10 Places to Find Businesses for Sale

Are you looking to buy a business?

Buying a business is a big decision and requires careful planning. The process can be complicated and time-consuming. But buying a business can also positively impact your life and finances.

If you don’t already have a business in mind that you want to buy, you’re probably wondering where the best places to find businesses for sale are. Thankfully, there are many places to look in today’s market, but knowing where to start can also be challenging, so I’m guessing that’s why you’re here.

In this article, we will explore some of the best places to find businesses for sale and provide tips to help ensure you make the right choice.

Why buy a business?

There’s a good case for starting a business from scratch, but if you have the funds, there are some compelling reasons to buy a business instead.

Potential for high returns

Buying a business with a proven track record and positive cash flow can provide a return on investment that exceeds that of other investments, such as stocks or real estate. With good management that will grow the business, you can exit the day-to-day operations and continue expanding the business, providing even higher returns over time. 

Immediate revenue

Unlike starting a new business from scratch, where you might work for months or years without any revenue, when you buy a business, you get immediate access to sales and positive cash flow that you can use to re-invest into the business to grow it further or draw out funds for personal investments or pleasure.

Established brand and customer base

Driving sales is one thing; building a brand is a different story. An established brand with a strong reputation and recurring customers takes time to develop. Buying a business provides quick access to brand ownership that might otherwise take significant time and resources to build—not to mention the statistically high probability of a new business failing.

Reduced risk versus starting from scratch

When you buy a business with a track record of success, a loyal customer base, and an established brand in its industry, it’s much easier to assess risk and understand the expected return on your investment based on factors such as previous revenue, net cash flow, and website traffic. This can help mitigate some of the uncertainty and risk that comes with owning a business.

Best places to find businesses for sale

1. Empire Flippers

Empire Flippers is a curated marketplace for buying businesses, with nearly $500 million in successful sales. They list various businesses, including e-commerce businesses like Amazon FBA and Shopify stores, content sites, affiliate sites, and agencies.

Every listing that goes live on Empire Flippers is carefully vetted, ensuring only high-quality and profitable businesses are listed on the marketplace. You’ll be able to see details like revenue and organic traffic and unlock more sensitive data after proving you hold the listing price in cash, allowing for more thorough due diligence.

Unlike other marketplaces, Empire Flippers offers an end-to-end solution with a team that assists you through every step of the buying process, from communicating with sellers to helping migrate business assets like websites.

2. BizBuySell

BizBuySell is one of the world’s largest platforms to find businesses and franchises for sale. The platform has facilitated over 100,000 successful sales, with over 65,000 businesses listed annually and over 15 million monthly page views.

BizBuySell doesn’t directly facilitate the sale of a business; instead, it partners with business brokers who can assist buyers and sellers through the buying process. In essence, BizBuySell is an intermediary platform that offers supporting services to ensure successful transactions.

The platform allows you to search for businesses in every state and category, from large $100 million+ hotels in Idaho to small fashion e-commerce stores. If you’re looking to buy a business, the sheer volume of listings means this isn’t a website you can ignore.

3. BizQuest

BizQuest is a large website dedicated to listing businesses for sale. Like other platforms, BizQuest’s business listings include details about financials, location, features, and asking prices, which you can filter for with the platform’s search function to find the best choice for your goals.

On BizQuest, you’ll find businesses for sale across large price ranges from $50k to $100m+ in every industry, from mom-and-pop automotive repair businesses to online dropshipping stores. Some business listings also show seller financing arrangements. They also have a directory of business brokers in most countries and US states that can help facilitate deals.

With other resources like business calculators and educational material, BizQuest has everything you need to make a successful acquisition.

4. Woodbridge International

Woodbridge International is an M&A firm with over 30 years of experience in the mid-market space, selling businesses from $5 million to $150 million+. Unlike other marketplaces/brokers, Woodbridge facilitates an auction process to sell businesses.

As a buyer, Woodbridge International provides you access to their current buying opportunities across various sectors, from large national chains to local businesses across multiple industries. With thorough vetting, they prioritize businesses that are legally well-prepared and compliant with regulations and tax requirements before going to market.

Woodbridge provides a comprehensive solution, guiding buyers through the acquisition process, from identifying suitable businesses to conducting due diligence, negotiating, and closing deals. They also offer realistic valuations to buyers based on factors like EBITDA, industry outlook, and growth trends.

5. BusinessesForSale.com

BusinessesForSale.com is a great platform for finding businesses for sale. Since the 1990s, the site has been helping business brokers and private sellers market their listings. Today, nearly 60,000 businesses are listed on the platform in over 130 countries, from Bangkok to Florida and Dubai.

BusinessesForSale.com allows you to easily browse businesses based on your preferences, such as location, listed price, business model, etc., and you don’t have to pay to register. You can buy any business imaginable, from websites to farms and cafes.

BusinessesForSale.com also has a dedicated team that helps facilitate smooth transactions and a secure environment for buyers and sellers. After signing up, you can directly contact a seller on the platform to get more listing details.

6. Latona’s

Latona’s is another great platform for finding businesses for sale that has been around for over 15 years. They specialize in brokering the mergers and acquisitions of web properties across various verticals, such as e-commerce, SaaS, lead generation, and content sites.

