It’s possible to sell a business, even one that is losing money. However, it is important to understand the process to maximize the chances of success. In this article, we’ll discuss how to sell a failing business, including how to estimate its value, negotiate from strength, prepare for due diligence, select an offer, and alternatives to business bankruptcy.

How Do You Sell a Failing Business?

Selling a business that is not profitable can differ from selling a profitable one. However, there are some steps you can take to maximize the chances of success.

Determine the Value of the Company

The first step in selling a failing business is to determine the value of the company. This includes both tangible and intangible assets like intellectual property, customer relationships, and brand recognition. A business appraiser or business broker can help you evaluate the value of the company and assess its potential.

Communicate the Strengths

Although the business may be unprofitable, it is important to focus on its strengths. This includes any areas in which the company has an advantage or is doing well. Highlighting the strengths of the business can make it more appealing to potential buyers and help you get a better price.

Perform Due Diligence

Due diligence is a critical step in selling a business, regardless of its profitability. It is important to thoroughly investigate the business and ensure that all documents, records, and contracts are in order. A business broker or lawyer can help you with this process.

Select an Offer

Once the due diligence is complete, you can start to consider offers. When selecting an offer, it is important to look at not only the price but also the terms and conditions. This includes the terms of payment and any contingencies.

Alternatives to Business Bankruptcy

If the business is unprofitable and no offers are forthcoming, you may want to consider alternative options. These include a sale-leaseback, an asset sale, or a business reorganization. Consulting a business lawyer can help you determine the best course of action.

Shareholder & Sole Proprietorship

If the business is a sole proprietorship or has shareholders, it is important to make sure that their interests are taken into account. This includes any outstanding debts or obligations, as well as any potential tax implications.


Selling a failing business may seem challenging, but it is possible. To maximize the chances of success, it is important to understand the process and take the right steps. These include determining the value of the company, communicating the strengths, performing due diligence, selecting an offer, exploring alternatives to business bankruptcy, and considering shareholder and sole proprietorship considerations. For more information on selling a business, visit, a great resource for answers to all your questions about selling a business and about business brokers.

What is the worth of a failing business?

Another approach for appraising an unprofitable business is to analyze the balance sheet. As it is not profitable, you may need to pay a lesser amount than its book value. You may also determine the liquidation value, factoring in the effort, resources, and expenses that would be required to liquidate the business. This could be the amount you decide to value the business at.

Would it be possible for me to dispose of my failing business?

It may seem unlikely to many small business owners, but it is possible to sell a business that is not making a profit or is even losing money. The trick is to uncover any potential value that is hidden in the company.

Is it possible to sell a business that is not making a profit?

When it comes to selling an unprofitable business, one should take into account its salability, how prepared it is for the sale, and when the best time to sell may be. To make the business more appealing to potential buyers, one could look into ways to boost its profitability.

What is the best way to offload a small business that is not making a profit?

Determine what assets the business has that may be of value to a buyer.

Look into what other businesses in the same field have gone for in the local area.
Focus on the advantages of the business to potential purchasers.
Clear all business taxes and dues that are due prior to the sale.
Figure out what assets the business owning that could be of interest to a buyer.