Many people have the desire to go into business for themselves, but don’t know where to start. The common perception is that you have to start from scratch with an innovative idea and the wherewithal to build a company from the ground up.

Sure, many new businesses do start that way. But it’s not the only way. Another completely viable option is to buy an already-existing business and make it your own. It takes a lot of research to make sure that you’re purchasing a company that fits with your objectives and goals, but if you find the right one, the payoff can be well worth the effort. Having the right advisors on your side is the best way to ensure you have all the relevant information you need to make an informed decision.

So, which is better – building your own company or buying one that someone else already started? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but there are pros and cons to each approach that you should weigh before you proceed.

Starting From Scratch

The advantages of building your own company from the ground up are obvious. You get to take your own ideas and innovations and turn them into the business you want, having a say every step of the way. You prepare the business model, secure the investments, and oversee the marketing. When it comes time to hire employees, you have first-hand knowledge of who will be joining your team. In short, you’re the boss from day one, which is why most people start businesses in the first place.

While that all might sound great, you need to keep the disadvantages in mind as well. Securing funding for a business with no track record of success can be an uphill battle. It’s highly possible that you’ll have to invest nearly every penny you have, to say nothing of your time and energy, to get the company up and running. Building a reliable client base is also no easy task. While all of these things may seem daunting, they’re certainly doable and the rewards when you succeed are well worth it. Just be clear what you’re signing up for before you start.

Buying Later

Perhaps the most attractive part of buying an already-existing business is that all the difficulties involved in getting the business up and running have already been handled by someone else. By the time you come on the scene, the initial fundraising, development, research, and marketing are already done. The business already has an established customer base and is generating profits and cash flows. All you need to worry about is growing the business and seeing that it continues to be successful. Easy enough, right?

Not always. Existing businesses come with histories. You need to do extensive due diligence to make sure not only that the business is a right fit for your goals and visions, but also that it’s free of legal and regulatory issues that could hinder your success. You also need to be comfortable that you have the necessary skills and experience to run the particular business you’re considering. While buying an existing company removes the pressure of having to come up with a great idea for a business, you need to be confident that you can understand and succeed in the industry or market where the business operates.

Take Advice From the Professionals

Whether you buy an existing company or start your own, no business is a sure thing. You need to do your homework and be prepared for all the possible outcomes. An experienced business attorney/advisor who knows the ins and outs of startups and emerging companies is a valuable ally to have on your side to help you make the right decisions.

An advisor will help you determine what kind of business you want to run, what experience you have to bring to the table, how much time and money you have to invest, and how much risk you’re willing to assume. Once you know the answers to those questions, you can do the right due diligence to determine your best course of action.

Legal Guidance In Building Your Business

At The Gouchev Law Firm in New York, we work with businesses of all sizes, including startups and franchise businesses. Call us at (212) 537-9209 or schedule a free strategy session today to see what The Gouchev Law Firm can do for your business.