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Tips On Buying An Established Business

Posted by Matt Trinder on October 16, 2015

Being your own boss can be one of the most exciting and rewarding things you ever do. So, do you start a business from scratch or buy a going concern?
An existing or established business can be a much easier and faster route to becoming a business owner although sometimes a more expensive one, however banks are more likely to lend on a business that already has a pattern of growth and records of profit. Not only that but an established business will already have a customer base, a location that works, suppliers and a website, the list goes on and these are all things that can take time to build upon.
Here are some tips before handing over your money:

What do you want to buy? It’s important to consider the industry you think you will be happy working in, do you have any experience, training or a passion for something in particular. Will the trading hours work around any other commitments you already have?

Where do you look for businesses for sale? There are various platforms that individuals use to sell a business. Newspaper publications, signs in the window, word of mouth, but of course the majority take to the internet to dispose of a business. Most sellers will use a business sales agent or commercial estate agent. You may use this to your advantage as with most business brokers you can register as a buyer at no cost and they will frequently update you with businesses for sale that match your criteria. This also gives you a good opportunity to shop around, it is important to view more than one business for sale.

Set yourself a limit whether purchasing a leasehold or freehold, cash buy or lender it’s always wise to set a limit on the amount you want to buy a business for. Remember most business sales will be PLUS stock and there may be legal & landlord fee’s to pay so all of this needs to be accounted within your budget. Make an offer on the business but be prepared to negotiate, the person selling a business will most likely knock back your first offer.


Know what you are buying, you will have to do a lot of digging. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to either to seller or the business broker dealing with the sale. This business might be the one you buy so you want to know if there are any skeletons in the closet. As well as looking at recent accounts and P&L reports make sure you look at the website, social media and read any reviews they may have. Reputation is important too.
If you are interested in purchasing a business browse our businesses for sale or register as a buyer or contact us on 0161 486 1958Buying An Established Business

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