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Closed Small Business Transactions

Businesses sold in past 3 years

Transactions listed as closed on the BizBuySell website. 2022 was still a good year, however not as high as 2019. There are still a lot of boomers hanging on trying to get maximum dollar for their business.

The business for sale market grew modestly in 2022, with closed transactions up 4.7% over the previous year, representing a 19% gain since 2020, when many small businesses faced COVID lockdowns, yet still 7% below 2019’s pre-pandemic levels. The first half of the year experienced strong year-over-year gains, but as inflation surged and interest rate hikes took effect, momentum slowed in the second half.

QuarterSold Listings
2017 Q12,368
2017 Q22,534
2017 Q32,589
2017 Q42,433
2018 Q12,679
2018 Q22,705
2018 Q32,685
2018 Q42,288
2019 Q12,505
2019 Q22,446
2019 Q32,454
2019 Q42,342
2020 Q12,225
2020 Q21,481
2020 Q32,063
2020 Q41,845
2021 Q11,951
2021 Q22,049
2021 Q32,283
2021 Q42,364
2022 Q12,412
2022 Q22,342
2022 Q32,237
2022 Q42,063


A total of 9,054 transactions were reported in 2022, compared to 8,647 in 2021.  The year began with a YOY boom in transactions, up 27% in Q1 and 14% in Q2. Transactions then lagged in the second half of 2022, dropping 2% in Q3 and 12.7% in Q4. This according to BizBuySell’s Insight Report, which tracks and analyzes U.S. business-for-sale transactions and sentiment from business owners, buyers, and brokers.

Financial performance was rocky over the course of 2022. Median revenue dropped 11% in Q3 from Q2 and rose 3% in Q4, finishing 2022 down 2% year-over-year. Median cash flow dropped 3% in Q3 from Q2 and remained flat in Q4, finishing 2022 down 1% year-over-year. Similarly, the average revenue multiple dropped from .67 to .65 and average cash flow multiple dropped from 2.55 to 2.53.

According to business brokers surveyed, the 2022 market showed increased activity compared to 2021. About a third (33%) closed slightly more deals, while 22% closed significantly more deals. Most brokers (47%) attribute the increase to higher buyer demand for thriving businesses, while 41% believed it was due to an increased number of buyers entering the market.