Frequently Asked Questions
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What do you need help with?
How do I contact the seller of a business?In FAQs for Buyers FAQs
You can do this directly through BusinessesForSale.com. There is a large orange button on all listings that says, ‘contact seller’ or ‘contact broker’. This will take you to a contact form.
How do I get more details about a business for sale?In FAQs for Buyers FAQs
You’ll need to contact the seller or the seller’s representative to get more details about the business. You can do this through the contact form. BusinessesForSale.com cannot provide further information on listings, as it is the seller’s responsibility to be as detailed as possible.
Can I still contact the seller through the website once the business has been sold?In FAQs for Buyers FAQs
If the listing has been removed from our website, you will not be able to contact the seller. Sometimes, sellers and brokers will keep their listing on the site whilst the sale is being finalised. The listing will have a ‘Sold STC’ tag on it. Buyers can still enquire on the listing if this is the case. We recommend enquiring on a listing as soon as possible if you are seriously interested.
What should I include in my enquiry?In FAQs for Buyers FAQs
You want to distinguish yourself from other serious enquiries and become a higher priority to the seller. Include as much information about your objectives. Include details like:
- What finance you have in place
- What you would like the deal to look like
- If you can relocate immediately (if necessary)
The seller hasn’t got back to me. What do I do?In FAQs for Buyers FAQs
Remember that sellers receive multiple enquiries and will choose priority buyers. If the seller hasn’t responded to your enquiry within 48 hours, we recommend that you send a personalised, follow up message.
You can also upgrade to a Premium Buyer in your account, which will allow our Client Success team to investigate why the seller has not responded and contact them on your behalf.
Why is BusinessesForSale.com not getting back to me? In FAQs for Buyers FAQs
We’re sorry that you’ve experienced this. Our Client Success team does deal with high volumes of queries every day, and we do our best to respond to these.
Please note that Client Success assistance is a Premium Buyer benefit. If the FAQs have not provided you with an answer, please feel free to contact us.
The business listing contains insufficient/inaccurate informationIn FAQs for Buyers FAQs
While we do not create the listings ourselves, we do our best to ensure that all the listings advertised on our site are genuine. While we do encourage advertisers to provide detailed and accurate information, it is a buyer’s responsibility to conduct thorough due diligence before purchasing a business.
We recommend that you contact the seller to find out more information about the listing. If you’d like more support, please feel free to contact us.
Do I have to pay to register as a buyer?In FAQs for Buyers FAQs
No. It is free for buyers to browse our site. Simply create a free, standard buyer account.
How do I upgrade to a Premium Buyer Membership?In FAQs for Buyers FAQs
You can upgrade to a Premium Buyer Membership through our site. The subscription is either a monthly or yearly recurring payment.
You can also upgrade from your standard buyer account. Simply click the ‘upgrade your buyer subscription’ button and choose a payment plan that suits you.
How do I change or update my account details?In FAQs for Buyers FAQs
To change or update your account details you will need to sign into your account with your username and password.
Once you sign in, you can edit your name, address, email and password in your Account Settings area, under the “Contact Details” and “Change Password” tabs.
If you have forgotten your password and can’t log in, please use this link to reset it.
How do I find a business for sale?In FAQs for Buyers FAQs
Simply type the sector you are interested in in our search bar. You can also browse the most popular categories on our site. You can also use our advanced search capabilities to narrow down your search.
If you would like to be notified of businesses for sale that match your requirements, you can sign up for free email alerts. You can also sign up to our monthly newsletter, which is located at the bottom of our homepage.
- How do I value a business for sale?In FAQs for Buyers FAQs
How do I buy a business with no money?In FAQs for Buyers FAQs
You can access multiple finance options to buy a business with no money. Our loans to buy a business guide offers several options available to you.
How do I buy an existing small business?In FAQs for Buyers FAQs
You can read our helpful guide on how to buy a business. It’s easy to read and provides valuable information on what to prepare for an expect.
