10 Places to Find Startups for Sale

When you think of a ‘startup,’ what comes to mind? Is it an exciting business venture or risk and uncertainty? Startups can become incredibly successful and grow beyond their founders’ wildest dreams. You may wonder what separates the lucrative startups from those that don’t quite make it. Well, when it comes to startups, the secret ingredients are expertise, hard work, timing, and, realistically, a bit of good luck.

If you’ve ever considered buying a startup, that’s great! Having an entrepreneurial spirit and ambition will get you far. We’re here to help with all the rest. When you’re buying a startup, you’ll want to look in the best places and get the right advice. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the 10 best places to find startups for sale. This way, you can start your investment journey out in the right way. 

Why buy a startup? 

Startups, in effect, are just starting-out businesses created by an entrepreneur from the ground up. In this way, they are in their fledgling stages and often just starting to make a profit. This means there’s so much scope for you to grow these businesses and achieve success. 

The alternatives to buying a startup are either starting your own business or buying a more established business. Starting your own business can be incredibly difficult. It requires a lot of effort, time, and investment. Purchasing a pre-existing startup can save you a lot of energy. On the other hand, buying a more established business may reduce the scope for growth compared to a startup. 

Best places to buy startups 

If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve investigated countless places to buy startups and found the best 10. Let’s get into it. 

1. Empire Flippers 

In our book, Empire Flippers is the best place to buy startups on the internet. This marketplace is incredibly successful, having facilitated $450 million worth of trades. We love the security that Empire Flippers provides. Although they support starting out businesses, they ensure the businesses have the data and plans behind them to achieve results for the buyer. Here’s an inside tip when it comes to buying on Empire Flippers – peruse the site on a Monday. This is when they put new listings up, so you can be the first to show your interest and get in quickly. 

2. Acquire.com

If you’re looking to buy a startup, why not go to the specialists? Acquire.com is a marketplace dedicated to the buying and selling of startups. It attracts over 200,000 entrepreneurs just like you. We love how simple Acquire.com makes buying a startup. In fact, the whole process can be completed in as little as a month. If you’re serious about buying, try turning on notifications for Acquire.com. You can join now via LinkedIn or email and get started to achieve quick results. 

3. Flippa

Flippa is an excellent destination to buy online-based startups. They sell everything from e-commerce stores to blogs to digital services. Whatever your interest or expertise, there will be a startup for you on Flippa. If you’re anything like us, you’ll find scrolling through irrelevant listings a bit of a drag. On Flippa, it’s super easy to scope out businesses that you’re actually interested in, as their thumbnails succinctly display everything you need to know, including net profit. Buying a business has never been easier. 

4. SideProjectors 

As a startup buyer, looking for small up-and-coming businesses that you can build to maximize profit is often a great strategy. This is where SideProjectors comes in. As the name suggests, this website allows people to sell their side projects. Usually, this takes the form of smaller startups such as websites and e-commerce stores. If you’re browsing seriously, you might want to consider a SideProjectors membership. This unlocks a whole bunch of perks, like customized email updates. It even allows you to contact sellers directly to get more information. Plus, it’s only $3 per month. 

5. Motion Invest  

If you’re specifically looking for a content website, Motion Invest is your destination. With this service, acquiring a startup couldn’t be easier. When you’ve decided on the business you want to invest in, they’ll handle the whole transfer. Don’t waste your time on logistics when you have this dedicated service at your fingertips. Motion Invest offers a fantastic range of websites at various price points. Whether you want to invest under $1000 or over $1 million, there’s something for you.  

6. Website Closers

Another favorite with online investors, Website Closers is a trusted service for anyone looking to purchase a startup. The experienced team of brokers will guide you through the process, tailoring their service to your experience and unique needs. Each business day, at least 1-2 new businesses are listed. This means that you’ll never struggle to find new opportunities with Website Closers. As you can tell from the name, this is another destination that lists websites and online businesses. It is among the oldest and most established services in this area, so you know it has the track record to back it up. 

7. Investors Club 

This network of investors uses an exclusive membership model. With an Investors Club membership, you’ll receive access to their marketplace. But this isn’t just any startup buying and selling service. The marketplace is curated for each individual member, ensuring that you only have to browse through listings that fit your requirements. They don’t just do their due diligence; they go as far as to create a report for the startup you are interested in buying to ensure everything is above board. Join today to receive these bonuses and more. 

8. Latona’s

Specialists in mergers and acquisitions, Latona’s brokers are committed to providing you with a stress-free buying experience. This service is considered a boutique firm. We love this about Latona’s because you don’t just feel like a number. You’re a valued customer with individual needs that their brokers aim to meet. Latona’s specializes in a few different business models including software as a service, membership sites, and commerce websites. If any of these strike your fancy, check out their listings. 

9. GetAcquired 

GetAcquired is another destination solely dedicated to startups. Therefore, you won’t have to filter through other business types – everything you want is right here at your fingertips. GetAcquired has partnered with FirstOfficer to provide the metrics you want and need to see when considering purchasing a startup. This service also offers a network of trusted advisors who will help you make smart business decisions. 

10. Quiet Light 

Rounding out our list is Quiet Light. They are among the foremost places to buy and sell online businesses, including startups. A quick glance at their recently sold businesses reveals numerous successful sales and satisfied buyers. Their listings do come at a variety of price points but are commonly medium-sized businesses. Quiet Light’s team members pride themselves on their real-world industry experience. The team is made up of entrepreneurs like you who know what it’s like to buy and sell businesses. 

Tips for buying startups 

Find a focus point 

It’s no use going into the buying process with the idea of just buying a startup in general. You should at least have a vague plan of what industry you’d like to focus on or even a particular service. Ideally, you should find a middle ground between your interests and experience and a niche. A niche is an area that hasn’t yet been filled by lots of other businesses. Finding a niche will ensure you set yourself up to be profitable. 

Always have a plan B

In business, things rarely go exactly how we plan them to. While a bit scary, this is part of the excitement and intrigue that attracts people to becoming entrepreneurs. When you’re looking at potential startups to buy, ensure you have a backup. For instance, give yourself some wiggle room in the budget for negotiations and unexpected costs. It may help to ask a broker or industry contact for realistic advice on what could go wrong. 

Know your limits 

If you’re new to the industry, you may want to choose a service that provides wrap-around support for buying. We love Empire Flippers and several other options on this list for beginners. When you’re starting out, knowing how to complete admin tasks can be really difficult. However, if you’ve had more experience, you may be able to opt for a more “hands-off” service and do a lot of the logistics yourself. 

The bottom line 

A startup can be an exciting investment and business opportunity. These fledgling businesses often have a lot of room to grow, especially with the right leadership. If you’re looking to buy a startup, our comprehensive guide laid out above is the best place to start. We’ve given you 10 different options of where to find startups for sale, each with its own particular niche. There’s bound to be a destination for you on our list. If you’re still a bit unsure about how to go through the process of buying a startup, check out our three top tips above.

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