How do I contact the seller of a business?
In order to contact the seller of a business, you must do so directly through the BusinessForSale.com site. You should click on the 'Contact Seller' button. This will allow you to send an inquiry directly to the seller or the seller’s agent.
Please note that the seller may ask for more information from you before they give you further information on their business. At some point, you may also be required to sign an NDA.
How do I get more details about a business for sale?
If you want further information about a business for sale you must contact the seller or the seller’s representative (an agent, broker or intermediary) directly via the site. BusinessesForSale.com does not have any more information about a business for sale than is currently available on the site.
We are not a broker or an intermediary. We are an advertising medium, like a newspaper or magazine but on the web. Therefore, to contact a seller please click the 'Contact Seller' button on the listing.
Please note: the seller may request more information from you than the information you provide in your initial inquiry. They may also ask you to sign a confidentiality agreement before disclosing any further information about the business.
Can I still contact the seller through the website after a business has been sold?
A Private Seller advert expires after the duration of their paid subscription, ranging from one to 12 months. Private Sellers will also usually delete their listing as soon as the business is sold.
Brokers, on the other hand, usually advertise so many businesses at any one time that they don’t always keep up with removing listings of sold businesses. We try to keep the site as up to date as possible by asking brokers to remove adverts when the businesses are no longer on the market.
If a seller receives an offer, they, or their broker, can add the 'Sold STC' tag (which means they have accepted an offer but this is ‘subject to contract’, so not finalized). In this case, you can still express your interest by sending a message through the website and this will be considered by the seller if the sale falls through.
Why hasn’t the seller got back to me?
There are a couple of reasons why sellers typically don't get back to you or take a long time to reply. Mostly it is because it takes some time before they see your inquiry and find the appropriate information to send through to you. This process takes even longer if the broker or seller is 'out of the office'.
Keep your eye on your voicemail messages and junk mail folder after you have sent an inquiry. Most brokers and private sellers are excellent at replying and we recommend that you continue to request information you want and don't be put off it you don't hear back immediately.
You may also find that some sellers require you to sign a confidentiality agreement prior to any further information being sent out. Please remember this is sometimes a critical requirement to protect the seller and the business being sold.
What should I include in my inquiry?
Be sure to include as much information about yourself as possible when sending an inquiry. Explain the reason for your inquiry in order to show that you are not a time-waster. Sellers should, and often do, send information to every reasonable request, but the more information you provide – such as "I have looked into finance and this business is a viable option" or "if I find the right business I can move immediately" - the higher a priority your business will be given.
If you have still heard nothing from the seller or broker after one working week and would like Customer Services to chase the seller up for you, you need to be a Premium Member. You can find instructions in Your Account area to upgrade to Premium Membership.
When you contact us as a Premium Member, Customer Services will investigate why the seller has not got back to you. We will contact the seller for you or send you their direct contact details if they are available.
Can I do a search by the business reference number?
If you have visited the site and seen a business you like, you can make a note of the 6- or 7-digit listing id and search for it by typing this number in the search box on the homepage.
You can also save businesses to a shortlist. However, you need to be a registered buyer in order to take advantage of this service.
Why doesn’t BusinessesForSale.com get back to me?
Customer Services assistance is a Premium Buyer benefit. The majority of buyer queries can be solved by visiting our Frequently Asked Questions page.
But if you can’t find what you are looking for in the FAQs, please feel free to contact us. However, please note, it may take some time for us to respond due to the high volume of queries we receive.
How do I find businesses for sale?
BusinessesForSale.com has invested heavily in connecting buyers and sellers of businesses for sale. There are a number of ways you can use the site to help you find and buy your ideal business.
Keyword Search and Browse:
You can find businesses by typing keywords - e.g. 'diner' or 'courier' - into the text box found on the homepage and search results pages.
You can also browse the most ‘Popular Locations’ and the most ‘Popular Business Categories’.
Advanced Search opens up a multitude of search filters, from price, revenue and cash flow to location, whether the property is for sale, and whether owner finance is on offer.
We can email you details of businesses for sale that fit your criteria for no extra charge. All you have to do is sign up for Email Alerts when you are logged into your BusinessesForSale.com account.
Sign up for RSS Feeds and have businesses you are interested in delivered directly to your computer or mobile device via a feed. You’ll know about them as soon as we do.
How do I know if a business for sale is priced fairly?
As well as the market value for any property and other physical assets, a business’s value should primarily hinge on current profitability and potential to grow revenues.
There are other factors to consider, and valuation methods vary depending on the sector in question.
The vendor should have enlisted an independent expert to conduct the valuation, and it might be worth hiring your own expert to do the same.
To this end, it is also helpful to consider the valuation process from the point of view of the seller. The due diligence process can sometimes reveal that a business valuation was built on shaky foundations.
I don't have much money - can I still buy a business?
Yes, if you can borrow the funds necessary.
There are several options for buyers looking to raise finance to buy a business. The most obvious is applying for a commercial loan.