How do I start a small business?In FAQs for Buyers FAQs
There is no simple answer to this. Starting a business takes time, dedication, clear goals and a solid business plan. We have valuable start-up guides that will give you a step-by-step breakdown of how to start a small business in different sectors.
How long does it take to buy a business?In FAQs for Buyers FAQs
Generally, it could take anywhere between 6 and 9 months, but this will depend on a range of factors.
What is buyer due diligence?In FAQs for Buyers FAQs
In short, buyer due diligence will give you the opportunity to scrutinize the financial, legal and commercial aspects of the business you are interested in. If you’d like to understand more about due diligence, you can read our guide on how to buy a business.
Should I buy a business or start one on my own?In FAQs for Buyers FAQs
There is no straightforward answer to this, as each path has its own advantages and disadvantages. The decision will depend on your personality, finances, and business goals.
Buying a business can be expensive, but you’ll gain access to an established product, operations and customer base.
Starting a business is difficult, and start-up failure statistics are high. However, the creative freedom, opportunity for growth and rewards can outweigh these risks.
What portion of the sale will the seller finance?In FAQs for Buyers FAQs
This will depend on the deal structure. Usually, it is one portion of the total buyer finance for the acquisition. This can range between 5% and 50%.
Sometimes, business sellers don’t offer seller financing on our site. A seller will indicate if they are offering seller financing in the ‘Other Information’ tab on their listing, under ‘Owner Financing’ and ‘Financing Available’.
When can I have copies of the financials and tax returns?In FAQs for Buyers FAQs
Once you and the seller have agreed to provisional terms, they will require you to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) before handing over the financial and tax returns.
Where do I send my NDA?In FAQs for Buyers FAQs
You’ll need to personally get in touch with the representative mandated to sell the business you are interested. These contact details are generally found in the documentation you receive (like the NDA or Confidentiality Agreement).
I don’t have any representation. Can you recommend legal and financial counsel? In FAQs for Buyers FAQs
Please contact us if you are looking for legal or financial counsel. We will connect you with a broker or franchise consultant in our network.
Can I talk to the owner of the business prior to making an offer?In FAQs for Buyers FAQs
Yes, you can. Just click the ‘contact seller’ button on the business listing. All messages to sellers are delivered through our email system, and the seller will reply to you directly.
When you buy a company, do you buy its debt?In FAQs for Buyers FAQs
This will depend on the type of sale. If it is an asset sale, you won’t purchase the company’s debts, unless this is agreed upon during negotiations. If it is a stock sale, you will take on the seller’s debt and obligations.
How long does it take to sell a business?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
Generally, it takes 6-12 months to sell a business, but this can vary depending on your business sector, the state of the market and the accuracy of you valuation.
My listing isn’t getting enquiriesIn FAQs for Sellers FAQs
We’re sorry you’re experiencing this. There are measures you can take to increase your listing views and enquiries:
- Ensure that all your information is accurate, detailed and descriptive. Read our guide on how to create the best listing for more tips.
- Include multiple clear photographs
- Consider purchasing some of our benefits (email campaigns, boosts and spotlights)
- Upgrade to a Premium Seller account
If you’d like to talk to someone from the team about increasing your exposure, feel free to contact us.
Customer service is not replying to my messagesIn FAQs for Sellers FAQs
We’re sorry that you’ve experienced this. Our Client Success Team does deal with high volumes of queries every day, and we do our best to respond to these within 24 hours.
Please contact us and a member of the Client Success Team will do their best to support you as soon as possible.
How do I know the enquiries I received are genuine? In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
It is crucial that we provide every business owner with enquiries from serious buyers. Our in-house team ensures this by reviewing and limiting any potential spam enquiries that are flagged within our system before they are delivered to your account inbox.
If you are paying for your advertising, you will receive buyer contact details that are real, but we encourage you to perform your own due diligence.
How do I respond to buyers?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
If you are on a paid advertising package, buyers will provide their contact details when they message you. You will then need to contact these buyers directly.
If you are on a Test the Market package, you cannot access buyer details or reply to them. You’ll need to upgrade to a paid advertising package to do this.
