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If you decide that you wish to proceed with buying the shop back, vendor finance is an option that I have seen implemented regularly. What typically happens is that the purchase price and interest charge is agreed upon as part of the sales process and some portion (or all) of that is financed by the vendor. This will probably require that you give a Floating Charge in favor of the vendor to secure the debt.

What you are asking is that the owner assumes some risk for the operation of the store until the debt is repaid… so they might be reluctant to go down this path. Having said that though, if the store is as rundown as you suggest, they may be losing money through its operation and you should be cautious about your investment, and recognise that there may be little “goodwill” remaining in its operation. Ask for financials and have them looked at carefully.

Another aside… consider the working capital that you will need to restore the business…. my experience suggests that the effects of measures that you implement now may take six months (or more) before their impact is seen by the business… which means that you need the working capital to carry your business through that period. Trying to fix a business without adequate resources is sometimes tricky!

Good luck whichever way you decide to go.