Stage 2: draft contract

If the seller has prep’d his or her solicitor, so that the solicitor has the relevant title documents, getting a draft contract out to the buyer’s solicitor should not be a lengthy process or involve any delay. Selling a single pub is much like selling any other small business, except for the need to deal with the transfer of the premises licence and the fact that the inventory is likely to be 30 pages long, instead of about 3 pages. In any case, the inventory will probably not be ready at this stage, so it will get added later

The likely problems will be that the seller cannot find his lease, or it is not registered, or even not stamped. If so, it will need to be found, stamped (with the paymen of stamp duty) and registered (at the Land Registry) as appropriate before the sale can get very far – which is why I recommend sellers to contact their solicitor in advance of finding a buyer: all these problems can then be sorted out beforehand, without delaying the sale

As well as dealing with the sale of the property, the business and the inventory, the contract will deal with the sale of stock and glassware (at their value at completion, in addition to the purchase price), the transfer of employees (whose terms of employment are protected) and the taking over of any leasing or HP agreements and any service contracts – waste disposal, for instance

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