Note that under current legislation business sales can be GST free where:- “The vendor supplies to the purchaser everything necessary for the continued operation of the business. The vendor carries on the business until the date of sale and: Both parties agree in writing that the supply is of an ongoing concern.” Purchasers must be registered for GST at the time of settlement. Note that the Vendor is responsible if, at a later date, the sale is determined to be taxable. However, now GST clauses have been incorporated in some “General Conditions for the Sale of a Business” (used by many Real Estate Agents and Business Brokers) the GST condition now includes a clause that basically says “…. should the sale subsequently be deemed to be taxable under the GST legislation the vendor has the right to demand the amount of GST from the purchaser who must pay the “said” amount within 30 days of receiving notice in writing. The clause has an effect for up to 10 years from the date of the settlement of the business.
Please note that this information is of a general nature only. Buyers and Sellers are urged to seek independent financial and legal advice when buying or selling a business.