Buying an existing business or franchise

Starting from scratch is not your only option. You can also purchase an existing business, buy a franchise, or buy into a partnership. We recommend that you explore and research all options to find the opportunity that is right for you.

Buying an existing business

As many local business owners approach retirement age, it is estimated that about 40% of existing local businesses will be for sale in the next 10 years.  An existing business brings with it a brand, an existing customer base, and a business process that has already been developed. Buying an existing business enables you to hit the ground running and avoid some of the common start-up pitfalls.

Where to find existing business for sale?  Though some are advertised in newspapers or online advertising websites such as kijiji, most businesses that are for sale are not advertised publically. Many business owners do not want the public to know they are selling the business in order to prevent loss of staff and customers. Business owners prefer to use a professional commercial broker to find potential buyers discreetly. A professional commercial broker also helps a buyer to find the business he/she is interested in buying. Typically, the seller of the business pays the commercial broker when the deal is completed.  Sometimes, accountants and lawyers who work with businesses also know what businesses are for sale.

Tips for finding business opportunities:

  1. Check the 'Business for Sale' section in local newspapers.
  2. Contact a business/commercial broker.  Here are three business/commercial brokerage firms in Fredericton:
  3. Ask people in your network. Tell them that you are looking to buy a business and ask whether they know anyone who is selling a business.
  4. Talk to accountants and lawyers who may know what businesses are for sale.
  5.  Contact the business owners in the industry in which you are interested.

This article offers helpful suggestions on how to do this.

Do your homework before buying an existing business. We recommend reading the following:

Buying a franchise

Canadian Franchise Association provides resources, information, and a directory of franchise opportunities.

Before purchasing a franchise, read the following guide to learn what factors to consider before investing: A Consumer Guide to Buying a Franchise