible for drafting the disclosure letter as it is a key document for the seller. If a warranty is breached and the seller did not make a disclosure against it, the buyer will be entitled to bring a claim for breach of contract and seek monetary compensation. To give an example, if a warranty requires the seller to confirm that there is no active litigation being brought against the Target, and the seller knows there is an ongoing claim, the seller must disclose this to the buyer or risk a claim being made post-completion.

At this stage the buyer has the opportunity to revise his offer on the Target based on the disclosures made or pull out of the Transaction completely.

Step 7 - completion.  The SPA and other documents including but not limited to the disclosure letter are signed, the purchase price is paid by the Buyer and the Transaction is now legally binding. The Buyer now owns the Target and can begin the integration phase.

Steps 1 to 4 are commonly completed by the parties before engaging a solicitor to help with the purchase. These steps are more about setting out the commercial detail and each side’s expectations. 

The bulk of a solicitors work during a Transaction falls within steps 5 to 7. These steps are usually conducted concurrently in order to save time and money. The solicitors for each party will amend and negotiate the documents in the best interests of their respective client which usually results in the parties entering into reasonably balanced agreements.

Signs Express: Make an Enquiry Today!

Signs Express is the UK’s largest signs and graphics business, offering a bespoke, creative and consultative approach to signage from a network of over 60 centres. With over 30 years’ experience and a passion for customer service we are at the forefront of the signage industry, offering an innovative approach with a forward-thinking strategy.

With franchise opportunities to join their award-winning network via established resale opportunities and prime-location start up opportunities, they offer you the chance to become your own boss and secure your financial future.

Legal Advice:

EMW support both buyers and sellers with Transactions and have a wealth of experience across different sectors. Their team’s approach to Transactions means they can be efficient and thorough.

If you are considering making an acquisition with Signs Express, they would encourage you to contact EMW Law for more information as they are familiar with their business, however, please feel free to use any solicitors you so wish.

For more information, contact Tracy Evans, Legal Director in the Corporate Finance team at EMW Law by email: or call directly on 0345 074 2412.

If this is a business opportunity that appeals to you why not get in touch? For more information just click below

No Industry Experience? No Problem... Signs Express Offer A Comprehensive Three-Week Training ProgrammeNo Industry Experience? No Problem... Signs Express Offer A Comprehensive Three-Week Training Programme

Signs Express offer franchisees extensive training and support throughout their Signs Express career to ensure they are set up for success.

Franchising With Signs Express: Getting StartedFranchising With Signs Express: Getting Started

Signs Express offer extensive sales, marketing, operational, IT and financial support, plus comprehensive onboarding starter packages.

Join Signs Express Today: Your Role As Business OwnerJoin Signs Express Today: Your Role As Business Owner

Signs Express are looking for driven, ambitious, experienced business individuals to join their award-winning network.

Signs Express - Bigger, Better, StrongerSigns Express - Bigger, Better, Stronger

Signs Express has developed into the largest network of sign production centres in the UK.

Franchising is no longer just a mans worldFranchising is no longer just a mans world

The franchise business model is no longer just for men. More and more women are setting up their own franchise business and making a great success of it too.


UK Franchise Opportunities and Business Opportunities for Sale. Explore our wide range of UK Franchises and browse information about franchising including franchise news, case studies and lots more. Totalfranchise is the leading UK franchises resource to help you start a franchise business.

Newsletter Subscribe

Interested in subscribing to our newsletter about the latest franchise opportunities and information ?

Quick Links

Franchise Search
Location Search
All Franchise Categories
All Business Types

Latest News
Case Studies
Special Features
You have selected no franchises Complete your requests