Imagine unlocking a treasure chest of opportunities—startups for sale can be just that, a gateway to a world bustling with innovation and potential. Within this landscape lies a goldmine for those ready to invest time and capital.

Every entrepreneur dreams of sailing on the high seas of commerce, hunting for that promising venture that resonates with their vision.

Venture into the heart of entrepreneurial spirit. Here, you’ll navigate the intricacies of acquiring promising early-stage investments or perhaps a revenue-generating startup tailor-made for growth.

Dive into the nitty-gritty of making such a critical move. Grasp the lifelines of due diligence and recognize the importance of a sound exit strategy.

By article’s end, absorb the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about which startup could be your next success story.

The expedition is set to chart through financial projectionscompany valuations, and the vibrant arenas of angel investors and venture capital deals.

Saddle up, future magnates; we’re on the verge of exploring the vibrant marketplace of startups for sale.

Sites Where You Can Find Startups For Sale

WebsitePrimary FocusTypes of ListingsGeographic FocusNotable Features
Acquire.comOnline businessesMostly SaaS, e-commerce, and content websitesGlobalProvides due diligence support and standardized processes
BizBuySellBroader range of businessesRestaurants, retail, franchises, and morePrimarily USLargest marketplace for business sales, offers valuation reports
FE InternationalOnline businessesSaaS, e-commerce, content, and technology businessesGlobalOffers professional exit strategy consulting and M&A advisory services
Quiet Light BrokerageInternet-based businessesE-commerce, Amazon FBA, content, SaaS, and service businessesMainly US, some globalAdvisory-led brokerage emphasizing personalized service and strategic exit planning
Empire FlippersOnline businessesE-commerce, SaaS, content, and othersGlobalCurated marketplace with a vetting process, handles migration of sold assets
FlippaBroader range of web businesses and assetsApps, domains, e-commerce, content websitesGlobalAuction-style listings, self-listing platform with a variety of assets
AxialMiddle market companiesVarious industries, including manufacturing, B2B services, etc.North AmericaPrivate network connecting buyers with advisors and opportunities, emphasis on discretion
AngelListStartups and tech companiesStartups seeking funding, job listings for startupsGlobalInvesting platform, provides access to high-growth startups and talent acquisition
SeedrsStartups and growth-focused businessesEquity crowdfunding for European startupsEuropeAllows investment in startups in exchange for equity, secondary market for shares trading

MicroAcquire’s a bit mysterious. They get buyers and sellers together, but you won’t know who you’re dealing with until you get down to business.

If you’re looking for smaller startups and SaaS with some room to grow, this could be your spot.

Listing is free for everybody, but if you want the early scoop on deals, you can shell out a bit for their Premium package.


Whether you want to buy or sell a business, or even pick a franchise, BizBuySell’s your place.

Need money? They’ve got that too. Find a broker near you, pick your listing, and you’re on your way.

FE International

Got some cash to drop? FE International can help with some big-league deals for eCommerce, SaaS, and content businesses.

They’ll guide you through the whole thing, from due diligence to the final handshake. No listing fee, and the brokerage fee’s flexible.

Quiet Light Brokerage

Quiet Light’s been around the block. They’ve done over 600 sales, totaling big bucks, and they know their stuff.

They’ll craft a strategy just for you, and they’ve got a pro team that knows the ins and outs of digital deals. Plus, no listing fees.

Empire Flippers

Looking for something a little niche? Maybe with a personal touch? Empire Flippers is your small-but-mighty spot.

  • Price Range: Anywhere from a cool $14K up to a solid $3.5M
  • Variety: Websites, SaaS apps, and even Amazon Kindle Digital Publisher listings
  • No Fees: That’s right, no listing fees, so you only pay when they seal the deal for you

Get your feet wet without a big splash.


Flippa’s got the goods. Over 120,000 buyers cruise this marketplace, and they’ve done over 250,000 deals. First-time buyer?

They’ve got you covered with personalized help, the real low-down on the businesses, and even hook-ups with financing and brokers.

From indie websites to snazzy SaaS companies, Flippa’s got startups for sale that won’t break the bank. And hey, they only charge a little bit to list and a success fee. That’s fair game.


If you’ve got a serious thirst for buying, selling, advising, or financing private companies, Axial’s got the drink. With a decade in the biz, they’ve got a solid reputation and a platform that people trust.

  • Connections: They help you find the right partners for your transaction
  • Success Fee Exemptions: Some sweet deals are waiting if you’re already chatting with the seller

Make your move with the big players.


Startups, angel investors, job-seekers, and more, they all mingle at AngelList. It’s the melting pot for the digital age.