You can search through listings using filters such as price point (from $500k to over $100 million), business model, website traffic, etc. You can also filter for financing options, e.g., pre-qualified SBAs and pre-qualified third-party financing options.

Latona’s experienced brokers will guide you through the buying process, from analyzing deals to closing and finalizing transactions. With strict adherence to safe escrow policies and thousands of successfully closed deals, Latona’s has established itself as a reliable and secure platform.

7. FE International

FE International is an award-winning global M&A advisor and a great place to buy medium-sized technology businesses. FE International facilitated over $50 billion in lifetime sales, with an impressive 94.1% success rate, and over 1,500 businesses sold.

FE International’s team of experts will offer a personalized approach to tailoring businesses presented to you that fit your expertise and long-term aspirations. They focus on a data-led, customer-centric approach to making acquisitions as simple as possible. Most businesses they sell are SaaS, e-commerce, content, or technology-focused.

With regional offices in major hubs like New York, London, and San Francisco, FE International has a global reach and access to some of the best technology businesses for sale.

8. Acquire.com

Acquire.com is a marketplace great for buying various businesses, especially SaaS startups, but others as well. Its marketplace gives you access to thousands of startups for sale, ranging from a few thousand dollars to tens of millions.

You can filter listings by industry, price, revenue, profit, etc., and get instant notifications of new listings that match your ideal criteria. While you can see basic details for each listing, you’ll need to sign up for their annual plan to see detailed information about each business listing. 

Acquire.com even has acquisition financing options with Boopos pre-approved listings. The platform provides many helpful tools to ensure a safe and smooth buying process, like auto-signing NDAs, building and sending LOIs and APAs in minutes, and Escrow.com payments for safe and secure deals.

9. Flippa

Flippa is the largest marketplace for finding internet-based businesses for sale. It has over 120k registered buyers, a large selection of businesses for sale, and a solid reputation it has upheld since 2009.

Flippa has easy-to-use search and filter options to help you find the ideal business. You can search and filter businesses by listed price, age, business model, revenue, etc. You’ll find various categories, including e-commerce stores (Shopify and Amazon), affiliate websites, SaaS, newsletters, and apps.

The listed prices of businesses for sale on Flippa vary greatly, from $100 to $50 million dollars. While Flippa does some degree of vetting, it’s less than business brokers, so taking additional steps to vet businesses is essential.

10. Synergy Business Brokers

Synergy Business Brokers is a leading mergers and acquisition firm that focuses on listing businesses with annual revenues of $700,000 to $70 million. 

The businesses they sell tend to have an owner’s annual net income (including profit, salary, and benefits) of $250,000 to $15 million, making Synergy a great place to look for businesses for sale that will give you immediate positive net cash flow. Synergy Business Brokers primarily lists US-based companies but also has plenty in Europe.

The available listings span every industry, from electrical contractors and architectural firms to marketing agencies and trucking companies. The site’s easy-to-use search filters allow you to look for businesses based on asking price, revenue, net cash flow, industry, and the specific broker employed by the firm.

Tips for buying businesses

Conduct thorough due diligence

Before making an offer on a business, conducting proper business due diligence is essential. Due diligence involves looking into financial statements, tax returns, other legal documents, and relevant contracts or information with detail and scrutiny. 

If you don’t deeply understand how to conduct due diligence, hiring a professional firm, accountant and/or lawyer is important to keep you safe. Even if platforms state that they vet businesses on your behalf, you should still do your own due diligence.

Assess the business’s reputation and market position

Look at the business’s reputation because you don’t want to take on the job of repairing a bad reputation—it’s usually not worth it. Look at reviews across various third-party platforms, like Google Reviews, Trustpilot, and YouTubers mentioning the product.

If possible, contact current or former customers and employees and ask them for their honest opinions on the brand’s reputation and position in its industry. Is there long-term viability and growth potential? Answer these questions before you think about making an offer.

Evaluate the management team and employees

The proverb “if you want to go far, go together” could not be more true for business. The success of a business relies on the people—management and everyone in between.

Determine whether key employees are likely to stay with the company and whether they can support further growth. Also, it’s important to understand the company culture to ensure that your transition into ownership goes smoothly.

Look for growth potential

Look for businesses with the potential for growth. Consider how you might introduce new products or services or enter new markets if appropriate. It’s generally best to find businesses with growth potential unless they are proven stable and aligned with your risk tolerance.

There might also be room for improving operational systems and processes to help scale and manage time efficiently. Strong growth potential in a business can provide you with higher returns in the long term.

Consider your financing options

Think about how you will finance the business. Will you purchase the business in cash with personal or company funds, seek angel investment, or secure a loan? 

If you are looking at third-party financing, carefully evaluate the business’s assets and cash flow, ideally with the help of an experienced accountant or legal firm. Further, consult financial advisors and create a financial plan that aligns well with your risk tolerance and goals.

The bottom line

There are plenty of places to buy businesses, and while it can be exciting, it can also be complicated and stressful.

Remember to assess a marketplace/business broker’s team, too. Aim to work with one that has a friendly, supportive, and efficient team. It’ll make the buying process that much easier. 

Hopefully, this list has helped you find a starting point for your next purchase!

Note: While these platforms and brokers are great, don’t be afraid to approach business owners who aren’t actively marketing their business for sale—sometimes, the best deals come from approaching business owners directly.

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