Have you always had the entrepreneurial “itch?” Are you ready to walk away from the 401K? Could you replace your W2 salary with a K1 distribution? Could you buy a business in the Triangle and be your own boss? In this article, we’ll review the top five places to look for businesses for sale in the Raleigh – Durham area.

Gone are the days of looking up businesses for sale in your local newspaper. For millennials, a newspaper was a stacked series of rectangular sheets of printed paper with words on them that were the primary source of finding information before the internet. Today, virtually all business for sale will be found online.

And because most businesses for sale are sold confidentially, you won’t find all of the details online. What you will see are “blind listings.” These blind listings tease the nature of the business and invite business buyer prospects to inquire for more information.

” The business brokerage practice is based on the chassis of real estate but wrapped in a cloak of confidentiality on the front end “


If you inquire about a business for sale in the Triangle, expect to be contacted by a business broker representing the owner, or the owner him or herself. The author of this article (Neal Isaacs) is a business broker; a local matchmaker for business buyers and sellers of businesses. Neal uses many of these sources to find buyers for his seller’s businesses.

And so without further ado, here are top five websites to find businesses online, sorted by the author’s opinion of credibility.

Neal Isaac’s Top 5 Places To Find Businesses Online

The IBBA is the “International Business Brokers Association.” It allows business brokers to affiliate by membership, and earn credentials through training and testing. On this site, you can find businesses for sale in the Triangle offered by business brokers who have at a minimum agreed to abide by the IBBA’s standards of business brokerage. As a buyer or seller of a small business in the Triangle, this should give you some degree of trust that the buyer or seller’s representation you are working with is committed to doing business in a fair and ethical manner, especially if he or she has earned credentials from the IBBA.

BizBuySell is the dominant “Listing Site” on the web for the sale of small businesses. Unlike the IBBA site, sellers can list directly with the site as well as brokers so the information on the site may be less reliable as many business sellers have never bought or sold a business before. Nonetheless, there are a lot of businesses for sale on the site; it’s the equivalent of the Triangle MLS for businesses for sale in the Triangle.

BizQuest is the second most popular “Listing Site” on the web for the sale of small businesses. Almost everything mentioned above pertaining to businesses for sale applies to BizQuest, and the same giant company that owns BizBuySell also owns BizQuest. However, there are some listings on BizQuest that are not on BizBuySell, so it’s worth checking both.

As noted in the introduction, the age we live in is dominated by online repositories. A Google search for terms like “Businesses for Sale in the Triangle” will yield the top indexed listing sites as well as brokers who have earned or bought those terms. You probably won’t find many individual businesses for sale as the list is always changing, but you will find a lot of people who have businesses for sale.

Craigslist is the place to go for businesses for Sale under $100K.  A lot of home operated businesses may be listed on Craigslist, and some are not even listed confidentially. Most are FSBO (For Sale By Owner). I would suspect that Facebook’s “Marketplace” will be cutting into this space for businesses for sale in the near future.

As a business broker here in the Triangle, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my own listings for sale here in the Triangle. You can see my current listings at www.VRbizTriangle.com. If you have questions about the complicated process of buying or selling a business, follow my articles here on the 919 Blog or reach out to me directly via phone or e-mail to set up a free consultation.

So what are your thoughts about this article? Please be sure to hit us up on Twitter @919BlogNC or visit our Facebook page at FB.com/919Blog and let us know! We would love to hear from ya.

Neal Isaacs, MBA, CBI is a Business Broker and the owner of VR Business Brokers of the Triangle, located in Raleigh, NC. He writes about business and helps business owners discover their exit options.