It’s often the case that a merger is the pivotal, make-or-break moment for the businesses involved. Under the right circumstances and with the right measures of caution and instinct, mergers can unlock brand-new potential and really give the business an edge over the competition.

But mergers aren’t guaranteed to succeed, and they can lead to a few different issues and complications for those involved – including your existing customer bases – that rattle confidence or, worse still, destabilise the foundations you’ve worked so hard to lay over the years.

Here are a few things to be aware of before you start going down that road.

You don’t want to get started without the right legal advice

You don’t want to get started without the right legal advice

Mergers are tricky. They take time, they require painstaking due diligence, and they hinge on the strength of the advice you’re given. In all cases, an experienced corporate solicitor is your best option. They can ensure your company is in the strongest possible position and that any and all potential disadvantages to the proposed merger are brought to your attention.

It’s not just about how it looks on paper

Two businesses can look perfect for one another in theory. On paper, everything can align – your due diligence yields no red flags, and your visions for the future can easily meld into one.

But remember a key ingredient that will influence the merger’s success: your ability to work together, particularly when the business hits a snag or encounters an unforeseen complication. It’s all about effective conflict management and needs to be pre-empted – however strong the relationship feels right now.

Some personalities don’t marry together, and even the most promising-looking venture can be doomed to fail if you’re not confident in your ability to make room for another voice and keep working towards the same goal.

It doesn’t always go down as good news

It doesn’t always go down as good news

Mergers can represent a daunting time for your existing workforce. They can represent a drain on job security and make people worry that their role is about to be taken over by someone from the other limited company (or companies) involved in the merger.

Customers can also feel uneasy about such a big change. No matter how promising they are, mergers disrupt the status quo. The best thing to do is pre-empt these concerns, practice open and honest communication, and ensure you are on hand to answer any questions your workforce may have about the upcoming change.

An NDA is very important

Given the importance of making an announcement at the right moment, you’ll want to take steps to ensure nothing will ‘let the cat out of the bag’ before you’re ready. Also, there’s a chance that the merger you’re considering may never come to fruition. In either case, protecting your business’s right to privacy is key. You don’t want this information leaking to customers and employees before you’re sure and ready.

A merger is (and should be) a daunting prospect. It means making a lot of room for new voices and ideas and providing you with new growth opportunities and a fresh edge over the competition. The best thing you can do is take your time, go in with your eyes open, and talk things through with your legal team before making any commitments.

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