Creative Ways to Buy a Business in a Downturn

Table of Contents

These are creative deal structures to buy struggling businesses with low or zero upfront money.

Here's how to pick up assets on the cheap:

90% seller-side financing with monthly payments over a long time (5-15 years)

- Seller gets a monthly payment with interest

- Avoids hoops and delay with an SBA loan

- Buyer gets business without upfront $

- Seller gets a premium sale price

- Requires a lot of trust

Revenue/profit share over the next few years:

- Seller alternative to shutting down with 0

- For a whole business or just clients

- Buyer picks up assets risk-free

100% seller-side financing with yearly payments:

- Works if the business has to sell asap

- Gives buyer time to rightsized business

- Seller gets a sale done instead of a 0

Personal loan to buy a business all cash:

- Buyer gets a good deal with cash discount

- Risky depending on your financials

- Avoids jumping through SBA hoops

- Seller gets all money upfront

SBA loan without any extra equity or seller financing:

- Buyer must already have equity in business

- Buyer gets business without upfront $

- Seller gets all money upfront

Payment for employees hired:

- Closing biz sends employees to NewCo

- NewCo pays for any employees hired

- Soft landing for employees

- Seller gets some money

A lot of small businesses are going to struggle in the downturn.

Many will close with nothing to show for it.

Creative structuring can help owners, clients, and employees land on their feet and get value for their hard work.

What other good solutions have you seen?

If you are interested in buying, growing, and selling small companies, check out my course & community on it at