Buying an Online Business

Buying an Online Business

The process of buying an online business can be very complicated, so to ensure a thorough due diligence is conducted prior to any purchase agreements being formalised I have compiled a list of questions that should be submitted to the vendor. These questions should be asked prior to buying an online business and will provide the purchaser with a better perspective of a business and its potential market value.

  • What was the start date of the business?
  • Does it have its own website?
  • Does it have an eBay store or other sales channels?
  • Have you been the owner since inception?
  • Provide a Profit and Loss Statement since inception or the last two fiscal years.
  • Provide percentage of turnover per sales channel.
  • Give a comprehensive list of inclusions in the sale price.
  • Advise expected stock holding value at business sale date if the business was to operate normally up to that date.
  • Does the business currently have product insurance?
  • Are any special licences or qualifications required to sell the products in Australia?
  • Are there any special requirements to import these products into Australia?
  • Do you intend to continue to trade in the industry? If so, in what capacity? If not will you sign a restraint of trade contract?
  • Is your website 'in house' developed or proprietary software?
  • Are there any conditions to the sale?
  • Is the business listed for sale via any other media like Flippa or are there any business brokers involved in any way?
  • Is the business encumbered in any way?
  • How many suppliers do you have?
  • Do you have a customer database and if so how many customers are on it?
  • Would you consider a product range expansion viable?
  • Please provide all and any other information which would assist in making an informed purchase decision.

So there you have it, a comprehensive list of questions to ask any vendor. Although the above questions are targeted towards a business selling products, they can be varied and applied to almost any type of business.

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People often come to me for advice about starting an online business or getting their own unique domain name and web presence. If there’s one piece of advice I can offer, then it's this: apply what you know, do your research, find a target market, and create a well ranked site that offers some type of product or service to that target market. - Ashley Boardman