This article are provided for information purposes only, and are not intended as legal advice.

How do you find out about a business for sale?

September 30th, 2008

There is no central listing of businesses for sale.  As a result, investors must be proactive.  You should register as an investor on  The owners of many companies contemplate about selling their business for a long period of time.  Many are the founders and are emotionally attached to their business therefore it is difficult for them to sell the business if there is no succession plan.  If they see an investor whose investor profile is very close to their business, they may register on the website and contact the investor.  In this case, the seller of the business will contact the potential buyer of the business.

In addition to registering on the website as a buyer, you should contact all the business brokers in your area.  If the business broker gets a new listing, he will mention it to the last person he spoke to.  If you registered with a broker 6 months ago, how does he/she know you are still looking for a business?  If the business broker spoke to an investor yesterday, he/she knows that they are active in the market looking for a business. The business broker wants to sell his listing as soon as possible to a qualified investor.  If he qualified you yesterday, he does not have to go through his Rolodex to see who is in the market looking for a business and determine if their investment criteria has changed etc.  Brokers will often mention the most recent listings to the most recent buyers they spoke to.  As a result, you need to continue to follow up with the business brokers on a regular basis.

You cannot rely on only one method to find a business for sale since there is no central listing for businesses for sale. You may miss out on lots of opportunities and will never know that.  Continue to monitor new businesses for sale posted on  Register your investment profile or as many different profiles on the website  If you do not know exactly what you want, describe general items but be specific on the size of the business, the purchase price etc of the company and be very specific on the types of businesses that you do not want.  The more information that you provide, the greater the chance that a seller of a business will know what you are looking for and will contact you.  If you just write “I am interested in any business”, you do not sound serious, no one will know what you are looking for and the chances that someone will contact you will be very low.

Remember, your posting on the website as an investor is to entice a seller of a business to contact you.  The more information you provide, the more that the seller of a business will know what you want, the more likely it is for someone to contact you.  Keep in mind, a business broker who is reviewing the investor page may see your criteria and contact you.  You may not have contacted that broker before, the broker found you.

As an investor, your personal contact information is not disclosed on the website unless you put that information in the description.  Investors are private people and do not want the world to know who they are.  They do not want to be hounded by people looking for money for a business which they are not interested in.  If your personal email information is disclosed in the description of the business, which you wrote, you may receive spam since you just gave away your contact information on the Internet.  The Business Place has a confidential messaging system therefore your identity is confidential.  You and only you determine if you want to provide your personal contact information to the seller of the business.  We do not do that for you.  The purpose of the confidential messaging system is to ensure confidentiality.  Vendors do not want their competitors to know that they are for sale and investors do not want the public, especially angel investors, to know their identity.

Filed under: Buy a business — Gary Landa @ 2:18 pm

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