Top 5 Reasons People Sell Their Business

Keiran James

Keiran James is a Registered Business Valuer (RBV) and the co-founder of

Keiran has a Business and Commerce degree from the University of Newcastle and prior to BusinessSales Keiran worked as an Investment Advisor to High-Net clients investing in domestic and international shares and as a buyers agent helping business owners get into business and expand through acquisitions.

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Ever wondered about the most common reasons why a business owner would choose to sell their business? 

We asked business owners who are actively selling their businesses why they are selling and collated their answers. The results may surprise you. 

The Business Owner Is Moving

Moving was the number one reason for business owners to make the decision to sell their business in 2022.

Over 40% of business owners told us that moving was the reason their businesses were for sale.

It’s possible this has been boosted by the effects of COVID. The ABS reported, “The population of regional Australia grew by 70,900 people during 2020-21, in contrast to a decline of 26,000 for the capital cities” Melbourne was the worst affected by the population declining by 60,500 people.

It will be interesting to see if moving remains the most common reason for business sales in the coming years.

The Business Owner Wants To Retire

Retirement is also among the reasons to sell a business. It was the second most common reason in 2022 with 25% of business owners citing retirement as the reason for the sale.

This is to be expected. The aging population in Australia means that more business owners will be approaching retirement in the next few years. 

Some business owners have told us they delayed their retirement over the past few years due to COVID, so we wouldn’t be surprised to see retirement grow as a reason for business sales in the next few years.  

The Business Owner Has Health Issues

Unfortunately, health issues are the 3rd most common reason for a business owner to sell their business with around 10% of business owners stating poor health was the reason their business was for sale. 

If you haven’t already, now would be a great time to consider how your business would operate without you. 

There are many different types of insurance policies available for business owners that can help to cover the impact of the owners’ health on the business.

The Business Owner Has Relationship Issues

The 4th most common reason for business owners to sell their business was relationship issues.

Relationship issues can occur between business partners themselves (especially in family businesses) but in some cases, the businesses were for sale to fund a property settlement.

If you don’t already have a shareholders agreement now is a great time to consider getting one. A shareholders agreement doesn’t cost much, especially compared to the cost of not having one if you ever have issues with your business partners.

The Business Owner Wants to Focus on Another Business

Selling to focus on one business was the 5th most common reason business owners sell their businesses. 

Typically, business owners choose to sell their smaller businesses to focus on the larger business, rather than the other way round. 

Next Steps

There are many more reasons why business owners choose to sell their businesses. Regardless of the reason we’re here for you, whether you want some professional guidance to keep you on the right track, or one of our trusted professionals to take the reins – you can count on us to keep you and your business moving.

Thinking about selling your business?

Let’s face it selling your business can be tough. 

Anything worthwhile is! was purpose-built to give hardworking business owners the opportunity to pass the baton on to a new owner without all the smoke and mirrors. 

Are you wondering, “How do I sell my business?” If you don’t know where to start or how to move forward with the sales process – we’re here to help.

We can help you work out who and how to best sell your business whether that be selling your own business yourself or hiring a professional business broker.

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