One of the most important steps in acquiring a business is qualifying yourself.  If you have business ownership experience you undoubtedly understand what it means to be an entrepreneur.  However, if you never have owned a business, it is important that you inventory what you bring to the table in addition to your investment, ideas and enthusiasm.  In either case, you must know your current financial status and future requirements.  You must also identify those skills and experiences that will contribute to the success of your business.

Once you are prepared financially, physically and emotionally to purchase a business, you begin by selecting a CABB business broker to assist you in your business acquisition.

Based on the type of business and industry in which you are interested, select the name(s) of brokers from the list found on the CABB website.  Simply click on "Find a Broker."  Match the brokers skills with your needs.  Call to make an appointment with the broker(s).  All CABB members licensed by the California Department of Real Estate and specialize in all facets of business opportunity transfers, including lease negotiations and real property transfers.

When you meet with the broker you will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement stating that you will not disclose any information that the broker shares with you about the business.  This allows the broker to share information that otherwise would be kept confidential.

At some point you will tour the business, have an opportunity to speak with the seller and ask questions about the business.  At this time you will become aware of the positive and the negative aspects of the business.  No business is perfect and no business will match all of your criteria.  You will have to select those criteria that mesh most closely with your parameters.  After you become the owner of the business you will use your skills, talents and knowledge to grow and enhance the business.  If you wait for perfection, the dream of business ownership will remain only a dream and never be realized.

Now that you have seen the business that interests you and spoken with its owner, you may decide to move forward on the purchase of the business.  One responsibility of your broker is to facilitate the process of the purchase.  Your broker will help you work with the landlord for the lease assignment, obtain a tax ID number, licenses and permits, and complete the escrow process.  Your broker will help insure that the transfer of the business opportunity is as smooth as possible so you can start down the road to the "American Dream."

CABB Members are required to abide by a strict [Code of Ethics](links to code of ethics).