Third Quarter 2009 Data Signals Improving Business-for-Sale Market

Business-for-sale transactions begin to increase after hitting bottom in recent months.

San Francisco, CA -- -- the Internet's largest marketplace for buying or selling a small business -- today released economic data for the third quarter of 2009. After multiple quarters of declining business-for-sale transactions, the new numbers suggest that the state of the small business economy is finally beginning to improve.'s new Third Quarter 2009 Insight Report shows a 24% year-over-year drop in closed small business transactions. While still lagging behind year-ago transaction numbers,'s previous report -- which included data for the second quarter of 2009 -- showed a dramatic 50% decline in closed business-for-sale transactions when compared to the same time period in 2008. Closed transactions are reported to by business brokers nationwide.'s quarter-over-quarter data also supports the rebound in the business-for-sale marketplace. The number of closed transactions reported in the third quarter increased by 7.4% as compared to second quarter transactions. Just one year earlier, when the recession was hitting its stride, that same quarter-over-quarter statistic dropped 30%. 

"After many bleak months for the small business-for-sale economy, the market seems to have hit bottom and is fortunately now beginning to turn around," says Mike Handelsman, General Manager of "As credit eases, business fundamentals recover and SBA lending criteria change with respect to goodwill, we are optimistic that the fourth quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2010 will show increased signs of recovery and growth." 

Closed Transactions Increase as Pricing Drops's third quarter data suggests that business sellers are dropping their prices, which is making it possible for more deals to close. For example, the median sale price for closed transactions fell to $149,000 from $189,500 year-over-year, a 21.4% decline in price. 

The metrics used to value companies have seen a similarly dramatic downward trend. Revenue multiples on reported closed transactions dropped 9.6% to .62 in the third quarter of 2009, and cash flow multiples dropped to 2.44, a 12.2% year-over-year decrease. The revenue and cash flow multiples are calculated by dividing the selling price of the business by its reported annual revenue or cash flow. 

"These year-over-year price declines are dramatic, and suggest there are good deals out there for potential business buyers," says Handelsman. "With unemployment at record high levels, and SBA lending loosening beginning in Q4, this decrease in pricing and valuation numbers has made the prospect of purchasing a business much more achievable to buyers." 

Business Brokers Optimistic About Business-for-Sale Transactions

A recent survey of business brokers around the country similarly revealed that they are positive about the future of small business transactions:

Media Contact:

Bobby Chilver
Walker Sands Communications
office: (312) 546-4712

About BizBuySell

BizBuySell is the Internet's largest business for sale marketplace. Since 1996, BizBuySell has offered tools that make it easy for business owners and brokers to sell a business, and potential buyers to find the business of their dreams. BizBuySell currently has an inventory of approximately 48,000 businesses - spanning 80 countries - for sale at any one time and receives more than 1 million monthly visits. The site also features an extensive franchise directory as well as an easy-to-use business valuation tool. Please visit for more information.

BizBuySell was founded in 1996 and in 2012 became a division of CoStar Group, Inc. (NASDAQ - CSGP) - commercial real estate's leading provider of information and analytic services. CoStar conducts expansive, ongoing research to produce and maintain the largest and most comprehensive database of commercial real estate information and offers a suite of online services enabling clients to analyze, interpret and gain unmatched insight on commercial property values, market conditions and current availabilities. For more information, visit

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