Small Business Acquisitions Pick Up in 2021, Beat Pre-Pandemic Levels


According to the BizBuySell Insight report, Small Business Acquisitions Pick Up in 2021, Beat Pre-Pandemic Levels in the 4th Quarter. BizBuySell’s Insight Report tracks and analyzes business-for-sale transactions and the sentiment of business owners, buyers, and brokers.

  • Transactions are expected to strengthen in 2022 as more sellers return to market
  • Increasing number of owners looking to sell and retire as pandemic burnout weighs heavy

U.S. business-for-sale transactions bounced back 14% in 2021 against ongoing COVID-19 fallout, hiring challenges, and supply chain disruptions. After modest gains to start the year, transactions accelerated 28% in the fourth quarter, eclipsing the pre-pandemic levels of Q4 2019. This end-of-year rally brought annual business transactions within 11% of 2019, bringing optimism for a strong 2022.

A total of 8,647 closed transactions were reported in 2021, compared to 7,612 in 2020, with 2,364 occurring in the fourth quarter. In addition, purchase prices of businesses for sale grew year-over-year as entrepreneurs competed for a limited supply of strong performing businesses.

Businesses that sold in 2021 continued to be those with strong financials.

More Business Owners are Expected to Sell in 2022 due to Pandemic Burnout. After nearly two years of managing through the pandemic’s fallout, many owners are deciding it’s time to sell.

Over 78% of business brokers say they expect more sellers to enter the market in 2022.
Just over the past year, business brokers attribute 45% of their sellers to Baby Boomers who are ready for retirement.

Mike Janis