In The New Economy that we are buying and selling and businesses in, finding funding can be the most challenging part of a small business sale.
Many business buyers will have limited funding and need to finance a good portion of the sale but what happens when a buyer has NO money for a down payment or for the purchase price at all?
Can you actually buy a business with no money?
My short answer is yes, you can, but not without the right circumstances. If the right seller presents themselves you may have a shot at buying a business( with no money. But don't act too soon. The truth is, you may be able to BUY a business with no money but RUNNING a business with no money may be a problem.
100% Seller Financing
If you find a seller that is willing to offer you 100% financing then buying a business with no money may actually be a reality for you. In The New Economy, there are a many sellers that are willing to offer some sort of financing as a part of the sales agreement. In fact, many lending institutions now look at whether or not the seller is offering any sort of financing. If they are, it gives the deal some credibility with lenders because it shows them that the seller is confident that the potential buyer has the means to run the business successfully and repay their loans.
In most deals that I have seen, sellers are typically willing to offer owner seller financing for 20 to 50 percent of the remaining balance after the down payment is made. Someone who is willing to offer 100% financing is going to be someone that really wants to walk away from the business but doesn't necessarily need the money right away. Finding a seller that is will to provide 100% financing for the sale of their business may be tough as it is seen as a risky move and most sellers will need or want their money sooner than later, but still this type of sales agreement is not unheard of.
Alternative Sources Of Financing
If seller financing isn't going to work, you can also consider exploring alternative funding sources. Seeking out an angel investor may be a potential source of funding. Angel investors don't award funds based on the same criteria as a traditional lender so the amount of money you have to put down probably won't matter. You can also consider other sources such as friends and family and your 401k or retirement savings.
If you are lucky enough to find a seller that is willing to work with you on financing 100% of the sale, you should understand that an agreement like this will likely come with some comprises on your behalf. For example, businesses in which the seller is providing financing usually sell for a higher asking price then one that requires a buyer to find financing on their own. Sellers know that they are providing a valuable service to a buyer by offering financing so they charge a premium for the business. Also understand that you may pay a higher interest rate for a deal like this.
Lastly, I would never want to discourage a buyer from pursuing a business for sale that they thought was the right fit over lack of money BUT the truth is you need to proceed very carefully if you don't have resources to fall back on once you own the business. Unexpected expenses are going to come up. If you don't have the means to finance them and the business can't absorb them, you and your business could be in trouble. Understand that just because you find a way to buy a business with no money doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. Carefully evaluate your personal situation and the business before deciding whether or not you should take the risk of buying a business with no money in your reserve to back up your venture.
About The Author: Peter Siegel, MBA, is the Founder of BizBen.com (California Businesses For Sale), the BizBen Network, and is the Director of the successful BizBen ProBuy Program (90% success rate) for business buyers. He has recently published an eBook on How To Buy A California Small Business that is available online. If you need assistance in your search to buy (or finance the purchase of) a California business and would like to speak with Peter Siegel, phone him direct at 866-270-6278.
|Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses|
|Rob Hartman: Business Broker, SF Bay Area
Business brokerage services in the SF Bay Area. I bring skill, integrity and energy to all of my clients and our projects. I'm accustomed to working with a wide variety of clients and their businesses; large or small, simple or highly complex. Get a free consultation by phoning 650-279-3097.
|Jim Saxton, Liquor License Broker & Consultant - SF Bay Area
With over 20 years experience of local governmental requirements, such as Police Departments, Zoning / Planning Departments, and ABC District Offices, my company Liquor Licenses of San Francisco Bay Area is very qualified to resolve all of your concerns during the liquor license transfer process.
|Matt Sadati, Business Broker, SF Bay Area, Northern CA
I have Engineering and Law, JD degree, with over 30 years of experience in all phases of entrepreneurship. During the past 15 years my concentration has been in business of mergers and consulting. I have owned and operated over 33 businesses each having one to 30 branches.
|Ryan Clark, Business Broker, Southern California
The Veld Group provides a refreshing approach to Business Brokerage, Mergers & Acquisitions and Business Consulting and Valuations. From Your Street to Wall Street, we cater to Main Street Businesses as well as more complex Strategic Firms and Start-Ups. Phone Ryan at 310-652-8353.
