Want to be the master of your own destiny and own your own Post Office?
At Williamsons, we have a specialist team who will be able to make your ambition a reality when buying a post office.
The Post Office is one of the most reputable and trusted brands in the UK, offering essential everyday services, whilst also providing a fundamental and imperative public service to the community. The Post Office network is the country’s largest retail branch network. With over 90% of the population living within one mile of a post office, post offices provide easy public access to essential services including mailing, access to cash and retail goods. Just under four hundred post offices are run by people directly employed by Post Office Ltd. These offices are called ‘directly managed’ or Crown offices. However, 97% of all post office outlets are sub post offices run by private business people called subpostmasters. Subpostmasters are not Post Office Ltd employees, but instead have a contract with the Post Office Ltd to provide services using their own premises and staff. Generally, subpostmasters receive a fixed payment from POL, which is essentially topped up by a payment which is based upon the number of transactions they carry out. To find out more information about becoming a subpostmaster and buying a post office, click here. In November 2010, the Government published a report detailing new plans for the future (click here to view report). Importantly, the Government has committed to no further post office closure programmes. Instead, the Government wants the Post Office Ltd to expand its financial and Government services, and expand the number of Post Office products available, such as more high street bank accounts and credit unions at post offices. At Williamsons, we recommend that when buying a post office, you ask the vendor to provide you with the following:-
- At least the last 3 years accounts of the business. This will enable you to make sure that the business is profitable and a good investment.
- Details of all supply contracts. You need to know who you suppliers are, especially if cold drinks, stationary, cards etc, are sold.
- Details of all staff. You will need to make sure that you are provided with full details in writing of all the employees and workers (whether full or part time) and the terms of their respective contracts, such as their hours of work, what they are paid, etc.
- Confirmation as to whether the transaction is leasehold or freehold. Should a lease be involved, it would be worth asking the vendor for a copy of the lease. You need to then determine whether the lease can be transferred or not. If the lease cannot be transferred, you will need to make enquiries with the Landlord to see if they would be willing to negotiate a new lease with you. If so, you need to ask the landlord what the terms and conditions of the lease would be.
Please note that the above list is non-exhaustive; depending on the nature of the transaction will very much depend on the information which you will require, however the above list is the information which you should obtain from the vendor irrespective of the nature of the transaction. If you are buying a post office, visit us or call our Commercial Property team today on 01482 323697.W