If you are going into business for yourself, you have no doubt given at least some consideration to buying an existing business. It is a possibility you should not overlook, since doing so can have some considerable advantages over starting a new business from scratch. One of the main advantages, of course, is that buying an already functioning business gives you a chance to start out with an established customer base, which might otherwise take you several years to create. Another is that it is sometimes possible to have the seller stay on as an employee or consultant for a transitional period, to help familiarize you, the new owner, with the operation of the business.