Selling a business is a complex and often contradictory process. For example, sellers normally don’t want customers, employees, landlords, suppliers, sometimes immediate family and others to know the business is for sale in case it damages the business. Yet they need everyone else to know it’s for sale so they can get the highest price possible.

Here are 8 reasons why a business does not sell:

1. The seller starts off thinking he is serious about selling but gets into the process and sees how difficult it can be and then changes his mind.

2. The seller fears having nothing to do after the sale and changes his mind. Going to work and running the business provides structure and familiarity. Once the business sells, that will go away and so fear stops the seller from moving forward.

3. Receiving few or no offers after listing the business for sale. The seller thinks he may not get what the business is worth and removes it from sale.

4. The next phase of life the seller had planned, such as going back to school or looking after the grandkids, suddenly seems less appealing than continuing with the business.

5. The seller thought he had the best business in the world and would receive all cash. When that doesn’t happen, he decides not to sell.

6. Due diligence disclosed an environmental, government or legal issue outside the risk tolerance of the buyer.

7. The seller wants too much for the business and isn’t willing to accept what the market is willing to pay.

8. The seller cannot provide the necessary books and records to support income, expenses and profit.

Do you have other reasons you can add to the above list? Please email your ideas to If you would like more information about selling your business, visit my website; and order a copy of my book Successfully Sell Your Business: Expert Advice from a Business Broker.

Author's Bio: 

Andrew is a 5-time business owner and his expertise includes helping owners sell and/or buyers purchase a business, new entrepreneurs buy a franchise, certified machinery and equipment appraisals and business valuations. His credentials include the CBI designation from the IBBA and the CBB from the CABB. Andrew is also a published author on four books on buying or selling a business available at Amazon.