Buying a Business: The Basics

If you are thinking about buying a business, the path ahead can be navigated with success if you are aware of what’s ahead of you and you have some experienced and qualified help along the way.


Here’s a quick look at the path to entrepreneurship:


First things first, you need some help.


The professionals who assist with the buying and selling of businesses are called business brokers or business intermediaries (see more about why you need a broker here, Business Broker 101: A Business Buyer’s Guide to Working With a Broker, Part 1: Why Do I Need a Business Broker?).You will want a broker who knows what they are doing and actually works in the industry (see Beware the Part-Time Business Broker: Why Only a Full-Time Intermediary is Right for Your Business for more on why this is so important).


When you find a broker you would like to work with, the very first thing they should do is interview you (see more about the buyer interview here Business Broker 101: A Business Buyer’s Guide to Working With a Broker, Part 2: The Questions a Great Broker (Like Us) Will Ask You and Why). They will need to find out what your goals are, how much capital you have to work with, the kinds of businesses that interest you, and the industries where you have experience.


With this information they will be able to guide you to businesses that will fit with what you are looking for.


Your broker will send you business listings to consider, and if any peak your interest you will be asked to sign a non-discolsure agreement (NDA) in order to see more about the business –  like the tax returns, P&L statements, the name of the business, the location, etc. This agreement protects the seller of the business, and you will need to sign a new NDA for every business you want disclosed to you (see more about this process here, Do I Have to Sign a NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) When Looking to Buy a Business?).


If you come across a business you really like, the next step will be to make an offer (see more about making offers here, Why Won’t Anyone Take Me Seriously? The No-Offer Business Buyer and The Offer: What A Business Buyer Needs To Know About What’s In An Offer And How To Write One).


Once you put an offer in writing, a negotiation will begin over the terms of the sale, like the price and conditions.


An accepted offer will start the next phase of the process, called due diligence (read more about due diligence here, What Happens During Due Diligence?). During due diligence you will get a chance for an in-depth look at the business. At the end of this process, you will decide if you want to go ahead with the sale.


As the soon-to-be new owner you will need to make sure you have your licensing handled (see a step-by-step to this process here, The Joys of Red Tape: Licensing and Permitting For Small Business, The Basics) and make sure that any and all contracts are transferred to you (like the lease, see Buying a Business: The Ins and Outs of Your New Lease ). Once this part of due diligence is complete, you move ahead to closing.


During closing, all necessary agreements will be signed by both parties, keys and documentation will change hands, and the negotiated funds will be released to the seller. Congratulations – you are now the owner of a business!


Do you have any additional questions about the process to buy a business? Would you like to know what we offer to buyers? Ask us! Please leave us a comment or question, and we would be happy to help you with your journey to business ownership!



Michael Monnot

1910 Park Meadows Drive, Suite 202
Fort Myers, FL 33907

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Michael Monnot


5111-E Ocean Blvd
Siesta Key, FL 34242

Michael Monnot


9040 Town Center Parkway
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202


Recent Posts