Market insights

A Survey of Business-for-sale Sites

April 04, 2021

Since the advent of the public internet in the 90s, there has been a number of online sites for listing a business for sale. While some are open to any business, others specialize in a certain industry or size of business.

When business owners approach us about listing their business, one of the first questions they ask is where can I sell my business. Our hope is that this survey of listing sites will serve as a useful resource for future business owners as they navigate the listing process.

If you know of a business-for-sale service that is not on our list, please reach out.

General

If you are looking to buy or sell a brick-and-mortar business, these general business-for-sale websites can be useful for finding the best opportunity. They typically focus on more traditional small- and medium-sized businesses, rather than on a certain niche.

BizBuySell

BizBuySell advertises itself as the #1 online directory for businesses for sale. They’re not wrong. Founded in 1996, BBS has grown to dominate the online directory landscape. It’s currently owned by CoStar Group, the real estate behemoth.

One perk of listing with BizBuySell is their partner network, where they cross-list businesses to sites like Small Business Trends, USA Today Network, and WSJ Business.

BizBuySell

Active listings: 45,000

Monthly traffic: 1M unique visitors

Listings starting at: $59.95 per month for 6 months

Experience: 3.5/5

BizQuest

BizQuest is BizBuySell’s younger sister site. Owned by CoStar as well, it boasts a similar range of businesses, including franchises. It has slightly less traffic and listings than BizBuySell, but still has one of the better experiences than some of the other listing sites.

BizQuest is part of the same partner network as BizBuySell, which can help increase traffic to your listings.

BizQuest

Active listings: 17,000

Monthly traffic: 300K unique visitors

Listings starting at: $59.95 per month for 6 months

Experience: 3.5/5

BusinessBroker.net

BusinessBroker.net is a favorite amongst business brokers, which is why only 6% of the listings are for-sale-by-owner. Unfortunately, this site lacks the more modern experience of BizBuySell and BizQuest. However, that has not stopped brokers from religiously using it.

Founded in 1999, BusinessBroker.net (BBN) is definitely ranks in the top 5 of business-for-sale sites. We hope that they’ll upgrade the buying experience sometime soon. You shouldn’t have to have add a listing to cart just to contact a broker!

BusinessBroker.net

Active listings: 17,200

Monthly traffic: 150K unique visitors

Listings starting at: $129.95 per month for 2 months

Experience: 2/5

BusinessMart.com

BusinessMart.com is a cheaper alternative to BusinessBroker.net. It doesn’t boast much better of an experience, but on the plus side, it’s nearly 6 times cheaper. Founded in 1998 by an internet holding company, BusinessMart provides a number of free resources and calculators in addition to the listing services.

Our recommendation to business owners is to use their resources but to list elsewhere.

BusinessMart.com

Active listings: 21,000

Monthly traffic: 13K unique visitors

Listings starting at: $20.99 per month for 12 months

Experience: 2/5

BusinessesForSale.com

BusinessesForSale.com is one of the few that seems to have invested in transitioning out of the 90s. The experience is quite good. There are a number of filters for buyers to use when searching for businesses.

Although the site is an international marketplace, they still carry a high number of U.S.-based businesses for sale and offer a good set of guides and “how-to” articles for buyers and sellers, alike.

BFS

Active listings: 17,500

Monthly traffic: 330K unique visitors

Listings starting at: $59 per month for 6 months

Experience: 4/5

DEALSTREAM

DealStream is more than a business-for-sale site, as they allow owners of real estate, oil & gas opportunities and other ventures to list deals. However, their business-for-sale listings deserve highlighting in their own right.

With a broad range of businesses in both size, industry and price, DealStream has been growing year-over-year. We recommend DealStream for more unique businesses and those on a budget, as DealStream makes money by charging buyers for access.

DEALSTREAM

Active listings: 13,000

Monthly traffic: 31K unique visitors

Listings starting at: Free!

Experience: 4/5

Software and E-commerce Businesses

If you are looking to sell or buy an internet business, you may want to consider some of the sites below. Given the relative simplicity of internet businesses, some of these listing sites offer a number of tools to make the sales process smoother (e.g. verification of traffic, Stripe earnings, or Shopify orders).

Flippa

Flippa is one of the best sites to buy and sell internet businesses. Whether you’re looking to buy a domain, a Shopify store or a blog, Flippa offers a network of over 300,000 buyers. Founded in 2009, they have the latest tools and verification processes to ensure transactions are honest and fair.

One difference between Flippa and other sites is that they have brokered sale offerings for owners who want a party to help with valuation, negotiation and handling buyers. Flippa

Active listings: 5,800

Monthly traffic: 118K unique visitors

Listings starting at: $49 for online businesses

Experience: 4.5/5

EmpireFlippers

Unlike the other sites, EmpireFlippers acts as a broker for all listings on their platform. They follow a variant of the Lehman Formula for their commission, where they charge as high as 15% for a business under $1M and as low as 2% for a business above $10M.

Similar to Flippa, EmpireFlippers integrates with analytics and transaction data to provide buyers with a detailed, verified view of the business’s fundamentals.

Empire Flippers

Active listings: 119

Monthly traffic: 73K unique visitors

Listings starting at: 2 - 15% success fee

Experience: 4/5

Microacquire

If you run a SaaS business, there likely is no better fit than MicroAcquire. With a focus on software startups, MicroAcquire has built a network of 30,000+ trusted buyers. By monetizing on buyers, business owners can list through their site for free.

The platform includes similar functionality to Flippa, insofar as verifying financial and operational details.

MicroAcquire

Active Listings: 500

Monthly traffic: 30K unique visitors

Listings starting at: Free

Experience: 4.5/5

Dental Practices

For owners of dental practices, there are a number of specialty sites. Even moreso than internet businesses, the buyers of dental practices are a skilled and specific demographic. Advertising on general business-for-sale sites is likely not the best avenue to reach these buyers.

DentalTown

DentalTown is a publication focused on dentistry. Outside of magazine articles, the site has a message board, blog, and classifieds section. With over 250,000 registered members on Dentaltown.com, their classifieds are a good way to list a practice for sale.

DentalTown

Active Listings: 2,410

Monthly traffic: 24K unique visitors

Listings starting at: N/A

Experience: 2/5

DDSMatch

DDSMatch helps with dental practice transitions. They provide advisory services for practice sales, practice mergers, partnership agreements, office appraisals and real estate sales.

DDSMatch

Active Listings: 891

Monthly traffic: 1K unique visitors

Listings starting at: N/A

Experience: 3/5

Car Washes

Car Wash Advisory

Car Wash Advisory is a broker and M&A advisor with a special focus on… car washes! Similar to EmpireFlippers, in that it brokers all listings on its site, CWA has deep expertise in car washes, so buyers and sellers can trust their dealing with an expert.

Car Wash Advisory

Active Listings: 17

Monthly traffic: 500 unique visitors

Listings starting at: N/A

Experience: 3/5

Accounting Firms

Accounting Practice Sales

Founded in 2002 by a team of CPAs, Accounting Practice Sales helps market accounting and tax practices across North America. They have a network of independent brokers who handle all of the listings on their site and provide free valuations to interested sellers.

Accounting Practice Sales

Active Listings: 2637

Monthly traffic: 3.9K unique visitors

Listings starting at: N/A

Experience: 3/5

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