What happens to cash when buying a business


3 crucial examples of what happens to cash when selling a business


Selling a business can be a complex process, and one important question that frequently arises is, "What happens to the cash when selling a business?" The answer to this question isn't straightforward and varies depending on various factors, including the type of business being sold. In this article, we will explore three essential scenarios that illuminate what typically transpires with the cash when selling a business. Understanding these scenarios can assist both buyers and sellers in navigating the intricacies of the transaction and making informed decisions. Let's delve into the fate of cash in different business sale scenarios.


Example 1: What happens to cash when buying a Distribution business


A distribution business is a type of company that operates in the supply chain, acting as an intermediary between manufacturers or suppliers and retailers or end customers. Its primary function is to distribute goods from the source to the final destination, ensuring that products reach the intended market efficiently.


Distribution businesses typically purchase goods in bulk from manufacturers or suppliers and then sell and deliver them to retailers or directly to consumers. They play a crucial role in managing inventory, logistics, and transportation to ensure the timely and smooth flow of products.


These businesses may specialize in various industries, such as food and beverage distribution, pharmaceutical distribution, electronics distribution, or wholesale distribution of various consumer goods. The size of distribution businesses can vary significantly, ranging from small regional operations to large-scale national or international enterprises.


In summary, distribution businesses act as intermediaries in the supply chain, facilitating the movement of products from manufacturers to retailers or end customers. They play a vital role in ensuring the availability and accessibility of goods in the market.


In a distribution business, cash customers are common, and various billing methods may be employed, such as immediate payment, end-of-week settlement, or bill-to-bill arrangements. If the business has customers with outstanding balances, there could be a significant amount of cash involved. The question arises: who keeps this cash? It is essential to decide whether to continue the existing billing setup or create a new one. If you choose to maintain the current arrangement, you will have to reimburse the previous owner for every dollar owed by the customers.



1. Continuity in the billing system can retain customer loyalty.

2. The value of the business should not depend on the cash on hand.

3. Customers are not bothered by the old owner chasing after outstanding balances.



1. Customers may stop paying their debts.

2. Customers can return inventory purchased from the old owner, resulting in the need for refunds or credits.


Example 2: What happens to cash when buying a Retail business


A retail business is an establishment that sells goods or services directly to consumers for personal use. Retail businesses are the most common type of businesses that people interact with on a day-to-day basis. These businesses can take various forms, including physical stores, online stores, or a combination of both.


In a physical retail store, customers visit a brick-and-mortar location to browse and purchase products. These stores can range from small boutique shops to large department stores or supermarkets. Retail businesses often specialize in specific product categories, such as clothing, electronics, home goods, groceries, or specialty items.


With the rise of e-commerce, online retail businesses have gained significant popularity. Online retailers operate exclusively on the internet, providing customers with the convenience of shopping from anywhere at any time. These businesses typically have a website or online platform where customers can view and purchase products, and they may offer shipping or delivery services.


Retail businesses play a critical role in the economy, serving as a link between manufacturers or wholesalers and end consumers. They provide a wide range of products and services, create employment opportunities, and contribute to local economies. The success of a retail business often depends on factors such as location, pricing, product selection, customer service, and marketing strategies.


Retail businesses, like clothing or grocery stores, handle both cash and credit card transactions. Typically, when acquiring such businesses, no cash is included in the deal, and all existing cash is transferred to the seller. However, the purchase of a retail business entails considerations beyond immediate cash on hand.


When acquiring a retail business, focus on the following:

1. Location of the business.

2. Gross revenue and net income.

3. Inventory.

4. Expenses.

5. Lease terms.



1. Motivates you to generate sales from the first day.

2. Maintaining a good relationship with the previous owner instead of squabbling over small amounts.

3. Acquiring a fully stocked inventory with its inherent value.



1. Using your own funds to start the day.

2. Potential liabilities that may arise.


Example 3: What happens to cash when buying a Online business


An online business, also known as an e-commerce business, operates primarily or exclusively on the internet. It conducts commercial activities, such as buying and selling products or services, through online platforms and websites. Online businesses have gained significant prominence with the growth of the internet and advancements in technology.


There are various types of online businesses, including:


Online Retailers: These businesses sell products directly to consumers through their e-commerce websites or online marketplaces. Customers can browse through product catalogs, make purchases, and have the products delivered to their doorstep.


Dropshipping Businesses: Dropshipping is a business model where the online retailer does not hold inventory. Instead, when a customer places an order, the retailer purchases the product from a third-party supplier who then ships it directly to the customer. The retailer acts as a middleman, handling the marketing and customer service aspects.


Service-Based Businesses: Online businesses can also offer services online, such as digital marketing agencies, freelance writing or design services, online consulting, or virtual tutoring. These businesses provide expertise or specialized services remotely through digital communication channels.


Software as a Service (SaaS): SaaS businesses provide software applications and services over the internet. Customers can access and use the software through a subscription or pay-as-you-go model, eliminating the need for physical installation or maintenance.


Online Marketplaces: These platforms connect buyers and sellers, facilitating transactions between them. Examples include platforms like Amazon, eBay, or Etsy, where individuals or businesses can sell their products to a broader customer base.


Online businesses offer several advantages, including the ability to reach a global customer base, lower overhead costs compared to brick-and-mortar stores, and flexibility in terms of working hours and location. However, they also face challenges such as online competition, cybersecurity risks, and the need for effective online marketing strategies to attract customers.


In an online business, transactions are conducted primarily through a website, and payments are made electronically via platforms like PayPal or Stripe. Unlike physical cash, the funds in an online business are typically visible through online accounts, and you may need to transfer ACH payments to a new account.



1. Online businesses generate revenue on a daily basis.

2. Online transactions eliminate the need for physical cash.

3. Minimal upfront investment required.



1. Your account may be empty at the start.

2. Transferring payment gateways and merchant accounts to your new business.

3. Initial pause on advertising until sufficient revenue is generated.


In conclusion, When purchasing a business, it is important to understandto what happens to cash when buying a business Some businesses may allow you to retain the cash, while others may not. Hiring a lawyer can help ensure a smooth transaction. Remember, when investing a significant amount of money in a business, every aspect, including the coins in the drawer, should be considered to maximize your investment.


Fun fact: Did you know realtors can sell businesses?



Disclaimer: The article provided is for informational purposes only and should not be pursued without obtaining the necessary approvals, and permits, and complying with state regulations. It is crucial to conduct thorough research and seek guidance from legal professionals, such as lawyers or business consultants, to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations specific to your area. The viability and legality of each business idea may vary depending on jurisdiction, licensing requirements, and other factors. We strongly advise consulting with professionals and relevant authorities before embarking on any business venture.


Business finance, By: Bizroutes ON 04 Apr, 2022