|Matt Weiler, Business Broker: Gas Station Specialist
Business Broker Specializing in primarily gas stations. Geographic area of focus: San Francisco Bay Area to Sacramento and as far South as Monterey, California. To sell or buy a small or large gas station phone Matt (gas station business broker specialist) direct at 408-623-0920.
|Abdul Jobah, Business Broker, Central Valley, Kern County
As A Real Estate Agent, I offer my clients assistance with the sale or purchase of commercial properties and/or businesses. Please contact me if you are looking to sell or buy a Central Valley business. If at any time you have any questions please do not hesitate to call me at 661-703-3916.
|Michael Davidson, Business Broker - Southern California
Los Angeles Business Broker providing M&A quality services for Small Business Owners. We leverage our technology and expertise to Simplify & Expedite the Business Sales Process. Matching the right buyer with the right business is how we define success.
|AJ Rana - Business Broker, San Francisco Bay Area
Professionals who understand the importance of world class business brokerage service and the value it can create. Specializing in assisting sellers and buyers with retail stores, restaurants, hospitality & lodging, manufacturing operations, distribution companies, e-commerce and service businesses.
|Related Articles, Events, Blog Posts, Discussions, Videos, Interviews|
|Laundromats: Are They Good Investments For Business Buyers? We Discuss This.
Are laundries good investments for buyers? Chuck Post, (at 619-227-5711 - California laundry consultant, due diligence services, and laundry buyer representation) discusses this topic with other advisors & brokers in this BizBen Discussion about laundry investments and if they are good investments.
|When Buying A Laundry Why Buyers Should Have An Exit Strategy When Buying
Chuck Post (reach him at 619-227-5711) a laundry consultant, specialty broker, buyer representative & due diligence advisor starts this discussion on why it's important to have an exit strategy in mind while buying a laundromat! He & others explain why this concept is so important to serious buyers.
|FREE Live Laundry Seminars For Buyers: See Our Upcoming Schedule Of Seminars
Looking to buy or start up a card or coin laundromat? PWS Laundry is presenting their schedule of upcoming Seminars for laundry buyers & entrepreneurs. These informative live Seminars will cover an overview of the laundry industry, selecting the right location, an overview of leases, Q&A, plus more.
|Selling A Laundromat? Top Tips: Valuation, Pricing, Finding Buyers, Resouces
Laundrys are popular choices among business buyers as they often can be successfully run as an absentee run business. You need to be strategic about when you sell your Laundromat so you don't get taken to the cleaners! Peter Siegel, MBA (at BizBen) provides laundry purchase financing - 866-270-6278.
|Buying A Restaurant With Financing: 5 Options For Restaurant Business Buyers
In this Discussion, Peter Siegel MBA (Business Purchase Financing Advisor at 866-270-6278) discusses financing of purchasing a small to mid-sized restaurant business (with or without real estate). When it comes to financing a restaurant, potential restaurant buyers have many options to choose from.
|Laundry Broker Explains Laundry Leases: 4 Big Issues For Buyers And Sellers
Chuck Post (Laundry Buyer Rep, Consultant, Due Diligence) discusses what laundry buyers and sellers should consider when reviewing and considering a laundromat lease. A must read for potential laundry buyers and owner/sellers of card and coin operated laundromats. Reach Chuck at 619-227-5711.
|Specialty Restaurant Broker Discusses Liquor Licenses & Working With The ABC
What you will read in this BizBen blog post you will probably not find in any manual or set of instructions provided by the ABC (liquor licenses in California). This blog post by Jeff Back (SF Bay Area Restaurant Broker Specialist) at 925-736-8200 discusses this topic of liquor licenses in detail.
|Laundromat Business Valuations: Could Buyers Of Laundries Be Overpaying?
Chuck Post (laundry buyer rep, consultant, due-diligence expert) discusses the factors of appraising laundries. Why such high purchase prices is baffling - many times the value is so misunderstood that it results in laundry buyers over-paying for a laundromat. Reach Chuck direct at 619-227-5711.
|See All News, Tips And Events|