Buying a Business with No Money – Is it Possible?

Andy Anderson

If you were born with that “entrepreneurial spark” in your eye, then no economist or banker is going to keep you from starting a business.  While many analysts may say that it’s not a good time to become a business owner, others have found that buying a business with no money is suddenly a possibility.  You may be wondering how that’s even possible at a time when credit is so hard to come by, but several articles have been written about exactly this topic. 

Seller-assisted financing is only a part of the equation.  If it were that easy, everyone would be doing it, but it is possible to by a decent business with a combination of seller-assisted financing and a bank loan.  If the business makes sense and it’s big enough to warrant full financing, it is possible to get in without spending a dime of your own money.  With lending rates at historic lows, there has never been a better time to finance a business. 

One word of caution to those who want to buy and sell businesses quickly using this method – many lenders will expect the owner to stay in the business for a certain length of time and prove their ability to run a company profitably.  Sometimes the greatest challenge in buying a business with no money is finding one that warrants the financing.  In order to get that kind of money in a bank loan, you will need to convince the lenders that the concept is profitable and that you have the skills to run it. 

Financing a business is not always as simple as going to a bank.  Government loans, suppliers, investor financing and joint ventures are some other ways to find the money.  You can choose one of these methods or use a combination of several different ones as needed.  Most of them are relatively quick to turn around, and much easier to obtain than one might expect.

The best way to search for a business is to look online at a Business for Sale by Owner directory or consult with an experienced business broker.  With the right combination of seller-assisted financing, bank loans, government loans and venture capital, you can always find the money for a bright idea.  It won’t necessarily be fully financed by a bank, but buying a business with no money down is a real possibility. 

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