Purchasing a small campsite

Mairi
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Hello Valerie,

I’m looking for advice on the purchase of a small, very basic campsite with an income of around EUR15,000 for a 2.5 month season.

The owner is British and it seems that she struck the company off the register when she purchased, has been unable to provide me with taxation records, she says she was advised to file income through her UK tax return by an accountant in France when she purchased.

The site is within a National park, she has an ablution block which was in place when she purchased and has added a large hall which apparently doesn’t have planning permission.

A small waste treatment plant is being built up the road from the campsite, the overflow pipe will run downhill through the site to discharge in the river across another field.  As part of this work, a sewage pipe is being installed which would allow a small pumping station to be installed on the campsite to connect to the mains sewer.  Electricity will also be brought to the boundary of the site.  The road will be upgraded too.

I am trying to get a copy of her official campsite permits from her, it seems the Mairie supports the campsite and is willing to add pitches to it.  I suggested I bring an official from the tourism office t the site in order to advise me whether I would need to upgrade in order to transfer the permit to my name, the owner was very unwilling for this to happen.

She, in my opinion, has over estimated the value of the site and we have been discussing price for over three years, now she is ready to sell as she feels she is too old to run the site herself now.  She has no employees.

I’d like you advice please on whether and how we should proceed in order to ensure we are on the right side of the following:

1. The Mairie with regards to retrospective planning permission
2. The tourism office with regards to transferring the permit to our business
3. How to proceed with an official evaluation
4. How to structure our business should we purchase
5. How to ensure we do not become liable for any tax the current owner has not paid
6. Local sources of advice

Many thanks and I am very happy I have found your service!

Kind regards,

Mairi

 

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