Buy a business or start your own? 

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Starting a business from scratch can be overwhelming for first-time entrepreneurs. If you have a great business idea and are ready to work hard to build it from the ground up, then you may wish to start your own business. But if you want to hit the ground running and avoid some of the common start-up pitfalls, then buying an existing business or a successful franchise may be a better option for you.

Starting your own business

Benefits

  • Complete freedom to design and manage the business according to your vision.
  • Not bound by anyone else's rules, history or assets.
  • Opportunity to carve out a new niche in the market.
  • Can be less expensive than buying a successful business.

Challenges

  • Can take time to become profitable.
  • There is no guarantee of business success and a high rate of failure for new businesses.
  • Can be more difficult to get financing because lenders or investors are taking a risk with your idea.

Buying an existing business or franchise

Benefits

  • Benefit from the work that has already been done on building a brand, developing customer relationships, developing business processes and acquiring assets.
  • Can start bringing in profits more quickly.
  • Can be easier to get financing because the business model is proven.

Challenges

  • The upfront investment is often higher than if you were starting your own business.
  • The previous owner and/or franchisor's business model and way of doing business may not be a perfect match with what you envision.

Learn more

If you are considering buying a business, these documents will tell you what to watch out for and help guide you through the process.

  • Buying a business

    Find out what you need to know before buying a business: where to look, how to evaluate potential acquisitions, and what a fair price would be.

  • Franchising

    Learn more about buying a franchise as an option for starting a business.

  • Business start-up checklist

    When you're setting up your business, you need to ensure that all of your bases are covered. Consider the following steps as you navigate through the business start-up phase.

  • Business planning

    Find out how to write a business plan, and access templates, sample business plans, market research information and statistics.

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