How to buy a business in Australia

How To Buy A Business In Australia

“How do I buy a business?” – it’s a very common question for most aspiring entrepreneurs in Australia. Buying an existing business can provide a faster and less risky route to starting your own business, compared to building one from scratch.

However, it’s easier said than done – buying a business is a complex process and requires both financial and legal considerations. But once you pass through the hoops, it could be a great way to achieve your dreams.

Let’s take a look at some steps you need to follow when buying a business in Australia.

Why buy a business?

Why should you buy a business instead of starting one from scratch – here are the top 5 reasons:

  1. Established customer base: An existing business already has customers who know and trust the brand. You don’t need to start from zero, trying to attract people to your product or service.
  2. Operational systems in place: With an established business, systems like supply chain management, accounting, and human resources are already set up. This saves you time and lets you focus on your business growth strategies.
  3. Immediate cash flow: As soon as you take over, you start earning. Unlike a startup, where it can take years to turn a profit, an existing business has immediate income.
  4. Less risk: Buying a business reduces uncertainty (if you do your due diligence). You have a clear picture of what works and what doesn’t, helping you make informed decisions.
  5. Existing staff: A skilled and experienced team is a priceless asset. You get a group of people who know the business inside out, ready to help you succeed.

In short, buying a business gives you a head start. You begin with a proven model, loyal customers, and a steady income. But again, everything good comes with a price and so does a business – which we will discuss later in the blog.

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Steps to buying a business in Australia

To buy a business and ensure a smooth transition, you have to follow and complete a series of steps – here is the general overview:

1. Make sure that you are ready to buy a business

The first step is all about readiness – ask yourself, “Am I prepared to run a business?”. This isn’t just about money, it’s also about time, energy, and commitment – owning a business can be rewarding, but it’s also hard work.

You’ll need to manage staff, handle finances, and make tough decisions. So, take some time to reflect and make sure you’re ready for the journey before you start.

1. Make sure that you are ready to buy a business

The first step is all about readiness – ask yourself, “Am I prepared to run a business?”. This isn’t just about money, it’s also about time, energy, and commitment – owning a business can be rewarding, but it’s also hard work.

You’ll need to manage staff, handle finances, and make tough decisions. So, take some time to reflect and make sure you’re ready for the journey before you start.

2. Do your research

Now depending on the industry you want to buy a business in, there is plenty of research involved. Begin by researching the market trends, competition, and the financial performance of similar businesses.

Get an idea of how much businesses like yours are selling for. This will give you a ballpark figure to work with when it comes to negotiations.

Also, research the legal requirements for buying a business in your state or territory, as well as any other specific laws and regulations for the industry you are interested in.

3. Take a look at the health and stability of the business

It’s crucial to examine the health of the business you’re interested in – here are some of the things you might want to look at:

  • Financial records
  • Performance trends
  • Stability and profitability
  • Legal documents
  • Contracts and deals
  • Assets and debts
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Employee turnover rates, etc…

When you are investing your hard-earned money, don’t just look at the numbers. You want a business that’s profitable, not surviving. So, take your time to carefully examine all aspects and make decisions that will make you a profit in the long run.

4. Understand the value of the business

Knowing the value of a business is key to making a smart purchase. This isn’t just about how much money it makes. It’s also about its reputation, customer base, and growth potential. You need to understand what you’re paying for – is it worth the asking price?

The goal isn’t to find the cheapest business, but the one that offers the best value for your investment.

5. Do a thorough financial analysis

A thorough financial analysis is key to understanding a business’s true worth. Look at the profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements – are sales growing? Are expenses under control? How much debt does the business have?

When you buy a business, these numbers will tell a story about the business’s financial health and future prospects. They can also highlight any potential risks – so, be sure to do a thorough financial due diligence before making your decision.

6. Seek professional advice

As we mentioned earlier, buying a business has its own complications and not everyone is equipped to handle it all on their own. So, it’s always wise to seek professional advice before making any big decisions.

If you are looking for professional help, creditte would be an ideal place to go. We offer advisory and CFO services in Brisbane. We can guide you through the legal documentation involved in the process, ensuring that everything is done correctly.

Things will be much easier if you have a team of professionals on your side, helping you make the right choices.

7. Negotiate and finalise the deal

Once you’re confident about your choice, it’s time to negotiate. Be clear about your terms and expectations. 

Remember, everything is negotiable – price, payment terms, even the training period. Once you reach an agreement, finalise the deal with a legally binding contract.