When do I send financial details to buyers?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
We recommend sending your financial details to a buyer after they have signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).
How do I get an invoice? In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
After you’ve made a transaction, you will receive an email receipt of a valid invoice.
How long is the legal process?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
You should dedicate a minimum of six weeks to sign contracts and run through any legalities. However, this timeframe will vary depending on the nature of the business and any legal complications.
Can you sell a business that is losing money/failing?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
Yes, you can. We have a dedicated guide on how to sell a failing business that covers everything you need to know. You can also categorise your business as ‘distressed’ on our site so buyers looking for distressed businesses can find your listing.
Do I need a lawyer to sell my business?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
It’s not a prerequisite to hire a lawyer to sell your business, but it will make things easier for you. There will be a lot of legal contracts to understand and sign, so having a lawyer by your side will help.
Do you need a broker to sell a business?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
You don’t need a broker to sell your business. But hiring a broker will allow them to focus on the sale process, and you can focus on running your business.
How can I sell my business quickly without a broker?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
There are a few things you can do to speed up the process.
- Upgrade to a Premium Seller advertising package account
- Ensure you have valued your business correctly
- Make your business listing attractive (descriptive, high-quality images, accurate information)
- Upgrade your technologies to maximize your value
How do I sell my business privately?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
This depends on your preferences and goals. You could reach out to customers or potential buyers in your network. You could also reach out to a competitor who may want to acquire you.
You can also sell your business online with us, and gain access to thousands of interested buyers.
How do I value my business?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
There are multiple ways to value your business. We recommend using our free, quick valuation tool. If you’d like to understand more about the valuation process, you can read our dedicated guide on how to value a business.
How do I value goodwill for a small business? In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
Calculating the value of goodwill can be tricky, as it is an intangible asset. One method to calculate goodwill is to subtract the fair market value of the business’s net identifiable assets from the paid price of the acquisition.
You can read more about valuing goodwill here.
How will I know when I should sell my business?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
There are multiple reasons for selling a business, and knowing when the right time to sell is a difficult decision. Our selling a business guide lists several circumstances of when the right time to sell a business will be.
Should my accountant sell the business for me?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
If you are able to have an accountant by your side, they can play a valuable role in selling your business. They’ll have more expertise when it comes to financial insights, deal structures and how to attract buyers.
What happens to cash when selling a business?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
Usually, the seller of the business will keep the cash and accounts receivable. A buyer will take control of other assets like equipment, the brand and merchandise.
In some cases, the buyer will take control of the accounts receivable so they can start dealing with customers and generating cash flow immediately.
What is a disclosure letter? In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
This is a document where a seller makes disclosures against any warranties that a buyer requires. It is usually prepared by the seller’s legal team and should include as much detail as possible. This will help a buyer understand more about the matters disclosed.
What is an NDA?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
An NDA is a Non-Disclosure Agreement, and it is a crucial document that protects a seller’s business during due diligence and negotiations. This document is a legal agreement that ensures any sensitive information remains confidential.
Can I remain anonymous when selling a business?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
Your personal contact details will remain anonymous when you sell a business. However, everything you add to your listing (except your personal contact details) will be public.
Buyers can only contact you through the website, and all messages from buyers are delivered to you through our email system.
How will I know when a buyer contacts me?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
A buyer will send an email directly to you, and all messages are delivered through our email system. You can also screen the messages before replying.
Please note that buyer contact details are hidden if you are advertising on a Test the Market package.
How do I monitor or make changes to my listing?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
Once your listing is live on the site, you can sign into your account and make changes to your listing. You can also monitor your enquiries in your account.
How do I renew my listing?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
We’ll let you know two weeks before your advertising period is due to expire, offering you the opportunity to renew it.
Alternatively, you can sign into your account after your advertising period has expired and renew your listing.
How do I change or update my account details?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
Simply sign into your account and make the necessary changes. Changes to your personal details are updated immediately but changes to your listing will take up to 24 hours to update.
