How to Find Businesses for Sale by State

Mar 25, 2012

It used to be that if you wanted to find businesses for sale by state you would need to search through the newspaper classified sections in a local library.  Thankfully, today’s entrepreneurs can rely on Internet business directories that list businesses “for sale by owner.”  Now, in addition to finding out about existing businesses for sale by industry, one can search by zip code, city or state.  If you’ve never searched for a business this way, the first experience with it might be overwhelming.  Most prospective buyers are amazed at the number of listings in their area.

How can you benefit by searching for businesses for sale by state?

If you are in the initial stages of planning a business acquisition or startup, it always helps to get a 10,000-foot view of your desired industry.  Without an online business directory it would be impossible to get this perspective, but it can be invaluable in assessing the value of a business.  For example, if you find that Pennsylvania is already saturated with home healthcare businesses, you may want to look for opportunities in states with similar demographics.

When you search out businesses for sale by state, it’s possible to get a general idea of how much these businesses cost.  In states where demand is high for certain products or services, the cost of the business may be higher. Rather than simply searching out “Businesses for sale in Virginia,” or “Businesses for Sale in California,” a business directory allows you to perform multi-layered searches.  For example, using the directory of businesses for sale at, one can find out about child care businesses for sale in California with start-up costs below $50,000.

What do you do once you identify a few prospective acquisitions?

After you searched for businesses for sale by state, you may be ready to make a deal.  How you go about this will depend upon your level of business expertise.  Just like homebuyers, most people who search out business listings know what they want but they still like the idea of using an agent to guide them through the buying process.  With a business acquisition, brokers can help with business valuation, negotiation and financing.

If you are already familiar with buying a business and expect it to be a turnkey transaction, then it is possible to handle the transaction independently.  Simply contact the seller and ask for a due diligence package.  This will include past tax returns, any significant contracts the company has signed and any employee or contractor agreements. It may also include legal documents, such as articles of incorporation, filings, and any past or pending lawsuits the company is involved in.  By analyzing this information closely with your lawyer and financial advisor, you will be ready to move forward with the acquisition.

Searching for businesses for sale by state, by industry and by price range can be done in just a few clicks at