The Best Place to Sell a Business – Best Option By Company Size

Your business is your life’s work. So, selling a business is not just about finding a buyer – it’s about capturing maximum value from your years, and sometimes decades, of efforts. Of course, people don’t go holiday shopping to buy businesses. 

There is a limited pool of eligible buyers – and, depending on the size of your business, it should be marketed by your business broker or M&A advisor in certain specific places. Let’s explore the best places to sell a business based on how much your business is valued.

The Best Places to Sell Businesses of Different Sizes

Large institutional buyers, like PE groups, are not interested in those small SEO websites or mom-and-pop stores. Then there are individual buyers looking for SBA loans to buy businesses. Unfortunately, they can’t afford firms with multi-million dollar valuations.  So, the crucial thing that dictates where you should be looking to sell your business is your business’s size. 

Here is our detailed ‘How to sell a business’ to help you get started with selling your business.

Best Place to Sell a Business Valued under $100k - Listing Marketplace Websites

If you are selling businesses like blogs, e-commerce or affiliate sites, apps, or other online businesses valued under $100k, online marketplaces (for example Flippa) are the best places to list them. Sometimes these marketplaces assist in legal aspects or business valuation. However, this is not a place to sell large companies.

What are the Best Websites to Sell Small Businesses? 

The top websites to sell a small business are Flippa, BuySellEmpire, and Acquire.com. They suit businesses with smaller valuations in which large buyers may not be interested. However, even with the best websites, selling a very small business can be difficult because of a limited pool of serious buyers with adequate financial backing.

Best Place to Sell Businesses Valued between under $1M - Local Business Brokers

The next tier up in business calls for the next tier up in representation and business sophistication, as you will need to reach a different set of buyers and there are many more moving pieces to navigate to get to a successful close. 

A local business broker that specializes in selling businesses near their locations, can help you find these buyers. These business brokers can then arrange a deal with a buyer from their local network, arrange meetings, and help you navigate the process of selling your business for a commission.

Best Place to Sell A Business Valued Between $1M - $5M (National Business Brokers)

Local business brokers typically have a limited geographical reach and limited industry knowledge and transaction expertise. Also, they may not be well-versed in handling deals of larger sizes. If your business is valued between $1m- $5M, you would like it to be in expert hands like national business brokers. 

A leading national broker like Raincatcher (we are an award-winning national business broker and M&A advisor with nearly $1B  in closed deals) can help market your deal, acquire multiple offers from capable buyers, and navigate the sales process.

Where to Sell Businesses Valued between $5M-$100M? - M&A Advisors

A business of this size needs M&A advisors specialized in running auction processes to market deals to private equity firms and negotiating large deals or having a list of strategic buyers in different industries across the country. Here at Raincather, our team of M&A advisors with industry expertise help middle-market businesses like these through a full-scale auction process and help them get the best price and terms for their business.

How to Decide Where to Sell a Business

It’s not every day you are going to sell a business, so, deciding on where to sell a business can feel overwhelming. One simple rule of thumb is to decide based on your business’s size and valuation. Businesses of different sizes need to be marketed in different places and different ways. 

For larger businesses, your business broker or M&A advisor (unless it’s a very small business) will be able to guide you on the best way to sell your business. Smaller businesses (valued under $100k) can be preferably sold on an online marketplace. 

As your business gets larger, you need more specialized selling advisors like a local or a national business broker or an M&A advisor. Some other factors to consider while selling a business are the type of industry you are in, where your competitors are located, and where your potential buyers are most likely to look for investment options. 

Our article about how to prepare your business for sale will tell you more about how to prepare your business for sale.

How is a National Business Broker Different from a Local Business Broker? 

A national business broker and a local business broker are different in that they have different levels of reach, industry expertise, and experience. Local business brokers are great for selling businesses valued under $1M as they can connect you with local buyers looking for smaller businesses. They generally operate within a particular city or region. 

A national business broker has access to much broader and more resourceful buyers in their network and typically has greater expertise at negotiating purchase agreements, helping buyers get deals financed, and even sector-specific expertise. They have more experience in handling larger deals across varied industries and states. 

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A good M&A advisor like Raincatcher will be able to introduce you to M&A attorneys and tax advisors to help you further maximize your proceeds by reducing the capital gains tax on the sale of your business.

How Does an M&A Advisor Add Value When Selling a Business? 

M&A Advisors add value while selling a business by helping you navigate through several pain points. Selling a business has many complexities: you need to have all the documentation in place, prepare it for sale before taking it to the market, screen, and shortlist buyers, share information with prospects, and carry out rounds of negotiation and due diligence before getting them to sign the final sale papers. 

An M&A advisor with expertise in your industry will help you navigate through all these freeing up your time and efforts.  

They will help you smoothly carry out each stage of selling your business starting from conducting valuation, compiling a concise Confidential Information Memorandum (CIM), and creating a data room to sailing through the nitty gritty of negotiations and due diligence. 

The best M&A advisors have plenty of strategic buyers in their network and they have expertise in selling businesses from specific industries. 

Capable M&A advisors also take special care to ensure your confidential information is not divulged to competitors while you take your business to the market for sale. 

How Can You Sell Your Business For The Highest Price?

You can sell your business for the highest price possible by getting an M&A advisor who has expertise working in your industries and with companies of your size.

Your advisor needs to know the ins and outs of how to drive buyer competition to get the deal closed at the highest price. Suitable M&A advisors know how to present your business more competitively, pitch it to the right buyers, and drive up prices through extensive competitive bidding. 

Their experience in working with a large number of buyers gives them better insights into the buyer decision-making process. The greater their network of strategic buyers and the more experience they have in deal-making, the better value you can expect to derive.