Not all businesses are sold in boardroom deals that make the business pages.
Smaller companies are turning to popular classifieds website Gumtree and dedicated business sale sites to find buyers and sellers.
Gumtree may be synonymous with secondhand bric-a-brac and flatmate-finding, but among those businesses for sale on the site are a chocolate fondue cart business – sale price $15,000 – and a childcare centre ($475,000).
Other specialised business sale websites include BizListings, which has a listing for a vegie van business at $65,000, a fancy dress shop for $59,500, and a fish-and-chips shop for $250,000.
Another site, Australian Business For Sale®, just sold an NSW resort-style hotel for $7.3 million.
Gumtree said there are 2900 whole businesses listed for sale on their website.
“We have also seen a lot of businesses offload their inventory, speciality goods, even their display units," Gumtree spokeswoman Niki Hennessy said.
“It is also popular for a lot of whole businesses which are liquidating."
BizListings chief executive Peter Watson said he had seen many entrepreneurs scour his website for insolvent companies in the hope of turning them around and selling them for a profit.
Insolvencies in small-to-medium personal service companies such as hairdressers have been on the rise since the start of the year, according to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.
Businesses are listed for sale online at prices ranging from $25,000 to $15 million.
“Advertising your business for sale privately has been a booming trend thanks to the power of the internet," Mr Watson said.
“For a small, one-off listing fee, business owners can cut out the middle man or the broker and save themselves anywhere from 7 per cent to 15 per cent of the sale price in broker fees and commissions."
First published at Sep 4, 2014 – 3.01pm