My Brother-in-law just called me with the following scenario, here are the limited details I know-
He is an employee at a small, successful auto body repair shop. The owner is nearing retirement and wants out. He owns the building it's housed in and this is presumably the largest asset. He'd be selling this and the business, but I'd think if he finds a buyer for the building but not the business he'd take this and let the business dissolve. This leaves my BIL out of work.
He and 4 other employees were potentially interested in taking over the business but they have limited capital between them. He mentioned a co-op and finding a way to take over the business without having to put $ in. I don't think there's any way (you either have to put your own $ in or get a bank to loan you the capital). Also, without getting out my insurance textbooks (I'm an underwriter by profession), my guess is that the co-op exposes it's members to personal liability and would be a bad form of ownership for a body shop. He believed that the current form of ownership is a corporation (private) with only one owner.
I'd think that if and when the owner decides to sell the best course of action would be to have the interested employees go to a bank and present a business plan showing the current revenue streams (as mentioned before they are doing well) and expenses and get a business loan for purchase of the business. Maybe they could convince the owner to keep the building for lease to them.
To be blunt my BIL is not the most business savvy person and probably does not have good credit. He does not have a college degree (not that that's required but it's helpful).
I don't know if there's a business manager who'd be staying on as part of this deal, but that's gotta be a requirement right? Also I'm assuming those getting the loan would need excellent credit and some assets (equity in a home etc..) as well. Small business loan underwriting I'm thinking is tight these days.
Any thoughts, advice or observations are appreciated. This isn't my personal hope or dream so feel free to stomp all over it I would like to help him out though.