Small Business Buyer & Seller Demographic Study

May 12, 2014

San Francisco, CA - May 12, 2014 -- Driven in large part by an increase in the number of buyers and sellers on the market, the small business transaction market grew substantially in 2013, ending the year with small business sales up 49% over 2012 transaction volumes.

But just who are these new buyers and sellers?

In the first quarter of 2014, commissioned a deeper look into the pool of prospective buyers and sellers to learn more about the individuals who are buying and selling in today's small business market. The study, which surveyed more than 2,000 buyers and sellers, uncovered several interesting market trends, particularly with respect to the racial identities, age, gender and military status of buyers and sellers.

Key findings:

  • Prospective small business buyers are increasingly diverse, specifically in the younger age brackets. Buyers 65 and older were found to be 87 percent Caucasian but that number declines to the point where just 48 percent of prospective buyers between 18 and 29 years old are Caucasian. At the same time, the number of Hispanic, African-American and Asian/Pacific Islander buyers grow significantly.
  • Female business buyers named their primary motivation as the desire to be their own boss more frequently than men. Men were more likely to purse business ownership due to dislike of their current job. Women were also more likely to show interest in buying a business after a divorce as 20 percent listed themselves as divorced compared to just 7 percent of men.
  • Veterans who are interested in purchasing a small business earn significantly more than the average military veteran. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs reports that over 50 percent of veterans have a family income of under $50,000. For prospective business buyers, however, just 14 percent of veterans listed a household income under $50,000.
  • The melting pot of diversity in today's buyer group leads to a plethora of interesting ethnic trends. African Americans are most likely to be motivated to be their own boss, for example, while Asian buyers are most likely to be buying multiple businesses. The globalization of business has also trickled down to small businesses as prospective business buyers highlighted strong international influences in the business-for-sale market. Asian buyers reflected this trend most heavily as less than 10 percent listed themselves as natural born citizens.

Click here to view the complete whitepaper.

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 businesses - spanning 80 countries - for sale at any one time and receives more than 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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