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Thanks for all the input so far. To make things trickier, he owes me a lot of money, which if I bought the business I’d make sure that it was subtracted from the sale price. But I’d be taking over an expensive and completely unnecessary lease on a warehouse full of stuff that we just don’t need, not to mention other debts that he has. However I’d get the work vehicle and tools which I really need.

I’m also very confident that if I were to leave it’d only be a matter of a few months before he shut up shop. This would give me guilt free access to all his clients, but I know it’s a big risk.

So what about in the meantime if I go out on my own, can I use my personal name with my existing ABN from another unrelated business or do I need to register another business name? I may need to hire someone, will this affect anything?