Speak to Mercer Frey, he is generally found standing near his desk or wandering the main area. Mercer will assign the Dragonborn the first job in the Thieves Guild and request that the Dragonborn goes to Goldenglow Estate to teach the proprietor a lesson.
(Optional) Talk to Vex to discover the location of the sewers behind the estate.
Locate the Bee hives using the map marker; it is possible to enter the estate from the rocks below the north eastern side of the building by jumping on them. Use the flames spell or a torch on a beehive and it will catch on fire. Repeat for three hives. Make sure to only burn three hives, for if the Dragonborn burns any more, Maven and Brynjolf will be displeased and the Dragonborn will forfeit any money reward. If detected, either run back into the sewers or jump into the lake behind the house and swim for a little while until the Dragonborn is hidden. To avoid the possible glitch that Brynjolf will say that more than three hives where burned, burn the middle hive and the hives on its left and right sides.
Either sneak in the house via the sewers or from behind the estate.
Pick the lock of the Goldenglow Estate's door (expert difficulty). Sneak past any hired mercenaries inside. The Dragonborn will need to sneak up to the second floor of the estate, to Aringoth's room.
Once the Dragonborn pickpockets Aringoth, who is crouching in a corner in his room, leave his room and make way to the basement, which is through a steel barred gate, in the same hallway of the patrolling guard. The Dragonborn can also talk to him, and by persuading him, he gives the Dragonborn a key and states that he is as good as dead to the new owner. Once the Dragonborn has the safe key, it cannot be removed until the quest is over.
Tip: It's possible to place a wide-mouthed basket on top of his head in order to pickpocket him successfully. There is a basket in the same room the dragonborn entered on the second floor. Carry it to his room and place it on top of his head and stand near him to remain hidden, (if he talks but it still shows as hidden in sneak mode, it still works (confirmed on the PS3 ) then pickpocket him.
Tip: If persuasion fails, the Dragonborn can jump on top of his head to escape his field of vision and pickpocket him without being seen.
Tip: The Dragonborn may kill Aringoth and still complete the quest.
Tip: If the Dragonborn become detected and is being attacked, leaving the estate seems to reset the guards. They will be in the same spot as when the Dragonborn first entered and none hostile until detected.
Tip: The Dragonborn is able to pick up one of the drums near Aringoth to stay hidden his view. Drop the drum and quickly pickpocket him before he detects the Dragonborn again.
Tip: It is, on occasion, possible to pick his pocket without starting the conversation by simply creeping up to him using the furniture he is crouching behind as cover from his speech. (Confirmed on the PC . Confirmed on the PS3 .)
Sneak through the basement, following the map marker. It is possible to sneak past all of the guards but the last one is tricky. Either save a potion of invisibility for him, have very high sneak, use the "Throw Voice" shout to send him away or carefully sneak up behind him and place a wide-mouthed basket over his head (Yes, that actually works. (Confirmed on PS3 and PC ). Drop the basket when behind him, then hold it and toss it around until it turns mouth-side down. Hold it again and gently place it over his head and let it go. It will stay and the Dragonborn can sneak past him. The Dragonborn can also sneak past him by going right in front of him, then cut back to the door, but it is most important to stay in the shadows. If the Dragonborn pickpocketed or looted Aringoth's key, then the safe, which is in a corner, will unlock effortlessly. Retrieve the document and gold from the safe (or just kill him with a charged sneak attack from behind, there is no penalty).
Tip: It is also possible to get past the last guard without killing him, by creeping close to him and firing an arrow or using throw voice dragon shout back up the corridor. When he goes to investigate the Dragonborn can run down the stairs before he comes back. The Dragonborn can also kill the guard, the easiest way to go about it is to light the gas on fire with a flame spell or the Fire Breath shout.
Tip: If all else fails, the Dragonborn may be able to run by fully detected and grab everything while he is attacking. While in any dialogue box, such as searching containers, picking a lock or accessing the safe, surrounding action is paused. The Dragonborn can make a quick retreat down the sewer tunnel entrance off the room with the safe and he will not follow. A shout like Whirlwind Sprint may help with this strategy. If the Dragonborn waits in the sewers for a while and re-enters from the trap door, the guard should have returned to his post. Empty the safe and exit through the trap door again without alerting the guard.
Tip: The Dragonborn can shoot an arrow at another area of the room and he will go to inspect the noise. If the Dragonborn is fast enough with a high enough sneak skill, the Dragonborn can make it down to the safe room without detection.
Tip: Fearing the guard be it by shout, enchantment, poison or spell will send him off hiding long enough to loot the area and escape. He should be far enough away to not draw others to him.
After the Dragonborn escapes the estate, return to Brynjolf. He will be in the Cistern of The Ragged Flagon. An easier way to get there is to go to Riften's graveyard, and press the button on the large tomb to reveal a secret passageway.
A dragon may appear at the estate during the mission.
It is suggested that the player not bring followers, especially a flame atronach, along for this mission as they will attack the mercenaries if they are close enough.
Being detected at any part of the quest will not cause loss of the reward.
The slow time shout and invisibility potions make sneaking around incredibly easy.
If all the mercenaries and Aringoth are killed, the quest can still be completed.
If the player has a flame spell, simply walking up to the hive will burn them. Just the player's hands out will ignite the hives.
It is completely possible to burn the hives without having to get anywhere near them so long as the player knows the Firebolt spell or having a fire-enchanted weapon. It is not recommended to use a Fireball or Flames spells; however, as this can cause more than three of the hives to get ignited, angering Maven. Standing on a log that is on a small island directly behind the wooden wall will allow you to hit the tops of the beehives.
Watch out for oil on the floor of the sewers and the basement, fire or spark magic will set the liquid on fire.
Always add 360 , PS3 , and PC to clarify which system the bug appears on.
Click to show Bugs
There is a glitch where the player is not able to talk to Mercer Frey during the second objective of the quest. He will just tell you "This better be important. I'm quite busy." or "Don't you have better things to do then disturb me"
Sometimes after finishing the previous quest, Loud and Clear won't initiate. Redoing Taking Care of Business doesn't seem to fix this.
If you do not allow Brynjoff to finish his speech on the previous quest, but ran off after quickly completing his task, he may remain in his stall forever and not lead you anywhere.
Even if you only burn down 3 hives, you still are told you burned down too many. Possibly happens when you burn them in no particular order, rather than the first 3 you see. (fixed in patch 1.4 on PC)
After trying this bug repeatedly, and being very careful around the hives, it seems you can set a hive on fire if you just bump into one with a fire source (e.g., torch or "unsheathed" fire spell), even if the fire source in your hand doesn't directly touch it. After lighting the first 3 hives, stay up against the last hive you burned and deactivate ANY FIRE you might have going before you move again. Also, other enemies (e.g., dragons) can set them on fire, so be careful.
Aringoth can sometimes be stuck inside furniture. This does however not influence gameplay much besides making it slightly harder to pickpocket him.
If you are far in the main quest, a dragon might attack Goldenglow Estate while you are burning beehives and may possibly burn the rest. The quest can still be completed successfully, but both Mercer and Maven will complain that you burned everything.
Aringoth may sometimes become hostile even if persuaded.