  • Democratizing Investment: They’re all about leveling the playing field
  • Big Money: They’ve raised millions online and funded hundreds of startups
  • Career Opportunities: Over half a million connections between job-seekers and companies

A spot for the dreamers, the doers, and the believers.


Want to catch a startup at the seed stage? Seedrs has you covered.

  • Equity Crowdfunding: Specializing in those early-stage investments
  • Global Reach: Campaigns funded in multiple countries and sectors
  • Full Support: They walk you through the funding stages, start to finish

Cultivate your business garden with Seedrs.

Other Paths to Finding Startups for Sale

Networks and Personal Connections

Hey, ever think your friends or followers might know something? Share your goals, ask around, and someone might have a lead or two. Don’t underestimate the power of your social network.

Incubators and Accelerators

These spots are cooking up fresh startups like hotcakes. Investment opportunities and partnerships can pop up, especially on “demo day.” Who knows, your next big thing might be waiting at the finish line of an acceleration program.

The Exciting World of Crowdfunding Startups for Sale

The Crowd’s Choice: Crowdfunding Platforms

Ever thought about owning a part of a company? With crowdfunding, that’s totally possible. It’s like putting a small bet on a promising racehorse.

  • Buy Ownership: By chipping in a bit, you can get a share in a startup.
  • Less Costly: Unlike big venture or angel capital, it won’t break the bank.

It’s fun, exciting, and you can ride the wave of success if the startup takes off.

Smart Moves: The Due Diligence Process for Buying a Startup

The Key Spots to Check Out

So you’ve found a startup you like. Before you shake hands, make sure to investigate these areas:

  • Contracts: Look for things like sale agreements, staff and supplier connections, or any partner arrangements.
  • Financials: Check out income, profit, loss, and tax stuff.
  • Expenses: Things like loans, bills, or any lease agreements.
  • How it Works: Peek at the intellectual property, stock, tools, and equipment.

It’s like window shopping before you buy, only way more detailed.

Cracking the Numbers: Evaluating Financials and Operations

Here’s where you get your detective hat on:

  • Money Matters: Dig deep into accounts, assets, liabilities, trends, projections, and taxes.
  • The Way it Runs: Look at how the business works, makes money, competes, and fits into the industry.

Think of this like getting under the hood of a car, except it’s a company.

Watch Out: Common Pitfalls to Avoid

Don’t fall into these traps:

  • Mixed Messages: Keep the lines of communication clear.
  • Jumbled Teamwork: Coordinate your team’s efforts.
  • Losing Sight of the Prize: Remember what you’re aiming for.
  • Checklist Confusion: Don’t get stuck on just ticking boxes.
  • The Sneaky Seller: Watch out for hidden information.
  • Skipping the Pros: Invest in professional guidance; it’s worth it.

Be smart and avoid stepping into something messy.

Money Moves: Financing Options for Buying a Startup

Do-It-Yourself: Self-funding

So you’ve found a startup for sale and you’re ready to buy. How about financing?

  • Your Own Wallet: Maybe you’ve got enough saved up or invested to buy the business.
  • Personal Funding: Use what you’ve got and figure out other ways for the rest.

It’s like starting a project with the tools in your garage.

Finding the Funds: The Road to Buying Startups for Sale

Everyday Money: Traditional Loans

So, you’ve spotted startups for sale and you’re raring to buy, but you’re not sitting on a pile of cash? No worries. There are options.

  • SBA Loans: Kind of like a helping hand from the government.
  • Bank Loans: Your everyday loan from your local bank.
  • Online Business Loans: The internet’s got your back.

You’re not alone on this journey. If you’ve got a good record, you’ll find a way.

The Helpers: Angel Investors and Venture Capital Firms

Now, let’s talk about those with deep pockets who believe in dreams. These folks are ready to put their money where their mouth is.

  • Individuals or Companies: Sometimes, it’s just someone who believes in you. Other times, it’s a whole company or fund.
  • Sharing the Success: In exchange, they usually want a piece of the pie.

Think Google. Think Costco. This could be your ticket.

Sealing the Deal: Negotiating and Closing

The Art of Negotiation: Key Terms to Consider

Startups for sale means negotiations. And that’s not just about the price tag. It’s an intricate dance.

  • Your Limits: Know what you can and can’t do.
  • Their Needs: Understand what the sellers want and need.
  • The Market Scene: Get what’s happening around you.
  • The Business and Owner: Dive into their world.
  • Self-Protection: Protect yourself from surprises.
  • Every Little Thing: Negotiate everything, big or small.

It’s like painting a picture with words and numbers.

