Buyer’s FAQ

Why should I use Comprehensive Business Brokers?

We can be helpful in many ways. We can provide you with a selection of different and, in many cases, unique businesses, including many that you would not be able to find on your own.

Approximately 90 percent of those who buy businesses end up with something completely different from the business that they first inquired about. We can offer you a wide variety of businesses to look at and consider.

We are also an excellent source of information about small business and the business buying process. We are familiar with the market and can advise you about trends, pricing and what is happening locally.

We will handle all of the details of the business sale and will do everything possible to guide you in the right direction, including, if necessary, consulting other professionals who may be able to assist you.

Why doesn’t CBB give detailed information over the phone or via email on a listing that I am interested in?

There are two main reasons for this.  First, we want to make sure that we are finding you the right match regarding a business to purchase.  That means we need to ask you some questions.  Secondly, our business Sellers require us to obtain a Confidentiality and Non-disclosure Agreement from potential Buyers before releasing any sensitive financial or trade information.

Why should I buy a business rather than start one?

An existing business has a track record. The failure rate in small business is largely in the start-up phase. The existing business has demonstrated that there is a need for that product or service in a particular locale. Financial records are available along with other information on the business. Most sellers will stay and train a new owner and finding someone who will teach you the intricacies of running a business can make all the difference.

What is the real reason people go into business for themselves?

There have been many surveys taken in an attempt to answer this question. Most surveys reveal the same responses, in almost the same identical order of priority. Here are the results of a typical survey, listed in order of importance:

  1. To do my own thing, control my own destiny.
  2. Don’t want to work for someone else.
  3. To better utilize my skills and abilities.
  4. To make money.

It is interesting to note that money is not at the top of the list, but comes in fourth.

How are businesses priced?

Generally, at the outset, a prospective seller will ask us what we think the business will sell for. We usually explain that a review of the financial information will be necessary before a price or a range of prices can be suggested for the business. Most sellers have some idea about what they feel their business should sell for – and this is certainly taken into consideration. However, we are familiar with market considerations and, by reviewing the financial records of the business, can make a recommendation of what he or she feels is what the market will dictate. A range is normally set with a low and high price.

What should I look for?

Obviously, you want to consider only those businesses that you can afford with the cash you have available. In addition the business you buy must be able to supply you with enough income – after making payments on it – to pay your bills. However, you should look at a business with an eye toward what you can do with it – how you can improve it and make it more productive and profitable.

What does it take to be successful?

Certainly, you need adequate capital to buy the business and to make the improvements you want, along with maintaining some reserves in case things start off slowly. You need to be willing to work hard and, in many cases, to put in long hours. Unfortunately, many of today’s buyers are not willing to do what it takes to be successful in owning a business. A business owner has to, as they say, be the janitor, errand runner, employee, bookkeeper and “chief bottle washer”! Too many people think they can buy a business and then just sit behind a desk and work on their business plans. Owners of small businesses must be “doers.”

What happens when I find a business I want to buy?

When you find a business that interests you, let us know.  We can provide general info on the listing and then we’ll ask for some information from you (see Our Process section).

After you have decided to pursue buying a specific business we will assist you in completing a Letter of Intent (LOI).  This document lays out the basic terms of the deal including the price and terms you think are appropriate.  The LOI is a non-binding agreement, but when it is accepted by both buyer and seller, is the basis for a specific Purchase and Sale Agreement.

Do I need an attorney or an accountant?

It is advisable to have an attorney review the legal documents. It is important, however, that the attorney you hire is familiar with the business buying process and has the time available to handle the paperwork on a timely basis. If the attorney does not have experience in handling business sales, you may be paying for the attorney’s education.

You can find your own attorney or accountant, or Comprehensive Business Brokers can refer you to professional affiliates who are familiar with the buying process.