Business Buying Steps


You may be a first-time or seasoned buyer. All we need to know is what type of business are you looking for. We will do the rest.

Your information is confidential. We represent you interests to finding the right opportunity at the best negotiated price and terms.

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business buying steps

Start With the Intent to Buy

As Individual Buyers:
your interest most likely begins with a desire to have more control. You may have been down-sized, restructured into a new, unchallenged position, or realize that your climb to the top seems less sure as companies consolidate and realign. Your chance of becoming a successful business owner has never been better.

As Corporate Buyers:
your initial interest probably begins with growth. Your existing business is doing well, but you are seeking an opportunity to expand your current line or move into new markets.

No matter what the objective, buying a business will require some upfront analysis of your situation, namely:

  • what type of business
  • location
  • price
  • determining the value of the assets, market and goodwill
  • available financing
  • seller financing
  • your skill or management set
  • and most importantly, finding the right business for you

Tough issues. Turn to a professional business advisor to find the answers. We can help you find the right business to meet your financial and business objectives.

CFOne Advisory Group

1.571.306.3590 (DC)

1.804.527.1103 (Richmond)

or e-mail your questions to:

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business selling steps

Meeting With a Professional Advisor

Getting the right help you need by working with a professional business advisor like the Novars Group.

We follow a tested, and market-proven record used in over 1500+ offices nationwide to present your credentials to business owners. This includes:

  • meeting for the first time to discuss your objectives
  • requesting the completion of a buyer's profile, which allows us to match your criteria with business opportunities
  • asking for your current resume for our review
  • completing a financial statement of your current assets and liabilities
  • reviewing the buying process and assisting the buyer throughout the transaction
  • understanding the confidentiality agreements between the buyer and seller
  • listing the buyer in the Novars and the BBN national networks

There is no fee for a professional consultation. We can meet in person or over the phone. You decide if and when you want to proceed.

Now let's review the basics of buying a business.

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business selling steps

Understanding the Basics

Financial Analysis:

  • review the seller's financial position for the past 3-5 years
  • review the financial statements and tax returns — do they correspond?
  • check to see if the financial statement have been audited by a reputable CPA firm (most small businesses do not have audited financial statements). Do the numbers support the reported value?
  • review the account receivable logs: what is the company's collection policy? who are the major accounts and payment history? are there late payments or write-off collections?
  • review the accounts payable logs: are payments being made on time? are there any liens on the company due to nonpayment?
  • analyze cash flow: is the company maintaining positive cash flow?
  • other: TBD by in-depth evaluation

Market Analysis:

  • analyze the current industry, market, and competition
  • analyze the industry growth for this type of business
  • analyze the market growth for the business area
  • review the potential development of new markets or product lines
  • analyze how the business has grown its market
  • review the current advertising strategy
  • determine who are the competitors
  • estimate what the competitive reaction may be in the event of business transfer
  • other: TBD by in-depth evaluation

Customer Analysis:

  • who are the customers: family, friends or other?
  • how long have these customers been on the books?
  • what is the customer loyalty to the business: service, ownership, location, price, product, etc.?
  • will the customers remain if business ownership changes hand?
  • what is the customer service policy: review complaints, returns, disputes, etc.?
  • other: TBD by in-depth evaluation

Employee Analysis:

  • who are the key employees: family, friends or other?
  • what is the employee loyalty to the current owner?
  • what is the employment market in the business location in the event that employees leave?
  • what incentives will you need to pay to keep key employees?
  • other: TBD by in-depth evaluation

Physical Analysis:

  • check the business' location: does it have a market for growth, new customers, etc.?
  • check the business interior: has it been maintained?
  • review what business maintenance will be required?
  • review how inventory is managed and maintained?
  • other: TBD by in-depth evaluation

Macro Analysis:

  • what are the local zoning laws, registrations, licenses?
  • are their any governmental regulations that impact the business?
  • what are the environmental impacts of the business?
  • other: TBD by in-depth evaluation

The Novars Group works with the business owner to address these issues in our Confidential Business Profile form. Of course as the buyer, you will conduct your own internal review to ensure the business meets your benchmark objectives.

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business selling steps

Getting Your "Buying-Interest" Listed

"Corporate down-sizing, along with a resurgence in corporate acquisitions, has created a situation that is rare in the business world. There are more qualified buyers for existing businesses than there are viable businesses available to purchase."
Business Broker Network

With that, you need to list your "business search" credentials on a national network if you expect to review best opportunities to buy. The Novars Group can facilitate your search by getting your credentials listed on our network of affiliated web sites.

Your personal information will be kept confidential. We only list you as a "buyer" interested in a business acquisition.

These databases are viewed by business owners nationwide who may or may not be in the position to sell their business. Those not looking to sell may reconsider after viewing your credentials. We will also search media listings and research other possible businesses for the right opportunity.


What's Required:

  • first and foremost, sellers seek serious and committed buyers who are ready to move on the right opportunity
  • complete the buyer profile, which lists your buying interest and financial commitment
  • submit a current resume
  • prepare a financial statement listing current assets and liabilities
  • provide us bank and other references
  • other: as determined when we discuss the opportunities

Everything is kept strictly confidential. Your submitted information will not be presented to a seller or third party without your written consent.

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business selling steps

Finding the Right Company

Once you find a company for review, an profile exchange between you and the seller will occur to gauge initial interest to pursue further discussions. This profile exchange will be managed by the Novars Group.

The buyer will receive the Owner's Profile: which lists the company, it's general location, it's product offering or service, summarized financial statements, market valuation reports, etc.

Likewise, the owner will review the Buyer's Profile: which includes the buyer's financial statements, resume, and checked references.

This exchange will occur when written consents from both parties have been obtained.


What Happens Next?

If after the initial review the buyer and seller agree to continue discussion, the Novars Group will arrange for the respective parties to meet. The buyer will visit the seller's business and enter into a due diligence review as outlined under Step 3.

The Buyer may hire an independent CPA, Attorney or other professional to complete the due diligence review. The Novars Group can represent the seller in this transaction and will address questions and issues raised by the buying team.

If the seller transaction is not associated with the Novars Group, we can facilitate the buyer through the due diligence process.

There may be one or more successive visits by the buyer before moving to close the transaction.

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business selling steps

Negotiating and Closing the Sale

Closing the deal can be complex considering tax and personal liability issues. Plus, buyers almost always negotiate some seller financing to finalize the deal.

The Novars Group will work with both teams to ensure we address the:

  • tax situation
  • financing arrangements
  • training and transition considerations
  • non-compete provisions
  • lease and real estate transfers
  • release of personal guarantees
  • other

Give us a call for a FREE confidential consultation.

CFOne Advisory Group

1.571.306.3590 (DC)

1.804.527.1103 (Richmond)

or e-mail your questions to:

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Helpful Tools

Some helpful forms business owners:

exit planning module
selling your business summary sheet
valuation calculators