6 Things to Consider When You Hire a Mergers and Acquisitions Advisor

Whether you own a small company or manage a mid-sized business, you need to have a vision for your company’s future. Even as you increase revenues and expand your client base, you need to keep in mind the possibilities for future interactions with other companies.

Mergers and acquisitions provide an opportunity for your company to increase its assets for development. When you acquire or merge with an existing business, you also gain new personnel and new skills to enhance your company’s performance. You reduce competition and share the costs of running a business as well.

How should you choose an advisor to handle a merger or acquisition? The right advisor shares your vision for expanding your business and has the potential to earn you the highest settlement. Your choice of legal counsel will depend on your business’s needs.

Read the following seven tips to help you find an advisor that’s well-suited for your specific business.

1. Experience

Along with a law degree and many years of experience, an advisor should also have a personal connection to your type of business. Your legal counsel will need to familiarize himself or herself with the finer details of accounting, finance, marketing, business valuation, real estate, contracting, and negotiating to understand your business’s unique needs.

2. Fit

In addition to the practical knowledge of your industry, your mergers and acquisitions advisor should have experience dealing with your business size and budget. Also, the mutual fit between your company and the law firm you select matters even more than your legal counsel’s reputation and experience.

Find an advisor that frequently supervises cases approximately the same size as your company. If your company values at $100 million, don’t choose a firm that averages $30 million in settlements.

Similarly, if you own a new startup, you might not want to hire a legal team accustomed to multi-billion dollar settlements. Larger firms won’t have time to dedicate to smaller deals if they depend on mega-mergers for their income.

3. Availability

When you work in mergers and acquisitions, timing is paramount. You want an advisor who can defend your interests while seeking a partner to help you achieve your goals. Only a narrow window exists when an expensive deal between two parties is mutually advantageous, so your advisor’s dedication to your case should influence your decision.

When you select your legal counsel, take care to ask about the other cases your team currently works on. If your advisor attempts to juggle multiple cases simultaneously, you could miss the chance of a lifetime for your company. Choose a legal team that can dedicate their available time and resources to your company-not just today, but in the long haul that lies ahead.

4. Reputation

Since your legal advisor will represent your company, you want to ensure your advisor has a reputation for integrity, honesty, and commitment. Contact a few of the firm’s most recent clients and ask them how they felt about the advisor’s strengths and weaknesses.

You should also research the firm you want to work with to make sure their reputation won’t taint your company in the marketplace. Most Better Business Bureaus and other professional organizations keep a record of customer complaints, so take advantage of these resources when you research an advisor’s history.

5. Location

Some M&A advisors claim that they can work with your company from a remote location. For prominent or established companies, this strategy may not pose a problem. But for startups or small businesses, you want to choose an advisor that can personally visit your company and assess your earning potential.

With the high stakes of mergers and acquisitions, you want an advisor who can spend adequate face-time with your business. A local firm has the flexibility to meet with your company personally. If a local company doesn’t offer the services or the scope you desire, talk to your advisor about visiting your business location on a regular basis.

6. Personality

Once you’ve chosen a firm, make sure your particular advisor is someone you can trust. Mergers and acquisitions create extremely stressful situations, often for months on end. Make sure that you can communicate openly and honestly with your advisor.

If your preferred firm’s best legal counsel seems to frustrate you or ignore your opinion, keep looking. You won’t want to spend hours on end with a person that you can’t respect. If you don’t like your advisor, other companies probably won’t want to negotiate with him or her either.

7. Cost

You want to consider how your advisor will receive compensation before you begin the process. Ask how payment will be distributed, whether your legal counsel will take commission on a portion of your settlement or if they also expect additional fees. You also want to find out if your advisor charges a standard rate for all M&A transactions or if they have scalable costs and fee reductions.


All of these factors should influence your decision to contract an advisor for your merger or acquisition. For more information about corporate law, schedule a consultation with your legal counsel.

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