What Is A Business Broker and What to do they do?

A business broker is a person who assists in the sale of a privately held small business. Business brokers will usually deal with companies with an enterprise value of up to $3 million. Companies with higher enterprise values will usually seek the assistance of a mid-market boutique investment bank.

  • Some brokers also charge retainers to cover their expenses incurred during the process of selling and refund them once the sale closes.
  • A disclosure document that provides information about an investment offering to the public, and that is required to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or local regulator.
  • In the UK, it is generally only business brokers specialised in the sale of accountancy practices who operate as transaction brokers.
  • They will discuss the listing of interest, answer questions and see if you may be a good fit to purchase the business.
  • The value of a business enterprise that is expected to continue to operate into the future.

There are, of course, certain basic kinds of information that any buyer or seller should obtain when shopping for a business broker. “When you’re looking for a broker to help you buy or sell a business, ask about the broker’s level of experience and pursuit of continuing education,” counseled Nation’s Business. For example, a broker’s record of sales as a proportion of total listings can provide significant insight into his or her abilities. Brokers who are unable to deliver sales on more than 50% of listings on the market for six months to a year should probably be avoided.

Often includes a detailed review of accounting history and practices, operating practices, customer and supplier references, management references and market reviews. Book Value of a company is the difference between a company’s total assets and liabilities. Book Value of an asset is the value at which the asset is carried on a balance sheet, calculated by subtracting its accumulated depreciation from the the original cost of the asset. They have specialized knowledge of many aspects of a transaction to help with a smooth sale process, including business valuation, negotiation with prospective buyers, and the due diligence process. We represent sellers of companies with annual revenues between $700,000 and $70 million in industries including manufacturing, construction, distribution, healthcare, and technology. We can advise you about the things that make your business particularly attractive to buyers and the red flags you want to be careful to avoid.


From helping you acquire a business and merge it with yours to helping you sell your business as you seek to enter retirement. Whatever your personal needs in business transactions from buying to selling, a business brokerage can make sure one of the biggest sales of your life is the most effective. A business broker is typically a firm that mediates in the sale and purchase of companies. It provides a helping hand to those who want to buy or sell their business.

The minimum rate of return acceptable by investors before they will commit money to an investment at a given level of risk. Total assets minus total liabilities, as reflected by the balance sheet. An ownership interest less than 50 percent of the voting interest in a business enterprise. An ownership interest greater than 50% of the voting interest in a business enterprise.

A business broker who shares services, responsibility and compensation on behalf of a client. Any divisor (usually expressed as a percentage) used to convert anticipated economic business broker definition benefits of a single period into a value. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on intermediaries who represent sellers of businesses worth less than $25 million.

Net Earnings

The expected rate of return that the market requires in order to attract funds to a particular investment. The closing entails execution of all necessary legal documents and funding to consummate the transaction. Investment assets that can be quickly converted into cash, typically within 3 months. The degree of uncertainty of realizing expected future returns of a business resulting from factors other than financial leverage.

This means that unlike many larger brokers they carry no inventory of shares, but act as agents for their clients to get the best trade executions. A financial statement that is one of the three important financial statements used for reporting a company’s financial performance, with the other two key statements being the income statement and the statement of cash flows. The balance sheet is a statement of the financial status of the business on a certain date. It is a financial statement that provides a snapshot of what a company owns and owes, as well as the amount invested by its shareholders. Brokers play a crucial role in the process of selling an online business because they provided advice, guidance and other resources that might be necessary to make a transaction happen.

EBT (Earnings before Taxes)

Depending on the type of license, the broker will even be allowed to advise the investor on financial matters. As they have evolved, the brokerages have added tiered services at premium prices. Fierce competition on the web and, later, on phone apps, have led most competitors to drop their fees to zero for basic stock trading services.

Accrual Basis Accounting

Currently, there are 17 states requiring business brokers to be licensed by their state’s real estate commission. All states require a real estate license if the business broker is handling real estate along with the sale of the business entity. However, the majority of small to medium size businesses are in leased locations with no real property as part of the sale. With respect to a specific asset, the capitalized cost less accumulated amortization or depreciation as it appears on the books of account of the business enterprise. A process whereby management of a company acquires all or some of the ownership of the company they manage either independently or in partnership with a private equity fund/group (PEG).

By contrast, business brokers typically specialize in smaller, main street companies. These businesses are usually valued below $2 million and in many cases, are owned by individuals or families who work there full-time. As Susan Pravda and Gabor Garai observed in Mergers and Acquisitions, the process of securing an agreement typically is a multi-faceted one. Once a business broker brings an interested buyer and seller together, he or she often attempts to set a target date for completion of the transaction. This is usually accomplished by means of a letter of intent in which the buyer and seller agree to move toward a deal. The importance of the letter of intent is that it serves as a framework around which to structure negotiations.

Business Brokers specialize in selling businesses, while real estate agents sell real estate. Quality intermediaries know how to sell businesses and will not shy away from giving sellers accurate expectations, such as how long it will take to sell, or what price they think a business could sell for. The principal value of a business broker is to act as a buffer
between the buyer and the seller.

Firms with an annual revenue in the range of $5 million to $50 million are grouped under the lower middle market category. Occurs when the buyer assumes all of the rights and obligations of a debt currently in the name of the seller. The degree of uncertainty of realizing expected future returns of the business resulting from financial leverage. In a family succession or retirement transition, ownership transfers from current owners to other family members. Facilitators are particularly sensitive to estate planning issues, family business dynamics and the need for discretion and trust to makes these transaction seamless and successful.

Full-service brokers tend to use their role as a brokerage as an ancillary service available to high-net-worth clients along with many other services such as retirement planning or asset management. Examples of a full-service broker might include offerings from a company such as Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, or even Bank of America Merrill Lynch. A broker is an individual or firm that acts as an intermediary between an investor and a securities exchange. Because securities exchanges only accept orders from individuals or firms who are members of that exchange, individual traders and investors need the services of exchange members. Brokers typically work on a commission basis — generally the commission is 10% of the sales price of the business (note this can vary) — this commission is typically paid by the seller (as it is in the real estate arena). The quality of earnings refers to the proportion of income attributable to the core operating activities of a business.

Main Street intermediaries often have listing agreements for six months to a year, because it takes a shorter amount of time to sell a smaller business. Experienced brokers have completed many deals and have pre-made legal documents available, as well as relationships with professionals such as transaction attorneys and accountants. Business brokers have a number of National, Regional and local Associations in the United States that provide education, regulatory and annual conferences for its members.

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