You can also negotiate seller financing (and filter your searches to vendors offering this). Read through our guide to financing your business acquisition for inspiration.
Find out what you can afford by filtering businesses for sale by asking price.
How do I buy a business once I've found one?
We have put together a step-by-step guide that will help you understand how to buy a business.
However, it's wise to also hire relevant experts - such as an accountant, lawyer, and/or business broker - to help you navigate the process.
How long does it take to buy a business?
The process of buying a business can typically take anywhere from 8 to 12 months, from your initial research to the handover. Don’t rush things. Take emotion out of the process and be thorough in your due diligence – it’s a major investment of time and money so you need to be sure as possible that you’re making the right decision.
What is Buyer Due Diligence?
Due diligence gives you the opportunity to examine all aspects of the business to verify the information provided by the vendor. Get a professional to look through the finances, value the assets, and make sure you cover all other legal, commercial and financial dimensions of the business.
We go into buyer due diligence in more detail in our guide to buying a business.
What is the difference between a business broker and a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) consultant?
A business broker typically sells small businesses that fetch prices in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, and rarely more than $1-2 million.
Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) consultants handle often complex mergers and purchases of medium to large businesses, with prices ranging up to hundreds of millions or billions of dollars.
Should I buy a business or start a business from scratch?
Starting a business will initially be cheaper than buying one. However, buying a business will allow you to hit the ground running and generate an income from day one. You can avoid the years it can take to get a business to the point where it is profitable.
The decision should partly depend on your personality. If the business has already been operating successfully for a number of years, you might find it reassuring to know that the product or service has been tried and tested. Some entrepreneurs, though, thrive on the risk-taking involved with starting a business from scratch.
But if you’re starting a business, do so with the knowledge that most new businesses fail.
What portion of the sale will be funded through seller finance?
Seller financing is when the seller of the business agrees to finance a portion of the sale price themselves, accepting payment in instalments like a bank. Also known as vendor or owner financing, when it is used seller finance typically funds about 10-15% of the total price.
Sellers who provide financing will run a credit check on the buyer and ask for a deposit, as well as collateral or a personal guarantee, before they agree to it.
When searching for businesses for sale on this site, you can filter your search down to businesses whose owners are willing to offer seller finance.
When can I have copies of the financials and tax returns?
Once the provisional terms are agreed, the due diligence process can begin and the financials and tax returns should be made available to you. The seller will most likely require that you sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before handing sensitive financial documents over though. This is standard practice in order to protect the seller.
I do not have any legal or financial help – can you recommend any?
BusinessesForSale.com provides you with a services directory that you can use to find the right professional help from accountants, lawyers, and business brokers. Make sure that you see some positive testimonials or online reviews before entrusting anyone with your money or sensitive information.
Can I talk with the owner(s) of the business prior to making an offer?
Click the "Contact Seller" button on the business listing. This will open a contact form that allows you to enter your details and a personal message to the seller.
All messages to sellers are delivered through the BusinessesForSale.com email system. The seller will reply to you directly. This can all be done prior to making an offer on a business.
How complicated is making an offer to buy a business?
Before making an offer, you need to have a clear idea on how you will finance the purchase. Have funds available for a deposit before you make an offer.
Look at other, similar businesses for sale so that you know what a fair value might be. Open negotiations at the lowest reasonable price. Be prepared with questions and information that you can use to justify the price that you are offering. However, be prepared to negotiate.
When you buy a business, do you buy its debt?
This will depend on the type of sale. If you purchase the assets of a business, you will not be purchasing its debts - unless you agree otherwise with the vendor. If, however, you are purchasing a company’s stocks, you are taking on all of the seller's debts and obligations.
Conduct thorough due diligence with the help of a professional such as a lawyer, accountant, and/or business broker so that you know exactly what you are taking on when you buy the business.
If you want further protection, you can have the seller sign an indemnity agreement that entitles you to compensation for certain losses or damages.
What if a business advert contains insufficient/inaccurate information or the location is unclear?
While we do our best to ensure that all businesses advertised on the site are genuine, we do not create the listings. All the information provided comes from brokers acting on behalf of the sellers and the sellers themselves. We encourage advertisers to provide as much information as possible, especially when it comes to the location of the business.
If you want further information about a business for sale you must contact the seller or the seller’s representative (an agent, broker, or other intermediary) directly via the site. BusinessesForSale.com does not have any more information about a business for sale other than what is currently visible on the business listing. We are not a broker or an intermediary. We are an advertising medium, like a newspaper or magazine.
To contact a seller, please click the ‘Contact Seller’ button on the listing.
Please note: the seller may request more information from you after your initial inquiry. They may also ask you to sign a confidentiality agreement before disclosing any further information about the business.
Do I have to pay to register as a buyer?
No. You can complete the registration process and create a free Standard Buyer account. We do, however, offer a Premium Buyer service for a monthly or annual fee that offers various benefits like prioritised inquiries and customer support.
The Standard Buyer account, though, will still allow you to save your searches, keep track of messages, and get email alerts!