E-business: No biz, like Byabiz aims to provide an online market place for buying and selling businesses without paying broking fees. Instead, sellers will pay a fixed rate based on the size of entry on the website.

The service is aimed at insolvency practitioners, business brokers, accountants and lawyers and its backers hope to bypass traditional market places which they claim can be expensive and difficult to access.

The site also offers accredited financial information so that buyers can assess their potential purchase.

The site has been set up by James Meek, a former manager in the music industry, who was previously a director of a legal staffing agency.

The finance director is Elaine Bradley-Littlefield, head of tax at US law firm Dorsey & Whitney. John Byrne, commercial director, is also a partner with Dorsey & Whitney.

The site has been live for seven weeks and currently has over 400 businesses on the books. The sale price of the businesses range from £15,000 to over £1m.

As the site acts as a neutral notice board, there are no firm figures on successful sales, but, according to Meek feedback has been very positive.

‘During August we had over 32,000 unique hits on the site, including many from overseas.’ Meek is currently in talks to set up similar services in Australia and the US.

Broking fees, depending on the service offered, can range from 3% to 6% of the sale price. By removing the broker, potential sellers are only charged a flat rate on advertising the business, potentially saving a significant amount on any deal.

The site’s ‘user scheme’ will probably encourage a number of brokers to use the service. Byabiz intends to reward those who place businesses-for-sale notices on the site on a frequent basis, by giving them an economic interest in the success of Byabiz.

If Byabiz is sold within five years, whether by way of a share sale or an asset sale, 2.5% of the net sale proceeds will be distributed to the 25 most frequent providers of notices on the site.

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