Buying an existing business is much safer than starting one from scratch.
You can usually expect:
Seller help with transition.
Proven track record.
Immediate cash flow.
You still have to come up with significant cash. Sellers will usually finance between 50% and 65%. If they’re not willing to do that, walk away. The business probably isn’t worth as much as they say it is.
Buying an existing business as a cooperative could mean that only the management team is a cooperative while the rest of the workers remain regular employees. It could then later be converted to a cooperative where all the workers are also owners. You can do it any way you want.