Sounds like a situation where you should seek legal advise. However, some things to note are: If a tenant/owner assigns a lease, he will likely need the landlord's approval. There may also be a provision in the lease that provides whether or not the landlord agrees to release the prior tenant/owner from his obligations. If the landlord will not release the prior tenant, the lease will be assigned from them to you. If you sign a promissory note with the prior business owner, so long as it is not secured, it should not interfere with the lease provisions. Once you pay off the note, you should receive a satisfaction of the note from the prior owner. Paying off the obligation on the note has nothing to do with the prior owners obligations under the lease. When you take assignment to a lease, you should form a separate corporation/entity to ensure there is no other business relationship between you and the prior owner. You should make sure there is an indemnity provision in the assignment document wherein you are not responsible for any claims, damages, liabilities etc. of the prior owner. Recommend you seek legal advise to protect your interest.
Mar 31, 2011