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Everything you need to know to buy or sell a business in Canada.

What are the Steps Involved in Buying a Business

If you're a business owner thinking about selling your business, you might be wondering, "How do I find a good buyer I can trust?" and "What should I do to pick the right buyer for my business to succeed?" These are common questions, and it's important to know there are many options and resources to help you through the selling process.

In order to successfully buy a business including a smooth transition there are several steps you should follow. Here’s a general overview:

1. Define Your Criteria

Clearly define the industry and type of business you are interested in buying. What geographic location are you looking for?  Are you willing to relocate for the right opportunity? How large of a business are you looking for? Ask yourself, what skills will you bring to the business?

2. Research and Identify Prospects

Identify potential targets by searching for businesses for sale through online listings. Search broker websites for opportunities. You can also engage a business broker to assist you with searching for opportunities and negotiating a deal.

Most businesses for sale listing websites will offer “Teasers” to give you a brief overview of the opportunity. Information should include revenue and profit, a brief business overview and opportunity for growth or expansion. After reviewing the information you should be able to determine if you want to move forward and learn more about the business.

3. Financial Preparation

  • Assess Your Finances: Evaluate your financial situation and prepare a statement of net worth. Talk to your banker to determine if you have the financial capabilities to fund a transaction. If you don’t personally have the money required you will need to secure other types of funding such as loans or taking on investment partners.
  • Valuation: Determine the fair market value of the business through valuation methods like income-based, asset-based, or market-based approaches. You may engage a third party such as a business intermediary, business broker or your accountant to assist with a valuation of the target company.

4. Engage Professionals

The process of buying a business is often long and complex and without proper advice it could be disastrous.  When buying a business, the stakes are high, and the complexities can be overwhelming. Buyers need to have a team of professionals, including a lawyer and accountant that have experience.  You will need a business lawyer with M&A experience to assist with contracts, negotiations, and the final sale purchase agreement. A competent accountant can review all of the business’s financial records and assist with due diligence. You can also engage a sell-side business broker to guide you through the entire process of buying a business.

5. Negotiation and Due Diligence

Work with a sell-side business broker or M&A lawyer to create a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or Letter of Intent (LOI) that will outline certain terms of the transaction such as price, financing, assets included and closing date.

Once the MOU or LOI is signed by all parties due diligence will begin. With the assistance of a business broker, lawyer, accountant, or other professionals thoroughly review all aspects of the business. Due diligence should include having a deep look into the finances, legal, operations, employees, customer base, suppliers, any outstanding contracts, inventory, assets and liabilities etc.

6. Sale Purchase Agreement (SPA)

Once due diligence is complete a legally binding contract outlining the definitive terms and conditions of the sale must be prepared with the assistance of a M&A lawyer and sell-side business broker (if you have engaged one). The SPA needs to include any management contracts required to ensure a smooth transition of ownership and knowledge.

7. Funding and Closing

Funding must be secured prior to closing. Arrange financing if necessary and ensure all financial aspects are in order.

Close the transaction. Transfer ownership, exchange funds, and finalize the purchase.


  • Thorough Research: Ensure you understand the industry, market, and specific business intricacies.
  • Consult Experts: Rely on legal, financial, and industry-specific advice.
  • Due Diligence: Investigate every aspect of the business to avoid surprises post-purchase.
  • Clear Communication: Ensure all terms and expectations are clearly communicated and documented.

Keep in mind that each business purchase will have unique considerations based on industry, size, and location. Flexibility and adaptability are crucial throughout the process.

Partner with Robbinex

Robbinex is more than a business broker. We have developed a systematic approach to explore and pre-qualify potential acquisition opportunities through the Robbinex® Acquisition Strategic Search Program (RASSP®). We will take the time to learn about you, your experiences, and your specific needs to ensure an appropriate fit if you were to acquire a prospective company.

Robbinex has accumulated knowledge based on five decades of experience and approximately 450 closed transactions. Factors we believe are successful to the sale of a business include:

  • Fully understanding the goals of our clients
  • Proper preparation of a business for sale
  • Comprehensive preparation of the information required by investors
  • Effective execution of a transaction, supported by the proven Robbinex process

Author: Robbinex

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Yes, but it was more than 1.5 years ago

It may be time to evaluate whether your valuation is still an accurate representation of your business.

Yes, within the last 18 months

We can work with you to update your valuation and determine the next steps to achieve your exit planning goals

No, I don’t want one

We can work with you to update your valuation and determine the next steps to achieve your exit planning goals.

No, but I am considering it !

Robbinex requires a valuation for us to list your business for sale, however, we are willing to consider accepting valuations from other providers. How can we help?