Reasons for rejection and what to do about them
Last updated: September 13th, 2023
If you submit your listing and we reject it, don't give up.
Some rejections are easily overcome, while others you can fix with a little work or time.
We don't list every startup that's submitted because not every listing will excite buyers, leading to a poor experience for you and them.
You rely on us to help you get Acquire'd, and buyers rely on us to provide high-quality listings every time. To do that, we can only list business that:
- Have a secure SSL-certifiable website that explains the product well.
- Is currently operating and generating revenue (with few exceptions for SaaS)
- Can justify price multiples using market data like our multiples report.
You can easily solve most of these issues by completing our pre-approval process. Fill in a few essential details and we’ll tell you in 24 hours if your startup is a good fit for the marketplace. We’ll even provide you with a recommended asking price based on 100s of closed acquisitions.
If your pre-approval is rejected, check your email for details from our curation team. To learn more about why we might reject your pre-approval or listing, review the list below.
Your asking price is unrealistic
Valuing your business objectively can be difficult if you've grown attached to it after years of building. However, it helps to think of your asking price as a buyer might. That means using the right valuation methodology and accounting for market conditions.
Our curation team has its fingers on the market and knows which asking prices are too high (and too low). If we think you won't get any buyer interest with your asking price, we'll tell you, and won't list your startup until you've figured out a more realistic number.
Check out the resources below to set a realistic asking price and then re-submit your listing:
- How to set your asking price
- How to value your business
- Acquire biannual multiple reports
- How to increase the value of your business
Your customer success manager (CSM) can also help you set a realistic asking price using data from past acquisitions on Acquire.com. Learn more
Your business doesn't generate any revenue
We don't tend to list pre-revenue startups. We occasionally list exceptional pre-revenue SaaS businesses, but generally, pre-revenue startups don't excite buyers.
Your technology, brand, or social media handle might be worth something to someone. But unless you can prove value with facts and figures, you're unlikely to generate as much buzz as a similar business that makes revenue and profit.
If you want to list your business on Acquire.com, we recommend:
- Finding a market for your product or service
- Acquiring some paying customers
- Growing until at least $25k in TTM revenue
Let us know when you're making money and we'll be happy to list your business. That way, we can all but guarantee you'll find a buyer interested in acquiring it.
To list a pre-revenue SaaS business, it must have an asking price of under $25,000. The product must be helpful, interesting, niche, or have many active users along with an active and secure website.
We can't verify you or your business
We ask you to verify your ID and add your LinkedIn account so buyers can trust you are who you say you are. If they don't see that verified ID badge on your profile, they're unlikely to do business with you. Likewise, your listing details should also be independently verifiable.
If your domain is incorrect, its certificate is out of date, or your website appears to belong to a different business, we can’t list your startup until you’ve resolved those issues.
Your ownership of any business must also be indisputable, your product, service, or offering unambiguous, and most importantly, live. "Coming soon" startups aren't the right fit.
You'll hear from us if we spot anything unusual in your listing. You can then resolve the issue or clarify the situation so our curation team feels confident about listing your business.
Your startup isn't a good fit for the marketplace
You can list the following business types on Acquire.com:
- Content sites
We don't list any business in the gambling, weapons, or adult entertainment industry, no matter how big or profitable.
We also don't list brick-and-mortar businesses, franchise opportunities, or MLM commission systems. We also don't list companies seeking investments or partial acquisitions or qualify startups with broken websites or non-operational app store links.
Sometimes your business might be in an acceptable category but we reject it based on one of the other reasons on this list.
You'll always get a reason for the rejection, and you can contact us to discuss your listing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Still need help?
Please search the help center again or contact us at email@example.com.