What upgrade packages are available?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
Apart from additional benefits that you can purchase to boost the exposure of your listing, you can also consider our Premium Package. If you’d like to upgrade to this package, please contact us.
How do I create another listing?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
If you have another business to sell, you can click the ‘create new listing’ button in your account.
Can I create duplicate listing in different countries?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
No. You cannot advertise the same business multiple times in different countries. We appreciate that you may want your listing to get in front of buyers in different territories. If this is the case, we can offer email campaigns that target buyers from around the world who are looking to invest in your business’s sector and location.
Will my listing appear in Google search results?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
Yes, it will. Content-rich listings do better in search engines than listings with little to no content.
How do I create a good listing?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
If you’d like advice on how to create the best listing on our site, feel free to read our guide on creating a listing.
My listing changes are not showing - paid advertisingIn FAQs for Sellers FAQs
Any changes to your listing are put into a queue for our team to review, approve and update. This usually happens within one working day.
While your changes are pending approval, you won’t be able to carry out further edits, but your original listing will remain live on the site. Please note, if you add any contact details to your listing, that will not be visible. Buyers will contact you directly through our site.
My listing changes are not showing - Test the MarketIn FAQs for Sellers FAQs
Changes to your Test the Market listing include the same process mentioned above. Please note that a Test the Market package will anonymise unique business identification features like logos, business names, hyperlinks or videos.
If you upgrade to a paid advertising package, these features will become visible. If they don’t, please contact us.
How do I choose a business broker to sell my business?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
You should choose a broker who has experience in your sector and business size. You should also develop a trustworthy relationship with them, and they should have your best interests at heart.
If you would like help finding the right broker, you can use our broker matchmaking service, SellerMart.
How do I market my business for sale? In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
There are a few ways you can market your business:
How much does it cost to advertise on BusinessesForSale.com?In FAQs for Sellers FAQs
Prices start from R1,495 a month. You can view other pricing plans here.
How do I become a broker on BusinessesForSale.com?In FAQs for Brokers FAQs
If you’d like to list businesses on our platform, simply apply for a broker account and fill out all the necessary details.
Once you’re registered, sign into your account and start adding, tracking and maintaining your listings.
My listings are not getting enquiriesIn FAQs for Brokers FAQs
We’re sorry you’re experiencing this. There are multiple ways to ensure your listing receives enquiries.
Thousands of interested buyers visit our site every day, so ensure:
- Your listing is engaging and informative. You can read our guide on how to create the best listing for more tips.
- Upgrade your listings to premium in your account. This will boost your listings higher in search results.
- Discuss other options with your account manager, like listing rewrites, email campaigns, spotlights or boosts (if these are not included in your deal already).
If you’re still experiencing this issue, please contact us, and we’ll do our best to assist you.
Can I add multiple listings of the same business in different locations?In FAQs for Brokers FAQs
No. We do not allow duplicate listings of the same business. We appreciate that you may want your listing to get in front of buyers in different territories. If this is the case, we can offer email campaigns that target buyers from around the world who are looking to invest in your business’s sector and location.
Is there an easier way to upload my listings?In FAQs for Brokers FAQs
Manually uploading your listings may not be working for you. We have a data feed option, where data from your own website can be uploaded onto ours. This is updated regularly. This will require support from our tech team, so please speak to your account manager if you would like to pursue this option.
What is the difference between a Broker and a Private Seller account?In FAQs for Brokers FAQs
Broker account: this is a subscription-based monthly payment. It is for specialist advisors advertising on behalf of business owners looking to sell their business.
Private seller account: this requires a one-off payment for a certain amount of time. It is for business owners looking to advertise a limited number of businesses on their own.
I signed up for a broker account, but my listings are not showing.In FAQs for Brokers FAQs
Please allow 48 hours for your account to be set up. Once your account is up and running, all the listings you submitted will be activated. If your listings are not showing and your account has been activated, please contact us.