Winning Moves: Strategies for Successful Negotiation

How to win at this game? Start small, build trust.

  • Small Wins: Sort out the little stuff first. It sets a good tone.
  • Build Trust: Work on things like transitions, due diligence, timing, and deposits.

It’s about laying down a groove before you rock out.

Final Steps: Tips for Closing the Deal

Alright, final stretch. The deal’s almost done, but here’s how to make sure:

  • Write It Down: Always.
  • Get a Pro: Have a lawyer eye it.
  • Clear Offers: Be clear, always.
  • Negotiate Bravely: Don’t hold back.
  • Signed and Sealed: Make sure it’s all official.

Think of it like wrapping a gift. It’s got to be perfect.

FAQ On Startups For Sale

What exactly does “startups for sale” mean?

It’s like a marketplace but for businesses in their infancy or growth stages. Eager entrepreneurs put their fledgling companies on the block, hoping to match with investors who can either scale them or integrate them into larger portfolios.

It’s all about finding a new steward for that startup spark.

How do I find startups that are up for sale?

Your best shot is to hit the digital pavement—online business marketplaces, startup forums, or industry networking events brimming with angel investors.

Platforms like AngelList and Crunchbase can be cruise control for this ride. They bring together sellers and those with the investment opportunities looking for a venture.

What should I look for in a startup before buying?

Peek under the hood at their business model, financial health like revenue generation, and growth potential. Grit your teeth and dive into due diligence, assessing assets, intellectual property, and understand their startup valuation.

Don’t just court them; get to know them—every nook and cranny.

How is the valuation of a startup determined?

Valuation is part art, part science. It’s a cocktail of historical financials, industry benchmarks, and growth trajectory, with a pinch of market conditions.

Consider future revenue projections and EBITDA estimates, sizing up the startup against its peers. It’s a crystal ball gazing session, guided by metrics.

What are the risks involved in purchasing a startup?

Mergers and acquisitions are never a walk in the park; they’re a tightrope walk over a risk-riddled canyon. Startups come with baggage—unpredictable markets, customer acquisition woes, or untested business models.

The stakes? Your investment. The challenge? Steering the vessel toward profitability through these choppy waters.

What does the process of buying a startup entail?

It’s a multi-stage journey—you find a likely candidate, swing into due diligence to vet their claims, then negotiate terms.

Legal paperwork follows, often mediated by business brokers or lawyers versed in corporate linguistics. Finally, you ink the deal and pop the champagne—or brace for the next wave.

Can I get funding to purchase a startup?

Sure, if your pockets aren’t deep enough, venture capital deals or angel investors might back you up—assuming they smell potential.

You could also take the avenue of equity crowdfunding platforms or traditional bank loans, but remember, persuading them is an art. Prepare to make your case, cap in hand.

What is an exit strategy, and why is it important?

An exit strategy is your game plan for leaving the investment, hopefully, with pockets heavier than before. It’s crucial because without it, you’re just wandering in the dark.

Whether it’s a buyout, an IPO, or acqui-hiring, knowing your endgame shapes how you’ll play from the start.

How important are patents and intellectual property in a startup acquisition?

Imagine building a fortress without walls—that’s a startup minus its intellectual property. Patents are the bread and butter of tech startups, protecting what’s simmered in their think tanks.

They’re assets that can make or break your investment, influencing both valuation and the startup’s appeal in the marketplace for buying/selling businesses.

After purchasing a startup, what are the first steps I should take?

Get the captain’s hat firmly on and kick off by mastering the existing operations. Engage with the team, chart out a growth strategy, and possibly rebrand according to your vision.

Prioritizing business development and maintaining relationships with key marketplaces for buying/selling businesses is just as crucial as understanding financial metrics.


So, we’ve navigated the bustling bazaar of startups for sale, a place where dreams and dollars are always at a dance, right? Through the twists and turns of valuations, the thickets of due diligence, the siren song of potential, and the hard talks of terms and conditions—there’s a lot to unpack. It’s clear: this isn’t just a transaction. It’s a passkey to a realm of possibilities.

Reflect on this journey. Whether it’s the sizzle of a Tech startup, the promise of a venture capital deal, or the allure of a scalable business model, you’ve been equipped with the know-how. Securing the right startup is about more than money; it’s about vision and fit.

Stride confidently towards that handshake, knowing you’re now clued in on turning a “for sale” sign into a launching pad for the next big thing. Let it be said: where there’s a will to buy a startup, there’s a way to make it thrive.

If you liked this article about startups for sale, you should check out this article about top startup accelerators.

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I'm the manager behind the Upcut Studio team. I've been involved in content marketing for quite a few years helping startups grow.