Other professionals who can and often do act as intermediaries in the purchase and sale of a business are lawyers and accountants. This brings me to my first of fifteen laws of the business buying and selling jungle:

Strategic Jungle Law #1: “Lawyers are deal killers!”

There certainly is an important role for a competent commercial law attorney to advise and prepare the legal structure of a business purchase and sale transac- tion. The problem arises when lawyers see themselves as business negotiators out to get the “best deal” for their clients. They frequently forget that the “best deal” has to involve both parties, the buyer and seller, and that compromise is usually the only solution. Lawyers generally have a very difficult time with compromise relative to their client because they see their role as advising their clients on how to get the better deal. This doesn’t always work because the buyer’s lawyer may be pushing their client towards the “best deal” as well. In general, to successfully buy and sell a business, the “fair deal” versus the “best deal” has to be reached so that both the buyer and the seller are satisfied. Unless you remember that lawyers and accountants are only advisors and may not have any better insight into the business deal than you do, you may end up in a situation where you’ll never be able to buy or sell a business.