How do I find franchise opportunities on the site?In FAQs for Franchises FAQs
You can search for a franchise using different search capabilities. You can filter your search by choosing a franchise category, keyword, personal investment or country.
How do I find out more about a franchise opportunity?In FAQs for Franchises FAQs
Simply contact the franchisor or franchise representative by clicking the ‘Request Free Information’ button. Remember to include detailed information when contacting the brand to ensure a prompt and favourable response.
Do I have to pay to find out more about the franchise?In FAQs for Franchises FAQs
No. You can communicate with franchisors for free.
Why hasn’t the franchisor replied to my enquiry? In FAQs for Franchises FAQs
Usually, franchisors respond to enquiries within one working week, but this may not always be the case. Be sure to check your voicemail or emails in case you might have missed something.
Franchisors also need to determine if you will be a suitable candidate, so ensure you demonstrate genuine interest in your enquiry.
If you would like someone from our client success team to investigate why a franchisor is not responding to your enquiry, please contact us.
Why must I provide so much personal information when making an enquiry? In FAQs for Franchises FAQs
Providing as much information as possible proves that your enquiry is genuine. It also helps the franchisor establish your credentials to run the franchise. Sometimes, franchisors add more questions to the contact form to help them qualify potential franchisees more rigorously.
I want to buy a franchise, but where do I start? In FAQs for Franchises FAQs
If you’d like to understand more about franchising and how to start your journey, you can read our dedicated guide on how to choose the right franchise.
How much will it cost me to buy a franchise?In FAQs for Franchises FAQs
This depends on the franchise. It could cost anywhere between R3,000 to R3,000,000. Sometimes, the initial investment could be even higher.
How do I find finance to buy a franchise?In FAQs for Franchises FAQs
If you’re looking for finance to purchase a franchise, you can find out more about the options available to you in our loans to buy a business guide.
How long is the franchise agreement?In FAQs for Franchises FAQs
It depends on the franchise, but these agreements can last anywhere between 3 and 20 years. In the UK, most agreements are fixed for a five-term period. If you’d like to learn more about the franchise agreement, you can read our dedicated guide.
How much do franchises make?In FAQs for Franchises FAQs
This will depend on the success of the franchise and the number of hours you work. You can make anywhere between R20,000 and R500,000 a year. Highly profitable franchises can earn you up to R750,000 a year.
Can you negotiate franchise fees?In FAQs for Franchises FAQs
It is unlikely. Franchise fees are usually non-negotiable.
What happens at the end of a franchise agreement?In FAQs for Franchises FAQs
You will need to decide if you want to renew it or terminate it.
I’m looking for a cheap franchise In FAQs for Franchises FAQs
If you are looking for a franchise with low capital investment, you can browse our low-cost franchise opportunities.
How do I advertise a franchise on BusinessesForSale.com?In FAQs for Franchises FAQs
You can promote your franchise with us by filling out this form. Someone from the team will be in touch to discuss your advertising needs.
How much does it cost to advertise a franchise on BusinessesForSale.com?In FAQs for Franchises FAQs
Our franchise advertising packages start from R1,450 per month, but there are other options with multiple benefits to increase your exposure and lead generation.
If you’d like to discuss these options, please contact us.
Is advertising my franchise on BusinessesForSale.com worth it?In FAQs for Franchises FAQs
We’ll list some benefits of advertising with us, so you can decide for yourself:
- You can enjoy high quality leads and conversion rates
- We rank on the first page of Google and other search engines for heavily searched terms like ‘buy a franchise’ and ‘franchise for sale’
- We have the technology and global reach to help you fill local, national and international territories
- Our client success team takes your needs and goals seriously
How do I change or update my account details?In FAQs for Franchises FAQs
If you’d like to change or update your Franchisor account details, please contact us.
If you want to change your profile page, you will need to contact your account manager. They should update this in 2-3 working days.
How can I view my leads?In FAQs for Franchises FAQs
You can see your leads and listing impressions in your Franchisor account. We’ll also send you an email when an enquiry is made on your franchise opportunity.
