If you’re planning on a business agreement to buy or sell a business, you’ll want to know about term sheets. These non-binding agreements will help with progress for both parties. The information covered in the term sheet should include everything from pricing and terms to special considerations. You can expect it to be between one and five pages in length.
What is the Difference Between a Term Sheet and a Contract?
When a term sheet is created, it demonstrates that there is an agreement between the buyer and seller and a business transaction is possible. However, neither party is bound to this transaction. On the other hand, a contract is typically a legally binding agreement that would hold up in a court of law.
What are the Pros and Cons of a Term Sheet
While it can be beneficial that a term sheet is non-binding when buyers and sellers are exploring the terms of a deal, it’s also important to know that a term sheet can come with risks. Due to the fact that it covers many details about the potential deal, it can instigate either the buyer or seller pulling out of the deal if they are unsatisfied with the contents of the document.
On the positive side, a term sheet can serve to greatly expedite negotiations and help things progress faster. Further, it can save time by making sure that the conditions of the deal are understood and accepted before formal documents are drawn up. It can play a huge role in clarifying objectives and circumventing misunderstandings that could ultimately end a deal at a later stage.
Putting Term Sheets to Work on Your Behalf
One of your goals with your term sheet should be to create a situation that is beneficial for all parties. When a verbal agreement between a buyer and seller is put down on paper it can help a deal begin to take form and actualize in the near future. In the end, a term sheet can help a deal move along and ultimately be successful. It’s the perfect first step towards a completed deal.
If you have questions about how a term sheet fits into your overall plan to buy or sell a business, this is a question that can be addressed with your business broker, M&A advisor, or attorney.