Posted By Plumb Bill on 8/16/2008 at 11:43 AM

I am seriously considering buying into an established surveying firm. They have done 40 jobs per year average for the past 15 years. The problem is that it has been severely mismanaged, and one of the current partners is leaving for a W2 position with a coal company.

They used to have about 12 employees that all worked out of town during the week. The work for this client is gone, but the 40 boundary jobs per year are still there. I was wanting to come on board as a partner and develop business in areas previously neglected by this firm (oil, gas, and minerals).

My question is this. I know I can work amicably with the remaining partner (I have before), but I am trying to decide on a business structure should I pursue this endeavor. I will talk to a lawyer, of course, but I like to get initial information and already be forming opinions. Any help/advice would be appreciated. Here are my main concerns.

1. Business structure
2. How does a new business entity borrow if it is an LLC, LLP or Corporation, and can it if it is brand new without personal liability. I know about D&B numbers, but how soon would we be able to borrow?
3. Does anyone know of a good website that would help compute an NLM? (yes, I will eventually consult an accountant).