What People Bought in 2015 and How Much They Paid

BizBuySell, the Internet’s largest business-for-sale marketplace, has released its 2015 fourth quarter Insight Report, reporting closed transaction data for the U.S. business-for-sale market. Transactions stabilized in 2015, with the year ending at 3.6 percent below 2014’s record of highest number of reported transactions since BizBuySell first started tracking data in 2007. Full details are included in the BizBuySell 2015 Insight Report, which aggregates statistics from business-for-sale transactions reported by participating business brokers nationwide.

A total of 7,222 closed transactions were reported in 2015, slightly below the 7,494 reported in 2014. At the same time, median sale prices grew in 2015, with sold businesses averaging higher cash flow and higher revenue than in 2014. This suggests that the large influx of business owners holding off on selling until after the recession may have peaked in 2014, leaving a more stabilized market with a strong inventory of high quality, financially healthy businesses that receive higher asking prices. The Florida panhandle led the pack of the highest number of businesses changing hands, followed by the North East metros and then Southern California.

Retail businesses continued to lead the pack as the most popular category of business bought and sold, with restaurants being the most popular sub-category, receiving an average sale price of $155,000. Convenience, liquor and other food stores were close behind, with convenience stores receiving an average sale price of $170,000 and liquor stores receiving an average sale price of $305,000. Service businesses are the second most popular category, with medical, dental and health services being the most popular sub-category, receiving an average sale price of $274,900. Laundromats and dry cleaning services are also hot sellers, receiving an average sale price of $175,000.