The split between goodwill fixtures and fittings is something that will be agreed as part of your sale negotiation, knowing your tax position and what will suit you best is going give you the best chance of getting the terms that you want.
If you have this figure worked out before you agree the sale then you can make sure that your solicitor adds this figure to the first draft of the contract.
In this video from our Six Steps to Sale Program I break down what the apportionment is and how to go about working out what yours should be.
How to Apportion Goodwill, Fixtures and Fittings
Let’s talk about how to apportion Goodwill, Fixtures and Fittings when selling your cafe. Now, if this is a term you’re not familiar with, don’t worry. I’m going to go through and break down exactly what it is and what you need to do.
The apportionment of goodwill, fixtures and fittings is, basically, it’s a split between the value or the sale price of the business. It’s going to be broken into two parts, so, firstly, all the plant, fixtures and fittings, so that’s all of your kitchen equipment, all of the inventory, furniture and all that sort of thing, that forms one part of it and then, on the other side, it’s the goodwill that’s being applied to the business’ sale price.
It’s really good to be on the front foot with this and make sure that that you’ve taken some advice early on so that you know what your tax position is and what split your accountant suggests is going to benefit you most. It will always form part of the contract of sale, and it’s going to be the figure that’s used for tax purposes for you and for the purchaser. Its a really good idea as I mentioned just to make sure that you know what your tax position is and what your accountant suggests that you should do in regards to that split, so all you need to really worry about at this point is taking some advice, so talk to your accountant and make sure that you find out what they suggest about that split. It’s going to depend on your personal and business tax situation.
Now, normally speaking, when you’re the seller of the business, it’s going to be in your interest for that split to be higher on the goodwill side, and for the person purchasing, it’s usually better for them to have it higher on the fixtures and fittings so that they can then write down the depreciation at a higher level, so do take some advice on that. It’s not a one-thing-fits-all. It’s going to be very specific to your business and your personal tax situation, so make sure, as part of that, it’s on the checklist there for what you should discuss with your accountant, but make sure that that’s a figure that you’re aware of.
Make sure that when you do get to the contract stage of your sale that you’re going to advise your solicitor this early on, so it’s a great idea to put this into the first draft of the contract. Sometimes, this won’t even be questioned by the purchaser, so, as mentioned, good idea, be on the front foot, be proactive, make sure that you know what’s going to suit you best.
Having said that, you need to be prepared to negotiate. It is usually something that a savvy buyer with a good accountant and a good solicitor is going to probably pick up on what you’ve put in there and realise that that’s not to the best advantage of their client, the purchaser, so you may well need to negotiate on that, so be prepared to do that.
That’s a very brief look what the split between goodwill and fixtures and fittings is. It’s nothing that that you need to be too concerned about, but it’s something that you should be taking some professional advice on from your accountant just to make sure that you’re fully prepared and, when you do get to that stage, as I said, make sure that you communicate that split that you’re aiming for with your solicitor and get in the first draft of the contract early on. You may find there’s no negotiation about that at all and it’s accepted on your terms, which, obviously, for your tax purposes is going to be perfect.
Hopefully that all made sense. If you’ve got any questions, as always, get in touch in the usual channels, let me know. I’m more than happy to answer any queries you might have about this.