How do I advertise a new (greenfield) location?In FAQs for Franchises FAQs
To add a new location to your account, you will need to get in touch with your account manager.
How do I advertise a franchise resale?In FAQs for Franchises FAQs
If you have an existing account with us, please contact your account manager.
If you are new to the site, please contact our Client Success team, and they will assist you.
How do I advertise a master franchise?In FAQs for Franchises FAQs
If you want to advertise a new master franchise, please visit our franchise advertising page.
If you want to advertise an existing master franchise, please contact our Client Success team.
Do I need to pay to use BusinessesForSale.com’s valuation tools?In FAQS on Our Products FAQs
No. Both our valuation tools are free.
What’s the difference between the Quick Valuation tool and ValueRight?In FAQS on Our Products FAQs
Our Quick Valuation tool gives you an estimated valuation based on three financial details. It will take you no longer than five minutes to complete.
ValueRight provides an accurate valuation and requires a minimum of 45 minutes to complete. You’ll be able to pick up where you left off, so don’t worry if you don’t have all the financial details we require on hand. You’ll also receive a downloadable pdf of your valuation insights.
How do I calculate the value of my business?In FAQS on Our Products FAQs
There are multiple valuation methods you can use to understand your business’s worth. Usually, a cash-flow method or asset-based method is used to value a business.
We recommend reading our value a business guide, as this goes into more detail about valuation formula, the benefits and other important information.
Can someone do my valuation for me?In FAQS on Our Products FAQs
If you’d like help with a valuation, you’ll need to reach out to a professional intermediary. In the meantime, you can use our Quick Valuation Tool. It’s easy to use, and only requires three financial details.
What documents do I need to value my business?In FAQS on Our Products FAQs
You will need:
- At least 1 – 3 year’s profit and loss statement (P&L)
- Owner salary and benefit information
- Value of inventory and other assets
Can I ask an agent to use ValueRight for me?In FAQS on Our Products FAQs
Yes, you can. If you’d like us to connect you with a professional to help with this process, please contact us.
Can you complete my valuation for me if I send you my financial details?In FAQS on Our Products FAQs
For Standard Private Seller accounts, we are not able to complete the process on your behalf. If you need assistance, your accountant can help. Contact us, and we can connect you with a professional that can help you with the process.
We can help Premium Sellers with their valuation, if they send financial details.
What is MergerVault?In FAQS on Our Products FAQs
MergerVault is an exclusive section on BusinessesForSale.com which aims to match sellers and buyers of high-value businesses.
If you are a broker that wants to advertise high-value businesses on MergerVault, you will need to sign an agreement that is separate from your standard broker subscription.
Can anyone on the site access MergerVault?In FAQS on Our Products FAQs
Anyone can browse the teasers on MergerVault, but if you are interested in a business, you will need to register and complete an Investor Profile. We’ll need to understand more about who you are, your credentials, and how you plan to fund the transaction.
What are the criteria to advertise my business on MergerVault?In FAQS on Our Products FAQs
Typically, we consider any listing with an asking price of over 1 million (GPB/EUR/USD).
How do I advertise my business on MergerVault?In FAQS on Our Products FAQs
Our MergerVault team will review each opportunity personally and set up a call with you to discuss further details about your business and determine if it is a good fit for MergerVault.
If you’d like to discuss advertising your business on MergerVault, please contact us.
Do I need to verify my ID every time I enquire on a teaser?In FAQS on Our Products FAQs
No. Once you have sent your ID documents once, you don’t have to send them again. Please disregard any email communications that say otherwise.
What does the service include?In FAQS on Our Products FAQs
Our MergerVault service includes:
- A dedicated Account Manager
- Promotion in MergerVault
- Promotion in search results across BusinessesForSale.com
- Access to high-value buyers with:
- Verified contact details
- Completed Investor Profile that includes working history, financial position and LinkedIn profile
- Regular promotion in our email campaigns and newsletters
- We can offer additional support that includes qualifying buyers further. However, you'll need to contact your account manager to see if this service is available in your area