Owning a business is a lifelong goal for many Americans. If you’re looking to acquire a company, you might be asking, “How do I find businesses for sale in my area or specialty?” Here are top 10 websites to search for your perfect opportunity.
Top 10 Business-for-Sale Sites
Wondering how to find out if a business is for sale? Look no further.
With the success of Web-based companies, you might consider an online store as an alternative to a conventional brick-and-mortar business. Run by Shopify, Exchange allows interested buyers the chance to browse thousands of e-commerce stores for sale. Buyers can see staff picks, established businesses or starter stores. They also can find businesses for sale by owner in various categories, including:
- Construction and industrial
- Drop shipping
- Electronics and gadgets
- Fashion and apparel
- Food and drink
- Health and beauty
- Home and furniture
- Pets and animals
- Sports and recreation
- Toys and games
In addition to the selling price, each company listing features some key information, including:
- Business background and reason for selling
- Performance metrics (e.g., average revenue, profit, sessions and sales per month; profit margin)
- Business expenses
- Items included in the business sale (e.g., inventory, logo and branding assets, mailing list)
- Advice from the seller
A bonus? The website lists similar businesses you might be interested in based on which business listing you’ve viewed, so you can compare options.
If you do purchase an e-commerce store through this site, you’ll pay for your business via payment service site Escrow.com. Once the transaction is complete, you’ll be assigned a dedicated team to ensure a smooth hand-off. Some sellers also will offer support after the sale.
BizBuySell features more than 45,000 active seller listings and has facilitated 100,000-plus business sales. This platform gives owners the ability to buy or sell a business or franchise. Visitors may search businesses by category and location and set both a minimum and maximum price to narrow their results.
Listings may feature the following:
- Asking price
- Detailed business description
- Reason for selling
- Cash flow
- Gross revenue
- Inventory value
- Number of employees
- Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization
Additional information, including listing statistics and demographic information, is available with a BizBuySell membership purchase.
Benefits to using BizBuySell include the ability to search for business brokers in your area, as well as the ability to sign up for email alerts for any listings that match your search criteria.
BusinessBroker.net users can search for business and franchise listings by industry and location and discover the best brokers in the area.
BusinessBroker also offers finance and loan tools to help buyers make sound business-purchasing decisions. In addition, there are professionals available to help guide first-time buyers during their search.
Potential buyers can sort through store categories ranging from advertising companies to vending machine businesses or filter by:
- Investment level
- Specific industry
- Trendy companies
- Featured businesses
If you need additional details, use the “Request More Information” feature to contact the seller.
Just as you’re able to with BizBuySell and BusinessBroker, BizQuest allows users to search for businesses and franchises by location, industry and other defining categories.
A significant feature, BizQuest offers a thorough advanced filtering capability, allowing users to search by specific financial requirements, such as:
- Gross revenue
- Cash flow
- Real estate
- Furniture, fixtures and equipment
- Year established
- Home-based businesses
- Businesses offering seller financing
- Relocatable businesses
LoopNet advertises businesses for sale as well as commercial properties for sale and lease. It’s common for LoopNet to feature more than half-a-million commercial listings at one time, no small feat. Search popular industries in your area with businesses for sale. In addition, the company promotes accessibility by offering mobile apps for both Android and Apple devices.
Head to BusinessesForSale.com to find businesses for sale worldwide, or keep your sights in the U.S. Type your query in the Search field. There also is an advanced search, filtering results by:
- Asking price
- Cash flow
- Sales revenue
- Business requirements (e.g., tenancy, accommodation included, owner financed, etc.)
- Keyword matches
Additionally, the site offers resources for buyers, including guides covering purchasing and financing a small business. Buyers register for standard access, which includes saved businesses and searches, email alerts and messaging to sellers.
If you’re trying to find a business for sale by owner, consider the advanced Premium Buyer membership, which allows you to see who’s selling a business privately and grants you seller contact details. With this membership, you’re also able to access all business postings.
While other sites do allow franchises to be listed through their platform, Franchise Gator focuses exclusively on businesses operating under specific licenses. Potential buyers can search for franchises based on industry, location, category and on the amount they’re willing to spend. The site also features content that gives franchisees expert advice on how to successfully operate a franchise.
You’ll get a paragraph preview of each franchise up for sale as well as information on the minimum cash required to be considered. However, to gather additional details, you’ll need to submit a free request for more information.
Once you have access to a franchise profile, you can view such details as:
- Cash required
- Net worth required
- Total investment funds needed
- Training availability
- Discounts available
- Franchise fee
- Franchisor details
- Financing options available
- Franchise and industry questions and answers
The original sell-anything, buy anything site is still a viable option for many would-be buyers and sellers. Search for businesses based on location, price and category. While Craigslist may not feature as many listings today compared with years ago, it’s possible that you might fight a diamond in the rough.
DealStream allows users to search businesses for sale throughout the world. Other listings include real estate, property and intellectual holdings. Get basic information on thousands of listings. To view more than a few lines of a description, though, you’ll need to sign up for a free membership.
Listings that aren’t unlocked with a basic membership require an upgrade in membership status. Memberships include a Pro plan at $40 a month, which allows for nearly 14,000 listing views, and an Elite plan at $139 per month, offering access to all listings.
If you’re looking for a business in California, consider this business-for-sale site. BizBen has earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Filter searches by business category and geographic area, including:
- San Francisco Bay
- North Bay
- Central Valley
- Los Angeles
- Orange County
- San Diego County
- Inland Empire
- Central Coast
You also can type specific keywords you’d like to include in your search.
BizBen results often return multiple photos that sellers have posted along with details specific to the business’s history as well as revenue and adjusted net. Access the seller’s telephone number for free and without registering, or email the seller by completing a simple form.
Alternatives for Where to Find Businesses for Sale
Understanding how to best find businesses for sale isn’t as easy as finding a home or car to buy. There are a variety of other steps you can take:
Whether you’re using ad space to promote your interest in buying a business or sifting through the classified listings in your local newspaper, leveraging advertising is a great way to discover potential business targets.
Leverage Your Business Relationships
Establishing relationships is essential to sustaining any business, especially one in transition. It’s wise to lean on your current connections to see if they know anyone looking to sell.
Even if they don’t, having them on your side and being able to represent you in a positive light to other owners who may be in the seller’s market makes your job much easier.
Contact Businesses in Your Area
It never hurts to cold-call companies you might be interested in buying. Reach out to a business and ask if they’re either for sale or, at the very least, open to being sold. It’s unlikely that your initial conversation will result in an agreement of sale. So your primary goal should be to establish relationships with business owners and get a sense of the market around you.
Even if they’re not selling, there’s a good chance they’ll know someone who’s looking to retire, relocate or needs to move onto their next venture. You may discover an opportunity by networking and letting owners know you’re interested in acquiring a business.
Get Professional Assistance
Working with a business broker is a great way to find an established business for sale. This professional’s job is to help you figure out what you’re interested in, pinpoint your business skills, connect you with businesses that might be a good fit and, ultimately, guide your decisions.
A business broker can help educate you on which industries and business types you should avoid based on your skills. Brokers also can prove helpful during negotiations. A broker can guide you on what you need to consider and what you should be asking for in the process.
Final Tips for Finding a Small Business to Buy
Before you find a business for sale, determine whether such a purchase is the right investment for you—personally and professionally. Ask yourself what you’re interested in. Assess any potential business to uncover any red flags. Ultimately, your goal is to determine if your investment will be a wise one.