Why buying a business is a great investment

Owning a business is a good investment. There is the potential to make a much higher return on your money and to spread your financial risk. You also get to become involved in something you're passionate about, and to be part of growing our economy.

With current interest rates at around 5 - 6 percent, money is still realitively cheap to borrow, but has taken the shine off property investment. This coupled with residential property demand slowing, has created lower short-term returns and a focuse on other investment options.

New Zealanders have always had an active interest in property ownership and renovation, investment and trading. This, unfortunately, has done very little for our economy, and has added to the fire and made home ownership less affordable for many. Our housing has now become a national issue, and the NZ government has taken steps to slow this down, implementing tools to tax this activity (recently NZ has removed tax deductibility on interest costs and an extended bright-line test).

With bank returns still low, investors are seeking other options and investing in shares is one of them. More recently we have seen a shift in accessing shares, with digital platforms such as “Sharesies” reducing barriers and making share investment easier and more mainstream. Another option for investing your money is to buy a business. Buying a business can be very profitable and can be a great option with returns several times that of owning an investment property. Of course, with greater returns comes greater risk.

3 Reasons owning a business is a sound investment:

1. Personal fulfilment

Personal fulfilment and the freedom to work when and how you want are among the very attractive benefits of owning a business. Owning (and potentially running) a business will take some skill and serious effort. At the same time you are creating a legacy and building your business. It can also be hugely rewarding if it’s something you really believe in and are passionate about.

2. Financial gain

Returns can be several times that of owning an investment property. And you get to decide where the profits go. Then when you sell there is no tax on the intangible asset component.

3. Creating opportunities

As well as becoming self-employed, you get to employ others and contribute to society and the economy. As you grow your business both you and others benefit.

In a business, you will need to be involved. If you have a business manager it’s likely to be a more costly business acquisition and will still need to have some input. With smaller investments you are likely to be working in the business, and will be busy with operations, sales and marketing, and staff. This then becomes a “job” plus an “investment”. As with any investment, it is imperative that you do your homework and purchase a business that will work well for you.

A property investment is a more passive option that generally requires less skill and risk, and provides a lesser return. A well-run business has more potential - it better supports the economy, provides employment opportunities - and can provide investors with pre-tax returns up to several times higher than property investment.

If you were looking to invest $750,000, a small business costing $750,000 might well return $200,000 to $250,000 pa before tax. A similar residential property could return around $37,500 pa (after expenses and before tax). A business may also be scalable and can grow, adding further to the value of your investment.

There are many reasons investing in a small business is a good idea. If you are after higher returns and a more diverse investment portfolio, buying a business can be a great investment when compared to investing in property. Make sure you do your homework, understand the numbers, and enjoy exploring the possibilities.

For more information on finding the right business to invest in visit:
NZ Businesses for Sale and subscribe to our free buyer bulletins and newsletters.

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