There are few things more exciting than deciding to go into business on your own. Rather than facing the blank sheet of paper and starting your business from scratch, consider buying an established business. It could be the best way for you to get started in New Zealand.

An increasing number of people are taking the leap. The New Zealand brokers are reporting many people are looking to “to buy a job”. They are in the market for businesses being sold for less than $150,000. A lot of these are using redundancy money to buy businesses that will give them an income while they build the business up gradually.

The advantages of buying a pre-existing business

Our advisors will freely admit that neither path is easy but pre-existing does have its advantages. Firstly you will be investing in a business model that is already proven. And secondly, but no less importantly, taking on an existing business means you already have customers and the all-important cash flow that goes with them.

How to buy

There are various ways to find the business for you in New Zealand.


You could start by contacting a business broker. They will generally, at any one time, have several businesses for sale on their books. Some brokers specialise in specific sectors and can offer industry advice and point to opportunities. You should always remember though, that these brokers are working for the sellers.  Also the better the sale price they can attract, the bigger their commission will be.

Online search

If you know what you are looking for, a lot of people choose to search online. You will be spoiled for choice if you search for “businesses for sale in New Zealand”. There will be a huge variety of websites with businesses up for sale.


Another way to find business opportunities is through local chambers of commerce and the Economic Development Agency. They will know of relevant trade associations who will know of opportunities in their area.


Professional advisers, like the big law firms and accounting companies, can not only help investors buying a business by providing the necessary financial and legal services. They may also have useful guidance on business opportunities.

Then there are business advisors like Advantage Business. We have hundreds of businesses working with our advisors daily. Some of these are being prepared for sale. If you would like to get a ground floor opportunity, then we are a great option.

What to look for

When you are looking for a small or medium enterprise (SME) to buy, it’s a good idea to make sure it has the potential for a lifestyle fit. Look for businesses that interest you, which you feel you could run and be happy to call your own.

Take time to visit the businesses you choose incognito so you get a feel for it without anyone being aware.

The buying process

Identifying the business to own is the easy part. Buying it can be a bit trickier. Once the purchase decision is made, it’s time to get serious because negotiations and due diligence will start. You will need an accountant and a lawyer as well as possibly other advisors.

A business sale is bound to involve a lease, so bring in a solicitor to make sure your tenancy is secure. The due diligence process ensures any information provided is accurate, correct and is usually carried out by an accountant who looks for the business’s viability.

You must meet the owner of the business you are buying. This is how you find out why the owner is selling and how much he thinks you can expect to take out of the business as it is.

Next steps

Talk to us about helping you through this process, we have done it many times. Our advisors know the questions to ask and can advise you on every step of the way. After your family home, this is possibly one of the biggest purchase decisions you will make. Having a trusted advisor to support your decision-making process will make all the difference.