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Small Business

Where to Look for Small Businesses for Sale

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Find where to look for small businesses for sale in this guide. Explore online marketplaces, industry-specific sites, local brokerages, networking, and auctions to discover the perfect company to buy.

Buying an existing small business is a great way to jumpstart your entrepreneurial journey. It offers a quicker path to profitability and comes with the added benefits of an established customer base, existing revenue streams, and pre-existing operational systems. However, knowing where to look for small businesses for sale is crucial to finding the right opportunity. This comprehensive guide will explore various sources and strategies, including online marketplaces, industry-specific websites, networking, and business auctions, to help you locate the perfect company to buy.

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Online Marketplaces


BizBuySell, one of the most popular online marketplaces for small businesses, offers a convenient way to explore many listings across various industries. Its user-friendly interface allows you to filter searches by location, industry, price, and more, making finding businesses that meet your specific criteria a breeze.


BizQuest is another leading platform where you can find various businesses for sale. Known for its user-friendly interface and comprehensive listings, BizQuest allows you to search by industry and geographic location. Utilizing BizQuest’s search tools effectively can help you pinpoint businesses that align with your interests and investment capacity. is a platform that connects buyers with business brokers and direct sellers. This platform not only offers detailed listings but also the added benefit of professional brokerage services. Working with brokers can provide valuable insights and assistance in negotiating deals, making a reliable resource you can trust.


If you’re focused more on digital businesses, check out Acquire. Whether it’s an agency, an eCommerce store, or a small software service business, Acquire is the place to go.

Industry-Specific Websites

Restaurant-Specific Platforms (e.g., We Sell Restaurants)

If you’re looking to buy a business in a specific industry, niche marketplaces can be incredibly useful. For instance, platforms dedicated to restaurant sales, such as We Sell Restaurants, provide listings tailored to that sector. Similar niche sites exist for other industries like healthcare, retail, and manufacturing, offering specialized listings and resources. Search for the niche or industry you’re focused on and add “for sale,” the top results will likely be from platforms or brokers.

Local and Regional Resources

Local Business Brokerages

Local business brokerages can offer personalized services and have in-depth knowledge of the regional market. Brokers can provide valuable advice, help with valuations, and assist in negotiations. Find reputable local brokers through referrals or online reviews.

Chamber of Commerce

Your local Chamber of Commerce can be a valuable resource. Chamber leaders often know which local business owners want to sell and can provide information about the local business environment. Additionally, they may offer networking events and other resources for potential buyers.

Classified Ads and Local Newspapers

While it may seem old-fashioned, local newspapers and classified ads can still be effective sources for finding businesses for sale.

Networking and Word of Mouth

Professional Networks

Leveraging your professional network can uncover hidden opportunities that aren’t publicly advertised. Reach out to colleagues, mentors, and industry associations to see if they know of any businesses for sale. Remember, the best deals often come from word-of-mouth referrals within your industry, giving you hope for finding the perfect business.

Industry Events and Trade Shows

Attending industry-specific events and trade shows can put you in direct contact with business owners who might be considering selling. These events are also excellent for networking and learning about your chosen field's-latest trends and opportunities. 

Business Auctions

Online Auction Sites (e.g., Flippa)

Online auction platforms like Flippa are increasingly popular for buying businesses, especially digital ones.

Local Business Auctions

Local business auctions, often held by banks or liquidation firms, can be another avenue to explore. These auctions may offer businesses lower prices, but conducting thorough due diligence is essential to understand what you’re buying.


Finding the right small business to buy involves exploring various resources and strategies. There are numerous avenues to consider, from online marketplaces like BizBuySell and BizQuest to industry-specific platforms and local resources such as business brokerages and the Chamber of Commerce. Make sure to pay attention to traditional methods like classified ads and the power of networking through professional connections and industry events. Additionally, online and local business auctions can present unique opportunities. By leveraging these diverse sources, you can increase your chances of finding a business that aligns perfectly with your entrepreneurial goals. Happy hunting!

Matthew Johnson

Published on

June 14, 2024