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Starting A Business Vs. Buying An Existing Business

Both starting and buying a business have their merits and challenges, and the decision depends on various factors, including individual preferences, risk tolerance, available resources, and market conditions.

This article explores the advantages and disadvantages of both options to help entrepreneurs make an informed decision and set themselves on the path to success.

Advantages of Buying An Existing Business

Existing Infrastructure and Customer Base

Purchasing a business grants immediate access to an established infrastructure, including facilities, equipment, and systems. It also comes with an existing customer base, which may lead to immediate revenue generation.

Proven Business Model

Established businesses usually have a proven business model that has been tested in the market. This reduces the risk of trial and error commonly associated with new ventures.

Brand and Reputation

An existing business often has a recognized brand and reputation in the market. Acquiring such a business means inheriting the trust and goodwill already built.

Experienced Employees

Buying a business typically comes with trained and experienced employees, reducing the need to recruit and train new staff.

Faster Entry to Market

Acquiring an existing business allows entrepreneurs to bypass the time-consuming process of setting up a new venture, enabling them to enter the market faster.

Disadvantages of Buying An Existing Business

Higher Initial Investment

Purchasing a business can require a significant upfront investment, especially for well-established and profitable enterprises.

Hidden Issues

Not all aspects of a business may be transparent during the purchase process, and some underlying issues may emerge after the acquisition.

Legacy Problems

Acquiring a business means taking over its liabilities and past decisions, which may include unresolved legal issues or debt.

Cultural Fit

Aligning with an existing business’s culture and values can be challenging for new owners and may require a period of adjustment.

Limited Scope for Innovation

Some entrepreneurs may find that an established business restricts their ability to introduce new ideas and innovations.

Advantages of Starting A Business

Creative Control

Starting a business from scratch provides entrepreneurs with full creative control over their vision and strategy.

Flexibility and Adaptability

Entrepreneurs can quickly respond to market changes and customer demands without the constraints of an existing business model.

Personal Branding

Building a new business allows entrepreneurs to establish and cultivate their personal brand, which can be a powerful asset in the long run.

Lower Initial Investment

Starting a new venture can be more cost-effective than purchasing an existing business, especially in the early stages.

Easier to Implement Changes

With no pre-existing processes or structures, entrepreneurs can easily implement changes and improvements as needed.

Disadvantages of Starting A Business

High Failure Rate

New businesses face a higher risk of failure, especially during the initial years. This may be discomforting to business owners who may not have prepared well in the development of the business model and the associated funding.

An August 2022 data from the ABS, which postulated that only 77 per cent of new sole-trader businesses make it past their one-year anniversary, and 43 per cent are still running after four years.


Building a business from scratch requires time and effort, and success may not be immediate.

Market Uncertainty

New ventures may face uncertainties and challenges in understanding their target market and gaining traction.

Brand Recognition

Building brand recognition and trust takes time and effort, and it may be challenging to compete with established businesses initially.

Lack of Immediate Revenue

A new business may take time to generate revenue, which can put financial strain on the entrepreneur.

Buying an existing business can provide immediate access to an established infrastructure, customer base, and proven business model. Starting a new business offers creative control, flexibility, and the potential for personal branding.

Ultimately, both options require effective business administration and management as they play a critical role in ensuring the venture’s viability and growth. Entrepreneurs should focus on thorough market research, financial planning, and a solid business strategy to increase the chances of success.

Moreover, seeking professional advice and guidance from experienced business advisors or consultants can prove invaluable in making informed decisions and navigating the complexities of running a business.

DISCLAIMER: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute official business advice. AVANTE PARTNERS has no relationships with any business management or acquisitions support service.


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