More U.S. Businesses Changing Hands

Surge Driven By More Active Buyers, Sellers

More U.S. Businesses Changing HandsAn increasing number of businesses are being bought and sold this year in the U.S., according to a new survey from business-for-sale marketplace BizBuySell. The rise in acquisitions is being driven by a larger number of active buyers and sellers in the market, analysts say, demonstrating some measure of economic recovery.

"There has been a latent supply of buyers and sellers waiting for the right time to enter the market for a long time now," said Curtis Kroeker, general manager at BizBuySell. "Owners finally feel their businesses are healthy enough to put on the market, and buyers are finding better lending options to fund their purchases. With the economy improving and stocks at record highs, it isn't surprising to see the market growing more crowded."

About 75% of business brokers that responded to BizBuySell's survey said that they were seeing as many or more business sale transactions now than they did during the same time last year. Around 27% of the brokers seeing more transactions said that more buyers were responsible for the increase, while 25% said more sellers were driving the sales uptick.

More than half of survey respondents said that they expect a slight or significant improvement in the number of transactions through the rest of 2013. More than 30% indicated that sellers would drive the increase, while 18% feel that buyers will push sales higher. While more transactions may be occurring, valuations may be lower. Nearly 80% of brokers said changes in tax laws will slightly deflate small business values. About 15% said the tax changes would considerably reduce overall transaction values.