10 Places to Find Business for Sale Online

The prospect of owning your own business can be both exciting and intimidating. While starting from scratch offers complete control, buying an established business for sale presents a compelling alternative. It allows you to skip the initial growth stages, tap into existing customer bases, and leverage proven business models. But where do you even begin your search for a business for sale online?

This comprehensive guide explores 10 of the best online platforms to find businesses for sale, catering to a variety of industries, budgets, and investment preferences.

Online Business Marketplaces: Your One-Stop Shop for Businesses for Sale

These platforms function like online marketplaces for businesses for sale. They connect buyers (like you!) with sellers looking to exit their ventures. Often, these marketplaces offer a wide range of businesses across diverse industries, allowing you to explore various options before making a decision. Here are some popular choices to get you started:

  1. BizBuySell: This industry leader boasts a vast database of businesses for sale across the US. Their user-friendly search interface allows you to filter listings by industry, location, revenue, asking price, and more to find the perfect business for sale that aligns with your criteria.
  2. FE International: This platform focuses on mid-market businesses, typically with annual revenues exceeding $5 million. While the listings cater to a more established segment, FE International offers a high level of professionalism and deal expertise. They can be a great resource for serious investors looking for substantial business for sale opportunities.
  3. Empire Flippers: This marketplace specializes in online businesses, primarily e-commerce stores and digital assets like websites. They offer a streamlined buying process that can be ideal for those seeking to enter the world of e-commerce ownership. Often, Empire Flippers handle due diligence for buyers, providing an extra layer of security and peace of mind during the transaction process.

Business Broker Websites: Leverage Expert Connections

Business brokers are professionals who connect buyers and sellers of businesses. They leverage their industry knowledge and network to find qualified buyers for businesses for sale. Many brokers maintain websites listing their current business for sale opportunities. Here’s where to find them:

  1. International Business Brokers Association (IBBA): The IBBA website maintains a directory of member brokers across the globe. You can search for brokers based on location and industry expertise to find listings tailored to your needs. This can be a great way to connect with a broker who understands the specific nuances of your desired industry and can guide you through the process of finding the right business for sale.
  2. National Business Brokers Association (NBBA): Similar to the IBBA, the NBBA offers a directory of US-based business brokers. Utilize their search tool to find brokers with relevant business for sale listings. By working with an NBBA member broker, you gain access to their expertise in the US market and their connections with potential sellers.

Industry-Specific Listing Platforms: Dive Deep into Your Niche

Several online platforms cater to specific industries. These platforms offer a more focused search experience, allowing you to find businesses for sale within your area of interest. This can be particularly helpful if you have a clear vision for the type of business you want to own. Here are a few examples to get you started:

  1. RestaurantNews.com: This website offers a business for sale section specifically listing restaurants, bars, and other food-service establishments. Whether you’re a seasoned restaurateur or a passionate foodie looking to enter the industry, RestaurantNews.com can be a valuable resource for finding the perfect culinary business for sale.
  2. BizEx: This platform focuses on franchise resales, allowing you to explore opportunities to own a franchised business with an established brand and operating model. Franchises can be a great option for those who want to leverage an existing brand name and proven business system while still being their own boss. BizEx can help you find franchise resales across various industries.
  3. Main Street Dental: This website caters to dentists looking to buy or sell dental practices. If you’re a dentist seeking to own your own practice, Main Street Dental can connect you with a variety of dental business for sale opportunities.

General Classifieds Websites: Unearthing Local Gems

While not solely focused on businesses for sale, popular classifieds websites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace can occasionally have listings for businesses looking for new owners. This can be a good option to find smaller, local businesses for sale that may not be listed elsewhere. Here are some tips for using classifieds websites effectively:

  1. Utilize Search Filters: Most classifieds websites allow you to filter listings by category. Utilize the “business for sale” or similar category filter to narrow down your search results.
  2. Focus on Specific Locations: If you’re interested in owning a business in a particular geographic area, leverage the location search filters to target relevant listings.
  3. Be Wary of Unrealistic Deals: While classifieds websites can offer hidden gems, be cautious of listings with unrealistically low prices. Conduct thorough research before contacting sellers.

Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) Databases: For the Serious Investor

For those seeking larger acquisition targets, M&A databases list companies actively seeking buyers. These databases are often subscription-based, but they can be a valuable resource for serious investors looking for substantial business for sale opportunities. Here are two notable examples:

  1. MergerMarket: This comprehensive database provides in-depth information on M&A activity globally. It can be a powerful tool for those seeking to identify and research potential business acquisition targets.
  2. Thomson Reuters Deals: This platform offers real-time news and data on mergers, acquisitions, and private equity deals. Utilize Thomson Reuters Deals to stay up-to-date on the latest business for sale opportunities within your target industry.

Professional Networking Websites: Leverage Your Connections

Professional networking platforms like LinkedIn can be a valuable tool to find businesses for sale. Often, business owners or brokers may post discreetly about businesses for sale within their professional circles. Here’s how to leverage professional networking sites for your search:

  1. Optimize Your Profile: Ensure your LinkedIn profile highlights your experience and interest in acquiring a business. This can make you more visible to potential sellers or brokers who may have off-market business for sale opportunities.
  2. Join Industry Groups: Many professional networking platforms allow users to join industry-specific groups. These groups can be a great place to connect with potential sellers, learn about industry trends, and uncover off-market business for sale opportunities.

Private Equity & Investment Firms Websites

Some private equity and investment firms may list portfolio companies they are looking to sell on their websites. While these might be larger businesses, it’s worth exploring this avenue, especially if your interests align with a specific firm’s investment focus. Here’s how to approach this strategy:

  1. Research Investment Firms: Identify private equity and investment firms that focus on industries you’re interested in.
  2. Explore Portfolio Pages: Many investment firms showcase their portfolio companies on their websites. Look for companies marked as “exit” or “up for sale” to identify potential business for sale opportunities.

Legal & Accounting Firm Websites

Law firms and accounting firms sometimes handle business sales on behalf of clients. Occasionally, they may list these businesses for sale on their websites. While these listings may be less frequent, they can offer access to unique business for sale opportunities. Here’s how to explore this avenue:

  1. Target Local Firms: Focus on legal and accounting firms serving your desired industry or location.
  2. Check Their “Services” or “Clients” Sections: Some firms may mention business sales as a service they offer. Additionally, their client pages may occasionally list businesses for sale.

Franchise Opportunity Websites

Many franchisors list available franchise territories on their websites. Owning a franchise can be a great way to leverage an established brand and operating system while still being your own boss. Here are some benefits of considering franchises:

  1. Reduced Risk: Franchises offer a proven business model, which can help mitigate some of the risks associated with starting a business from scratch.
  2. Brand Recognition: Owning a franchise allows you to benefit from the franchisor’s established brand reputation and marketing efforts.
  3. Ongoing Support: Most franchisors provide ongoing training and support to their franchisees, which can be invaluable for new business owners.

Business News & Publications

Business for Sale

Trade journals and business publications may occasionally publish articles about businesses for sale. While not an exhaustive resource, these publications can provide leads and insights into the current business for sale market. Here are some tips for using business news and publications to find businesses for sale:

  1. Subscribe to Industry Newsletters: Many industry publications offer c featuring industry news and trends. Occasionally, these newsletters may mention businesses for sale within your target market.
  2. Search Online Archives: Utilize the search functions on business publication websites to search for articles mentioning “business for sale” or similar keywords relevant to your industry.
  3. Attend Industry Events: Industry conferences and trade shows can be a great place to network with other professionals and learn about potential business for sale opportunities.


Finding the right business for sale takes time, effort, and a well-defined strategy. By leveraging the resources outlined in this guide, you can broaden your search and discover exciting business for sale opportunities that align with your goals and aspirations. Remember, thorough research, due diligence, and seeking professional advice are crucial steps before finalizing any business acquisition. With dedication and the right resources, you can transform your dream of business ownership into a reality.

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