Buying and Selling Nurseries

When you are either purchasing or selling a nursery, the transaction is subject to a number of regulatory requirements that you will need to consider. Whether the premises are included in the sale, or just the business, we can help with expert legal opinion that ensures all aspects are fully inspected.

The acquisition of a nursery also requires OFTSED approval and it’s essential that daily operations remain undisrupted while the purchase is processed. We provide advice on what needs to be considered for both small daycare settings and large nurseries, to ensure the final contract is watertight.

For more information about our healthcare legal services please call us on +44 (0)20 3475 6751 or email

What to consider when buying or selling a nursery

There are many laws and regulations, such as the OFSTED requirements, which govern looking after children so if you’re buying or selling a nursery, the process may not be as simple as other types of commercial transactions. This means that as well as carrying out the usual due diligence, you may need to factor in some extra procedures.


Children’s day nurseries in England are regulated by OFSTED (Office for Standards in Education). This body is responsible for inspecting all childcare provisions, and carrying out checks on the premises, staff, activities and resources. Health and safety will also be closely scrutinised, including the ratio of adults to children.

Every nursery must be registered on the OFSTED Early Years Register. If you are taking over a nursery or setting up a new one, you will need to apply to OFSTED to complete their registration process. This is the case even if you have previously operated a nursery or childcare facility.

This process can be very time-consuming and may take up to 26 weeks to complete. If the sale completes before you’re registered, you won’t be able to continue running the nursery.

To prevent such problems from occurring, it’s common for there to be a clause in the contract which stipulates the existing owner will not terminate their OFSTED regulation. There may also be the requirement for there to be a couple of hours of “consultancy” every week until the new owner’s registration is complete.

The new owner will need to provide an indemnity, protecting the seller from any financial penalties or costs.

Tenancy & Landlords

If you are selling or purchasing a nursery which includes freehold premises, you can skip this part. However, if the nursery is operating on premises which is subject to a lease, this will need to be transferred via a licence to assign.

To do this, the lease will need to be reviewed to see if there is a clause about re-assigning to a new tenant. Even if there is, you will normally need the landlord’s permission to do so. The terms will normally state that if a tenancy can be re-assigned, consent should not be “unreasonably withheld”. You should therefore be able to complete the process but this will take additional time to process.

We have expertise in buying and selling nurseries, and the earlier we are involved, the more efficiently we can expedite the process.


Preea Jutla

Solicitor, Corporate Commercial

t: +44 020 3649 9016

Hammad Naveed

Senior Associate Solicitor

t: +44 020 3475 2729
m: +44 07377 190 406

Reena Popat

Managing Partner

t: +44 020 3475 2724 
m: +44 07931 347 854

Nikesh Shah

Partner, Corporate Commercial

t: 02033360973

Ifath Khan

Partner, Commercial Property

t: 020 3089 8455

Kate Beech

Partner, Corporate Commercial

t: +44 020 3093 0872
m: +44 07908 078 025

Paul Harris

Senior Associate Solicitor

t: +44 020 3093 0873

Carley Ellis

Solicitor, Commercial Property

t: 020 3089 8470

Gaurav Anarkat

Solicitor, Commercial Property

t: 020 3649 9008

Louisa Slimm

Legal Associate

t: 020 8143 1445

Mitin Bhalsod

Solicitor, Commercial Property

t: 020 3093 0870

Smain Mokrane

Solicitor, Corporate Commercial

t: 0203 649 9011

Shyam Popat

Trainee Solicitor

t: 020 3093 0869

Hiba Bouhlani

Trainee Solicitor

t: 020 3475 2709

Connor Bryan

Senior Paralegal

t: +44 020 3089 8471

Callum Jackson

Senior Paralegal Commercial

t: 020 8143 1449


We have completed £750m worth of pharmacy, dental, care home and nursery transactions.

Partner Led

Unlike many law firms when we say partner or barrister led, we mean partner or barrister led. When clients work with us, they get constant access to the lead on their instruction. Yes, we have a team of solicitors and juniors for some of the groundwork and necessary research required by our clients, but this is when it makes financial sense to the client for us to do this. We provide constant contact at no extra cost as part of our service as most of our lawyers have their own business, so they know first-hand how important having a proactive, responsible and trusted partner on their side can be. And also how to work to a financial budget, and the way that legal decisions impact the wider organisation, which often requires balancing risks and competing interests.

Proactive Contact

Many ask us ‘what’s different about you?’ and we like to reply, ‘because we go the extra mile’. We see our work as building and maintaining good business relationships rather than just earning fees. How we do this is by keeping in constant contact with our clients and intermediaries. From pre to post instruction we ensure that our clients are informed of all legal issues that may impact their business and therefore lives. That is why we provide daily or weekly updates to ALL of our clients whether there is anything to tell them or not (we don’t charge for this we just see it as part of our service). We like our clients to rest peacefully knowing that when we are instructed, and we say ‘we will take it from here’ they know we mean it.

City quality, outer City fees

The world is changing, and many individuals are realising that lifestyle is as vital to them as is income. We are the lucky ones who can hand pick lawyers who can provide the best quality advice but at outer city costs. Our offices are in North West London which may not be the most salubrious in the market but at the same time this allows us to charge our clients for what they pay for, our advice NOT our office space.

ALL our lawyers have previously worked in large city-based law firms and continue to practise and offer  the same high level service  they provided to clients in the City but without the pressure and demands often dictated by City law firm. This allows us to be competitive on our fees without compromising our service.

All in all, our clients win, which is the way we like it.

Our knowledge and resources are yours

All our clients benefit from the same high level of care and attention whether the instruction is big or small. At the outset of each matter, we discuss the entire process with our clients, including the costs, potential outcomes and issues associated. This is to ensure clients are fully aware, knowledgeable and are in control always. Supporting and ensuring we provide the highest level of services, we offer our constant contact process with the partner or barrister leading  your file, a document log in for matters which are for larger and more complicated instructions and on-going support post transaction should our clients require it. Our aim is not just to get the work done, but to make our clients’ lives easier as we do it, which is why we ensure that our clients have regular access to the resources they need from us.


“5 Stars.”

Kunal Thakker, Tooth Doctor (UK) LTD
Kunal Thakker,

“Efficient, proactive and professional!”

Sophie Willcox, Christie & Co
Sophie Willcox,

“From buying a chemist, selling a chemist, and buying properties, they have always given five star service.”

Chandrakant Patel, Bhudia Limited
Chandrakant Patel,

“5 Stars!”

Dervis Gurol, Sussex Pharmacies Limited
Dervis Gurol,

“Very diligent and responsive.”

Andy Harwood, Pharmacy Seekers
Andy Harwood,

“This is a firm that walks with you and holds your hand all through the process. Get an answer to any queries at anytime!”

Anthony Fatusin, Antonees Limited
Anthony Fatusin,

“Their knowledge about the pharmacy market was profoundly demonstrated.”

Tasawer Swindon, Bradford University
Tasawer Swindon,

“Incredibly well sourced.”

Smita Raval, SVR Investment (Holdings) Ltd.
Smita Raval,

“Great work by Reena and her team to turn around a dental practice purchase in 7 days under challenging circumstances.”

Chetan Mistry, Mola Healthcare Limited
Chetan Mistry,

“The team at Carter Bond operate ethically, efficiently and they work around the clock to make your goals, their goals.”

Shaz Memon Digimax Dental
Shaz Memon
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For more information, or to discuss your requirements, please contact our team on +44(0) 20 3475 6751 or