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How to Sell Your Business Online Successfully

Thinking of selling your business online? This article will walk you through the process, from initial preparations and valuation to negotiating with a buyer.

If you’re a business owner looking to sell your venture, you might be unsure where to turn to first. There are many avenues you can explore to find a buyer for your business, and a sometimes dizzying amount of information available to prospective sellers.

Selling your business online can reduce some of the stress involved in the selling process, providing a convenient and cost-effective experience while also helping you reach a wider audience of potential buyers.

This guide will help arm you with the necessary knowledge and tools to sell your business online successfully. So, why wait? Let's take the first step together.

Choosing the Right Online Marketplace

Online marketplaces provide a platform where you can list key information about your business, and potential buyers can browse to find one that fits their needs. Here are some key features to look for when you’re searching for the right marketplace:

  • User Interface: The portal should be easy to navigate for both you and potential customers. A user-friendly interface can make listing and selling your business smoother and more efficient.
  • Features: Some key features you may want to look for include tools for communication with potential buyers, advertisement customisation options and resources to help you value your business and navigate the sales process.
  • Fees: Websites typically charge a fee for listing your company. Some may also take a commission on the sale. Be sure to understand the fee structure before you commit.
  • Audience: Consider the portal's user base. Some platforms cater to specific industries or firm sizes, while others have a broader audience. Choose a site that is likely to attract the right buyer.
  • Support: Great customer support can be invaluable, especially if you're new to selling businesses online. Look for sites that offer robust assistance through guides and resources, live chat or a dedicated client service team.

money on a scale

Determining Your Business’ Value

The next critical step in the online selling process is the valuation phase. It will help you choose your listing price and set the stage for negotiating with potential buyers. Here are some tips to help you put a price on your company accurately:

  • Asset Valuation: ​​Measuring the worth of your business’s tangible assets is a straightforward approach, yet it may not fully encapsulate its earning potential.
  • Historical Earnings Valuation: This technique looks at your venture's past profits to estimate its value. It's useful for companies with stable and predictable income.
  • Relative Valuation: This procedure involves comparing your venture to similar ones recently sold. It's a good way to get a ballpark figure, but it may not account for unique aspects of your business.
  • Future Maintainable Earnings Valuation: This method projects your business's future returns based on its current performance and industry trends. It's a more speculative approach but can be helpful for companies with high growth potential.
  • Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) Method: DCF estimates your company’s value based on its projected future cash flows, discounted back to their present worth. It's a complex but thorough approach that can provide a detailed assessment.

Remember, your business's most suitable valuation method depends on its nature, industry and financial health. Consider consulting with a business broker to ensure an accurate assessment.

Alternatively, you can use our valuation tool, which can guide you through the process and help you determine a realistic sale price for your business.

business sell

Preparing For the Sale: What You Need to Know

Before you can confidently present your business to potential buyers, there are several crucial steps to undertake. Follow them to ensure your venture is appealing and ready for a smooth transition. Here's what you should do:

  • Prepare All Financials: Conduct a thorough fiscal review to ensure accuracy and transparency. Clean, up-to-date monetary records will help determine a fair asking price and instil buyer confidence.
  • Understand Legal Obligations and Documents: Study your legal obligations, ensure all licenses and permits are current and collect necessary files like your business plan, financial statements and contracts.
  • Consider Succession: Develop a plan outlining the transition of ownership and the business's operation during and after the sale. A well-thought-out succession plan can reassure potential buyers and help streamline the selling process.

Preparing your business for sale requires meticulous planning and a keen eye for detail. However, you can enhance the likelihood of a successful transfer with the correct strategy and thorough preparation. For more in-depth guidance on preparing for this transition, consider our expert advice.

social media

Effective Digital Marketing Strategies to Attract Prospective Buyers

A well-crafted digital marketing strategy can help your advert catch the eye of potential business buyers. Here are some tactics we suggest:

  • Leverage SEO: Optimise your listing with relevant keywords to improve its visibility on search engines. This can help attract more interested parties to your ad.
  • Post on Social Media: Share your business posting on your social media platforms and encourage your network to do the same. Utilising paid promotions on social media platforms can also significantly boost the visibility of your listing.
  • Craft Engaging Content: Create engaging content that highlights the unique selling points of your business. This could be blog posts, interactive content, videos or infographics that provide valuable information.
  • Quality Images: A picture is worth a thousand words. Include high-quality images that showcase your assets and operations. This makes your advertisement visually appealing and gives potential buyers a better understanding of your business.
  • Deploy an Email Marketing Campaign: Execute an impactful email campaign to reach potential buyers. You can use this to share updates about your business, new offerings or any other relevant information
  • Online Ads: Utilise online advertising tools, such as Google Ads or Facebook Ads, to reach a larger audience. These channels allow you to target specific demographics, increasing the chances of reaching interested buyers.

two people shaking hands

Navigating Negotiations and Closing the Sale Successfully

As you approach the final stages of selling your business online, you'll find yourself at the negotiation table. This phase can be intricate, but you can navigate it effectively with the right approach.

  • Know Your Worth: Understanding the worth of your business is paramount. Armed with a precise valuation, you can confidently enter negotiations and justify your asking price.
  • Strategize for Negotiations: Before you start negotiations, give some thought to your potential buyer's needs and expectations. If you are a competitor, they may value different aspects of your business compared to a first-time business owner. Be ready to address their concerns.
  • Secure Transactions: Ensure the integrity of all transactions. Use secure payment methods and verify that all legal documents are correctly executed. For instance, using an escrow service can provide you and the buyer peace of mind during the transaction.
  • Prepare for Due Diligence: Buyers will conduct due diligence before finalising the sale. Be ready to provide all necessary information and documentation, such as financial records or proof of intellectual property ownership. This transparency can expedite the sale process and build trust with the buyer.

The next steps

You've made it this far, and hopefully you're now feeling more confident in your ability to prepare and sell your business online. If you’re ready to get started and take the first step towards a profitable transaction, you can sell your business with us today.

Stuart Wood

About the author

Stuart is Editorial Manager at He has worked as Editor for a B2B publisher, Content Manager for a PR firm, and most recently as a Copywriter for Barclays.