Financial consideration of buying a business

When you buy a business, it’s very important to conduct a financial due diligence. It’s more than just looking at the price – you have to understand how the price is set and does it justify the price or not. Here are three major financial considerations to keep in mind:

1. Business valuation

Business valuation refers to the process of determining a business’s fair market value. When you know the true value of a business, you can make an informed decision about whether it’s worth the asking price.

Valuing a business involves looking at its past performance, assets, market trends, and future potential. It’s not an exact science and may require professional help to get accurate results.

2. Funding sources

Purchasing a business requires a significant financial investment and we are talking about 6 or even 7-digit numbers here, depending on the size and industry of the business. 

So, you will need to have a good understanding of your funding sources – here are some options that you can consider:

  • Personal savings
  • Business loans from banks or financial institutions
  • Crowdfunding
  • Investors or partners
  • Family and friends, etc…

It’s important to understand the pros and cons of each option and choose the one that best suits your financial situation.

3. Budgeting

If you want to know how to buy a business, budgeting should be one of the top priorities. Buying a business involves more than just the purchase price – there could be additional costs such as:

  • Legal fees
  • Renovation expenses
  • Hiring new staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses (taxes, insurance, etc…)
  • Buying new equipment, etc…

So, make sure you have a clear understanding of all potential costs before you invest in a business. You can talk to the current owner and consult with professionals to get a better idea of how much additional expenses you need to budget for.

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The role of advisory and CFO services

Professional advisory and CFO services play a crucial role when buying a business. They provide financial due diligence, helping you understand the true value of the business. They review financial statements, assess risks, and identify potential red flags.

They can also help with budgeting, business planning, forecasting future profits, and analysing the financial health of the business.

Additionally, they bring expertise in negotiation strategies and deal structuring. Their insights make sure you’re making a sound investment, giving you peace of mind.

If you are looking for advisory and CFO services in Brisbane, look no further than creditte. We provide comprehensive financial services to help you make informed business decisions.

Common mistakes to avoid when it comes to buying a business

Here are some of the common mistakes that people make when buying a business and how to avoid them:

Ignoring due diligence: Don’t buy a business without thoroughly investigating the business. Review financial records, legal documents, and customer data. To avoid this mistake, take your time and do your homework.

Overlooking hidden costs: Buying a business involves more than just the purchase price. There could be costs for repairs, upgrades, or staff changes. Plan your budget carefully and include room for unexpected expenses. 

Overlooking the importance of the correct business structure: Choosing the wrong business structure can have long-term financial and legal implications. Different structures, such as sole traders, partnerships, companies, and trusts, come with their own sets of responsibilities, tax obligations, and levels of personal liability. It’s crucial to understand which structure aligns best with your business goals, size, and management style.

Skipping professional help: The process of buying a business can be complex. Hiring professionals like lawyers or accountants can help you in the process and spot potential issues you might miss.

Failing to plan for transition: After buying the business, you’ll need to manage it. Have a clear transition plan in place to ensure smooth operations.

Overvaluing the business: Don’t let emotions take over and make you overvalue the business. Do your research, rely on data, and stay objective when considering the value of the business. We deal in facts, not feelings.

Avoiding these common mistakes can make the process of buying a business less stressful and more successful.


In conclusion, buying a business is a rewarding yet complex process. It’s important to do your due diligence before making any decisions because it’s a significant investment.

Seek professional advice, understand the financial considerations involved, and avoid common mistakes when you buy a business.

For more detailed information, download the “Buying a business” PDF. And if you need personalised advice, don’t hesitate to contact us at creditte. We are here to help guide you through this exciting journey.


Why consider company culture when buying a business?

Company culture affects employee morale and productivity – it’s a crucial aspect to consider when buying a business. A toxic or unhealthy company culture can affect the success of the business and create issues in the long run.

How does online reputation impact a business purchase?

Reviewing their social media presence, online reviews, and customer feedback can give you a good idea of the business’s reputation. A negative or controversial online presence may affect the success of the business in the future.

What are non-compete agreements in business buying?

Non-compete agreements prevent sellers from starting similar businesses post-sale – they’re vital for protecting your investment.

What is included in the "buying a business PDF download" file?

The “Buying a business PDF” is a complete guide that provides detailed information on the process of how to buy a business. It has all the major and minor details that you need to know and consider before making a purchase.  It also includes tips, and strategies for buying a business in Australia.

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