How to Buy a Business with No Money – A Step-By-Step Guide

Embark on a transformative journey into entrepreneurship with our guide on “How to Buy a Business with No Money.” Explore innovative approaches, strategic insights, and unconventional financing methods that empower aspiring business owners to overcome financial barriers. From harnessing seller financing to navigating creative acquisition structures, this resource provides a comprehensive roadmap, turning the dream of business ownership into a tangible reality, even for those starting with minimal capital.

How to Buy a Business with No Money

Here Are Some Steps on How to Buy a Business with No Money:

Find an Accessible Business Idea:

Commencing a new business begins with idea development. For aspiring entrepreneurs without personal savings, explore six no-money-needed business ideas, providing a practical starting point for your entrepreneurial journey.

Try Dropshipping:

Dropshipping, an ideal model for budget-conscious entrepreneurs, requires minimal investment. With no need to stock inventory, you only pay vendors when products sell. Zaid Shahatit, the founder of Lighthouse, shares his journey into entrepreneurship with dropshipping, emphasizing the importance of marketing trends and utilizing organic tactics like SEO to connect with customers.

Start a Service-Based Business:

Are you launching a business sans capital? Sell your services. Identify skills you excel at, leveraging your experience, knowledge, and resources. Kei Nishida, owner of Japanese Green Tea Co., suggests beginning with what you possess and turning your expertise into a valuable starting point for your venture.

Package your skills and resources into a service business, such as:

  • Freelance writing
  • Virtual assistant services
  • Social media marketing
  • Handyman services
  • House cleaning
  • Dog Walking
  • Personal shopping
  • Bookkeeping services

Start a Print-On-Demand Business:

Lack of upfront cash for inventory investment? Explore a print-on-demand business where products like tote bags and t-shirts are private-labeled and sold per order. Katherine Liibert, the co-founder of #muhoov, shares their $0 startup journey with print-on-demand, echoing minimal costs and no storage expenses—a compelling option for commencing a business on a tight budget.

Sell Handcrafted Goods:

Would you prefer a more hands-on approach to starting a small business? Turn your hobby into a side hustle by selling handcrafted goods through your online store or marketplaces like Etsy. Things to make and sell can include:

  • Artwork
  • Crafts
  • Jewellery
  • Skincare
  • Woodworking projects

Handmade Clothing:

Katrina Bell successfully launched The Copper Bell with a no-money approach, opting for candles due to its straightforward business model. Emphasizing reinvestment, co-founder Francois Mathieu of Hojicha Co. shares a growth strategy focused on profit channeling into inventory and advertising. Katrina’s candle venture, born amid the pandemic, now flourishes in a dedicated commercial space.

Sell Digital Products:

You can create and sell digital products with just an internet connection, making them a superb way to start an online business with no money. Start by identifying an area where you have more knowledge than the average person. Package your ideas into a digital product, such as:

  • Ebooks
  • Online courses
  • Worksheets or templates
  • Photography presets

The beauty of digital products is that they’re scalable. Create them once and sell them multiple times on Shopify using the Digital Downloads app. It’s no wonder many entrepreneurs use digital products to make passive income.

Become a Social Media Influencer:

To become an influencer, build your social media presence on a popular platform like Instagram or TikTok. Once you have created an account with as few as 1,000 followers, explore these opportunities to make money with no upfront investment.

  • Affiliate marketing. Promote products from your favorite brands and earn a commission when your followers buy them.
  • Sponsored content. Get paid to partner with brands who want access to your audience.
  • Selling merchandise. Add your brand name, logo, or catchphrase to inventory and sell it using print-on-demand.

Creator Emma Chamberlain started posting videos on YouTube in 2017 and has a massive following. She launched her first direct-to-consumer business, Chamberlain Coffee, to monetize her internet fame just two years later.

How to Buy a Business with No Money:

Let the essence of this guide resonate: commencing a business doesn’t demand initial capital. Numerous entrepreneurs have built thriving ventures from the ground up, often without external funding. A compelling idea, unwavering commitment, and entrepreneurial zeal can propel you further than you imagine.

How Can I Buy an Online Business with No Money Down?

Buying a business with little to no money is possible, though it requires creativity and understanding of leveraging and combining the various options.

Seller Financing:

One direct approach to financing a business is through the seller or owner financing, where the seller acts as the lender and agrees to sell the company in exchange for payments over a defined period or based on performance—known as earnouts. While most sellers prioritize upfront cash, financing is an option, especially for larger businesses, declining or unprofitable ventures, those that benefit from performance-based pricing, and when tax advantages make annual payments preferable. If seller financing isn’t viable, what alternative financing options exist?

Business Acquisition and Bank Loans:

Your eligibility for small business and bank loans depends on your location globally. Small Business Administration (SBA) loans are available in the US for purchasing businesses or franchises. Traditional companies find more favor in securing funding through these methods than online businesses. Online ventures face challenges due to the absence of a physical location for collateral, making them perceived as riskier. However, with increasing acceptance and recognition, funding for online businesses may become more prevalent.

Participating with Other Investors in a Deal:

The emergence of Amazon FBA aggregators, investment-backed entities specializing in acquiring and running Amazon FBA businesses, has become prominent in recent years. While potentially lucrative when executed effectively, this operational model is notably more intricate than funding a single company, demanding the expertise of specialized teams to oversee a portfolio of businesses.

Also Read: How Long Does It Take to Get a Business Degree? Ultimate Guide


What is the most accessible business to start with no money?

Launching a business without capital is simplified through dropshipping, where you only pay for inventory upon customer purchase. No warehousing fees or hefty manufacturing costs are involved. Plus, being an online venture, you can earn money from the comfort of your home.

What business can I start without capital?

Discover print on demand—an online business with no capital needed. Design custom graphics using free tools and leverage services like Printful for merchandise integration. Pay manufacturing costs only upon customer orders. Explore other no-upfront-capital options like social media marketing consulting, freelance writing, or starting a service business.

How much does it cost to start a business?

Business startup costs vary based on the type chosen. Some demand significant upfront funds for retail space, while others only need an internet connection. Launching a business with no money is feasible through models like dropshipping, print-on-demand, and digital product sales.

How do you buy a business when you’re broke?

Acquiring a business with limited funds involves exploring creative financing options. Consider strategies such as seller financing, utilizing the seller’s resources, or negotiating deals with minimal upfront payments.

How do I buy a business that is already established?

Purchasing an established business requires thorough due diligence. Conduct financial assessments, market analysis, and legal reviews. Engage in negotiations, possibly with a business broker’s assistance, and explore financing options like bank loans or Small Business Administration (SBA) loans.


In the dynamic landscape of entrepreneurship, mastering the art of buying a business with no money demands creativity and strategic acumen. From delving into inventive financing methods like seller financing to embracing low-capital models such as dropshipping or print on demand, the pursuit is a testament to innovation. While traditional capital may be absent, the journey to business ownership, enriched with insights on how to buy a business with no money, showcases that determination and ingenuity can transform entrepreneurial dreams into thriving realities.

Ray Austin

Ray Austin, seasoned entrepreneur and business blogger, shares valuable insights on startups, leadership, and navigating the business landscape. Join him on the journey to success through practical advice and a fresh perspective on modern commerce.