Get Started: Smallest businesses are the hottest sellers


The smallest U.S. businesses, those with price tags under $500,000, sold at a faster clip than larger ones during the second quarter, according to a survey released by two trade groups, the International Business Brokers Association and M&A Source.

The survey, conducted along with researchers at Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business and Management, gave a snapshot of the market for small and mid-sized companies. It found that 57 percent of the deals that closed in the second quarter were priced under $500,000. That was up from 50 percent a year earlier.

Some of the study's other findings:

— Retirement was the No. 1 reason why small and mid-sized businesses went on the block. Other frequently cited reasons were owners feeling burned out or getting new opportunities they wanted to pursue instead of running their companies.

— Restaurants were the top sellers among companies priced under $500,000, and business service companies were No. 1 in the $500,000 to $1 million range. Manufacturers were the top sellers among companies priced from $1 million to $50 million.

The survey questioned 378 brokers whose specialty is facilitating the sales of businesses.


Businesses that want to market themselves or engage with customers through social media have a number of networks to choose from, but it's not always clear which would be most beneficial to a specific company. SCORE, which offers free counseling for small businesses, is sponsoring an online seminar to help owners decide. It will be held Tuesday, Aug. 30, at 1 p.m. Eastern time. Learn more and register at


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