How do you find small businesses for sale in Canada?

If you decide buying an existing business is the best option for you, how are you going to find the very best business that’s for sale?

The “Business Opportunities” section in the classifieds section of our local paper is where many people start, but you might not find what you’re looking for there. The good news is there are plenty of other resources you can use to find the perfect “used business” opportunity for you.

Where to find small businesses for sale

First, some tips:

  • Keep in mind the company’s health, which will take some further investigation, but also consider industry health and current market trends associated with the company
  • Watch out for vague descriptions, flashy wording and misleading or unclear explanations
  • Take your time, ask questions and be patient in order to find the best business to match what you’re looking for


Sure, check out the classifieds. Sometimes there are viable, genuine businesses for sale. Just be careful. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Trade Publications

Look through relevant trade publications for business listings. These are especially helpful for those looking for business in specific trade industries.

Word of Mouth

This can be an incredibly valuable method of searching for businesses. Let people in your network know what you’re looking for and ask if they have any suggestions. Ask business professionals such as lawyers and accountants if they know of any companies that might be for sale. Networking and business events can be a great source for new business opportunities.

Investment Magazines/ Newsletters

There are lots of business-related publications available, and many of them can be a great source for viable business opportunities.


There are loads of online sources for buying businesses. Do a quick search on Google and you will find pages and pages of sources. You can turn to dedicated websites like and to get you started. You can also check out online classified websites like Kijiji to find business opportunities in your local area, but once again you have to be very careful when sifting through ads that may be phony.

Business Brokers

When hiring a business broker, you’ll be paying a commission. However, if the broker is effective, it may save you a lot of time and researching. Talk to people within your network and see if anyone can suggest a trustworthy and effective business broker. An internet search of “business broker” and [your area] will give you a starting point.

Want more tips on buying an existing business in Canada?

Check out our post on the pros & cons of buying an existing business to see if it’s right for you. And our Canadian online small business training is a great place for overall small business advice too.

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