Expert Solicitors for Selling Your Nursery

If you are thinking about selling a nursery, it is vital to seek legal advice to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible during what can be an emotional time. After all, you are likely to have worked hard to build the business and will have formed relationships with staff, parents and children.

Our corporate and commercial solicitors work with nursery sellers across the UK from our offices in Bristol and the surrounding area in Bedminster, Bishopston, Bristol city centre, Kingswood and Thornbury. We can help you with selling your nursery, whether you are moving on to a new venture, relocating or retiring.

Our expertise in selling a nursery

Barcan+Kirby’s corporate and commercial lawyers have proven expertise in buying and selling businesses, including nurseries and pre-schools. We understand the challenges nursery owners face when selling their business and assets and pride ourselves on providing straightforward advice to ensure the sale is as stress-free as possible.

Examples of our nursery sales:

  • Sale of a day nursery and after-school club in Twickenham to a returning day nursery operator
  • Advising on the sale of two nurseries in the Nottingham Area
  • Sale of a group with two sites in Bristol to Bright Stars Group
  • Selling a single site in the South West to a large corporate, completing the sale in under two months
  • The sale of a prestigious day nursery in London after 20 years of ownership
  • Acting on the sale of a substantial and top-rated family-run nursery in Woking to a national nursery group
  • Advising the sellers of a group of three nurseries in Gloucester to Just Childcare

“I was extremely nervous about the process of selling and worried I would not understand the legal jargon involved. Georgina put my mind at rest and throughout the process guided me on what was happening and the expected outcomes.”

– Nursery sale client

Our nursery sales expertise includes advising on:

  • The structure of the sale and deal, e.g. asset or share sale
  • Pre-sale documents such as confidentiality agreements and heads of terms
  • Coordinating the due diligence process with user-friendly electronic data room facilities
  • Dealing with the transfer of freehold or leasehold properties, and advising on new leases to be put in place
  • Negotiating the sale documents and managing the completion process (using e-signature platforms so this can all be done remotely if needed)
  • Advising on common issues that arise, using our extensive experience to help find pragmatic solutions and ensure the sale proceeds smoothly

“We have worked with Georgina Bryant and her team at Barcan+Kirby on a number of sales and purchases of childcare businesses, ranging from small value deals of less than £100k to larger multi-site transactions of £5m+.

George is one of the legal advisers on our referral panel, and we often receive feedback direct from clients on how pleased they are with the excellent service the team provide. In particular, sellers find themselves reassured and in safe hands, welcoming George’s down-to-earth and pragmatic approach. That approach is consistent across the Commercial team, with lawyers able to pick up deals seamlessly to cover any absences, all with the same consistently high standard of service. Barcan+Kirby also have a strong Commercial Property team able to deal with both leasehold and freehold properties, and provide a joined-up and streamlined service to clients.

One of the key points that differentiates George from other commercial lawyers is her accessibility and proactive approach. She is easy to do business with, for both us as the broker and for her clients, always responding quickly to calls or emails and trying to find solutions to problems. George knows when to involve us in commercial issues which could be a risk to the deal or the relationship between parties, and regularly keeps us up to date on progress. She plays a vital and hands-on role in making sure the deal gets done and is a safe bet for professionals looking for a trusted lawyer for their clients.”

– Jenna Caldwell, Director of Childcare & Education, Redwoods Dowling Kerr

Selling a nursery FAQs

It is a good idea to appoint a lawyer as soon as you have agreed on a deal in principle, i.e. verbally, but before the heads of terms are negotiated.

Heads of terms (or a letter of intent) is an agreement in principle that contains details of the structure and terms of sale.

This document is not legally binding, and a formal contract will follow (which is legally enforceable), however, it sets out the key commercial terms agreed upon between the buyer and seller, and is important in ensuring things get off on the right foot. We therefore recommend instructing a specialist commercial solicitor to advise you on negotiating the heads of terms and ensure that your interests are secured.

This varies depending on the complexity of the deal, the number of settings involved and the nature of the property interests, how well prepared the seller is for the sales process overall and whether any unexpected issues arise which need to be resolved.

However, nursery sales usually take around three months to complete, from heads of terms to completion if everything runs smoothly.

This depends on the type of sale. If it is an asset sale, a consultation of staff under TUPE will be required, which typically happens a couple of weeks before completion. On a share sale, there is no need to tell staff beforehand, and many sellers prefer to keep the sale entirely confidential until the very end, or just tell key members of the senior management team whose input may be needed on the sales process.

The requirements for OFSTED depend on the type of sale and are simpler where the shares in a company are being sold rather than an asset sale where the buyer will need to obtain a new registration for the setting.

Our nursery sale solicitors help nursery owners understand the requirements so they can deal with OFSTED as needed.

Selling a nursery? Contact our specialist team

If you are selling your nursery business, our expert corporate and commercial solicitors are here to help. For an initial conversation, call us on 0117 325 2929 or fill out our online enquiry form.


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    • “Constant contact from the whole team. Communication is so important and these guys were all over it. Georgina knew more about our business than we did!"
      AnonCorporate + Commercial Client
    • "Georgina was extremely efficient and kept me on track. I was so relieved to find someone so experienced. Her attention to detail was brilliant.”
      AnonCorporate + Commercial Client
    • "Natalie Pring was outstanding! She clearly outlined costs and updated me frequently during the process of selling my business. If you are looking for excellent customer service and swift, responsive correspondence, Natalie is the lady for the job. She really did go above and beyond to get the job done!"
      ClaireCorporate + Commercial Client
    • "Steven was professional and worked according to an agreed timescale. He kept good communications with me and responded well to my queries and business needs."
      Dr UriCorporate + Commercial Client
    • "The professionalism and expert advice we received was outstanding. We felt at all times that we were a priority and that the advice we were given was honest and realistic. All information/advice was also translated into lay terms which helped us to make decisions clearly!"
      Hayley RoomCorporate + Commercial Client