👉 In this article, we show you where to sell your business fast, and to the right buyer. Keep reading to see your best options!
📚 Table of contents:
- Online business-selling marketplaces
- Through a broker
- Through relevant advertising mediums
- In online industry groups
- In your own marketing materials
- At industry events
- Directly contacting your private network
- Private equity firms
Where to sell a business: the top options
Learning where to sell your business is much like establishing your business in the first place:
💡 In short, you’re not looking to post a general advertisement, but rather, to find a place where like-minded business professionals interact.
With that in mind, here’s where to sell your business and get results:
1. Online business-selling marketplaces
First things first. List your business on popular exchanges and marketplaces – more than one if possible. These marketplaces efficiently connect sellers with buyers, giving you a much stronger chance of selling your business. People who visit marketplaces like these are intentionally seeking out new businesses, offering you a more targeted experience when seeking a buyer.
The benefits of selling your business on a marketplace:
- Marketplaces offer both paid and free listing options.
- Sellers get profiles with landing pages to sell their business.
- These marketplaces have messaging tools for potential buyers to contact you.
- Marketplaces provide recommendations on what information to share with sellers, like business revenues, profits, inventory values, and your asking price.
- You gain more targeted exposure than other methods of advertising your “for sale” business.
- Marketplaces often allow for unique business listings, like if you want to just sell a domain name, or to sell your branding rights.
👉 Now that we know the benefits of these marketplaces, let’s explore the best marketplaces 🛒 for selling a business:
Exchange Marketplace, a business selling and buying marketplace from Shopify, lets online store owners list their businesses for vetted buyers. Its unique advantage is that sellers can’t mess with their Shopify numbers, so all buyers know exactly what they’re getting into.
Exchange Marketplace offers sleek business profiles to explain the sale, list pricing, and categorize by:
- Business type
- Business attributes
- Sale channels
It’s also possible to make the listing confidential and note specific requests, like if you’d like to maintain some equity in the business or if you have a particular supplier you’d like to keep on working with.
Flippa offers a robust collection of tools for listing and selling your online business. There’s a free escrow service to ensure you get paid, and a proprietary valuation tool to connect you with brokers, find the right selling price, and figure out how to make a sales pitch to the right buyers.
After building your profile, Flippa analyzes your type of business and automatically matches you with qualified buyers. You can negotiate on the website, view information about the buyers, and even complete legal documents online.
With tools to keep listings confidential, and an intuitive communications system to remain in touch with potential buyers, BizQuest is an outstanding marketplace for creating a listing and connecting with an extensive network of entrepreneurs.
The best part is that BizQuest isn’t only limited to online businesses. It allows brick-and-mortar shops, and there are tools for listing based on location, business type, and revenues.
BizBuySell is part of the LoopNet (real estate sales) and BizQuest network, making it a leading marketplace for where to sell a business. The website touts over 3M monthly visits and claims 15x more traffic and sales than the nearest competitor.
You can sell start-ups, real estate, established businesses, and closed business assets. There’s even a business valuation tool to get things started.
EmpireFlippers provides a valuation tool and exchange for listing for-sale online businesses (such as websites and apps). Some top business categories include:
- Pet care
- Apparel and accessories
- Occasions and gifts
- Survival and security
The success rate for selling a business on EmpireFlippers is at 77%, and we know the website for keeping out unserious buyers and scammers. You can create a quick profile, list business details, and communicate with potential buyers in the dashboard.
From physical to online businesses, BusinessesForSale.com helps owners of all backgrounds connect with legitimate buyers, and it’s all done through email. Simply make a listing, share your business name , add photos and financials. Then all of your communications get kept in your inbox.
BusinessesForSale.com has a community of over 1.2M buyers, and there’s no commission on the sale; just a simple monthly or onetime fee to keep your listing active.
The idea behind WebsiteProperties.com is to give online business owners a smooth transition away from their brands. It offers valuation tools and a way to connect with brokers and serious buyers.
They report the “deal closure rate” at 90%, and over 35K buyers come to the site regularly. This is one of the smaller sites on the market, but it’s completed over 600 successful transactions and over $500M in those sales.
💵 Pricing for marketplaces
Each marketplace has its own pricing. Overall, you should expect to pay some sort of monthly fee to keep the listing active, or a onetime fee for a certain period.
- BusinessesForSale.com has plans for $99 per month or $299 for six months.
- BizBuySell sells plans starting at $59.95 per month (six-month term).
- Flippa varies depending on your valuation, but the starting price is $29 for a three-month period.
2. Through a broker
Some see marketplaces as brokers, but that’s not the case. Brokers are firms or individuals who specialize in the sale of businesses, and they have the contacts and resources to get the word out about your business’ approaching sale effectively.
Business brokers come with potential advantages, like:
- Financing assistance
- Access to professional networks
- It’s someone you can actually call and have a one-on-one relationship with
- They know qualified buyers and have application processes to vet buyers
- Fees are usually low, most often with no upfront fees, smaller ongoing listing fees, and a commission at the end
Here’s how to find a suitable broker:
- Search for business brokers in your area (it’s best to meet in person) on sites like BizBuySell, through trusted business referrals, or by searching local listings online.
- Get free consultations with your prospects.
- Figure out which of the brokers are communicative, familiar with your industry, experienced, and connected with potential buyers.