Sales of small businesses have increased this year compared to last, according BizBuySell, which runs a large online business-for-sale marketplace.

The firm said business-for-sale transactions on its platform increased 2.8 percent in the third quarter of this fiscal year, compared to the same period in 2011.

Business sales on BizBuySell’s online platform have increased this year, as as has the median cashflow of small businesses. (Ty Wright/BLOOMBERG)

Small business health has also generally improved, according to the firm – businesses listed on BizBuySell had a median cashflow of $98,172 in the third quarterof 2012, representing an improvement from the $96,000 during the same period last year. This is the third straight quarter in 2012 that median cash flows have improved from the previous quarter.

The median asking price for businesses on BizBuySell has also increased — in the third quarter it was $239,000, increasing from $235,000 median asking price a year ago.

About 45 percent of the businesses sold in the third quarter were in the service sector, 28 percent in retail, 15 percent in restaurants, and 5 percent in manufacturing.

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