Does anyone know of websites/forums that would list bakeries/cake shops and related businesses for sale?
I think your best bet would be to contact a local realtor that specializes in selling or leasing commercial properties. Lots of times they represent clients who are looking to sell a business intact, including equipment etc. or they will be representing a client who wants to rent their commercial kitchen. When I started looking at getting serious w/ my baking, this is what I did.
I would consult a few local real estate agencies that work with Commercial listings. It's quite possible they have a list of interested buyers looking to get notified if something popped up. I'm on list....so far....2 years and nothing in my area. Wish I was closer....always looking for a bigger, better space.
I've done a bit of research on this myself, as I am prepping to sell my shop. If you google little phrases like "cake shop for sale" or bakery for sale", things will pop up. I've found a few listings for shops all around the country; some are selling by owner, and some are listed by brokerage companies on several different sites.
In addition, I've found that some brokerages share info with each other, as far as listings and prospective buyers, and some do not. As it was explained to me, there's not an "MLS" that all brokers have access to, like when you're buying a home, and all realtors have access to the same info on the homes that are on the market.
I'm sure a lot of folks sell their own business, maybe with a bit of assistance from their cpa and lawyer, because the broker's cut is so high. (I haven't found anyone that works for less than 10-15% of the sale price, OUCH!)
For my business, I feel that I NEED a broker, cuz I don't know what I'm doing, and I have enough to do on a daily basis! Also, and mainly, I need to be very discreet. The last thing I want to do is cause damage to my business if my contracted brides and other long-time customers go into a panic. It's a very personal thing to people, when you are taking care of their wedding cakes, especially. And my main concern is that the new owner will fulfill the contracts that have been secured, so that will be addressed up front, and they will be legally bound to do so.
Anyway, if you are looking for retail space in which to start your own business from the ground up, start making calls! Any of these companies that own or manage retail space are dying to get renters in to their spaces! When I was looking for retail space for a start-up, I was told that no one would bother with me, as far as doing footwork for me to find what I required, because I was small potatoes. I'm sorry I listened because I probably could have spent a LOT less on buildout if I found a place that already had more essentials in place.
If you are looking for a business already up and running, I'd say call some commercial brokers, and get on their list! You may have to prove that you qualify to buy a particular business before they bother to set up a meeting with the seller, because no one wants to waste time if there's no way the buyer could acquire the funding required for said business.
Feel like I'm going on and on here! Anyway, regardless of what you need, get the word out there! That's what I'm trying to say!
RBA? Retail Bakers Association
There is an advanced search area place where you can say you are looking for businesses for sale.
You do have to sign up, and they will then call you and try to get you to sign up for deluxe searching instead of the free version, but you could accidentally transpose the digits in your phone number or just keep saying no. You don't need it.
I'm very happy I had a realtor to help me, but I found a lot of places to look at and I saw the place I got before he did. He helped negotiate the deal for the place I did get and helped me evaluate which ones were good values and which were not as I was looking. He helped with zoning questions and that kind of thing as well. A realtor costs nothing--the seller pays, so it is worth it if you can find one you like who will work with you.