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BUYER'S GUIDE

How to find a Business Broker and Professional Advisor that is right for you

The right professional advisor can help you find the business that you are looking for. Many buyers when searching for a business for sale turn to their accountant and attorney for advice. Although your accountant or attorney may have experience dealing with various types of business, there are not professionals in helping you find a business for sale. You should consult your accountant and attorney before the purchase, but don't rely on them to find you a business. Ask them to refer you to a business broker as you will need one for the following reasons:

  • A broker will ask you lots of questions and know exactly what you're looking for. He or she may even be able to help you decide what kind of business might be best for you to purchase, given your resources, abilities, and interests. A business broker matches buyers and sellers.
  • A broker helps to facilitate the negotiating process. Since buying a business is at least as emotionally charged as buying a home, you will benefit greatly from a third party who can handle all aspects of the transaction. A broker can speak more candidly to each party involved in the transaction than they could manage on their own.
  • A broker helps to untangle any red tape. An experienced broker will know the most efficient way to acquire all the necessary permits and licenses and will know how to locate financing and a reputable escrow company. This helps to eliminate many potential risks to you.

Finding a good business broker is not an easy task. There are many people who call themselves brokers, but they are in fact real estate sales people who sell real estate as well as sell businesses in addition to their real estate activities. If you want specialist help, it is always best to look for a specialist business broker. Many are listed in the Yellow Pages and others advertise businesses for sale in newspapers and on the Internet. The key is to look for a business broker who has listed and sold businesses in the industry or industries that you are interested in.

You need to look for the following in your search for a business broker that is right for you:

  1. Experience - The broker must be experienced with at least two or three year's full-time work behind him in the industry.
  2. Education - A good business broker should have a sound knowledge of finances and preferably have accounting qualifications.
  3. Specialize - The broker must specialize in businesses and not be involved in real estate or commercial property.
  4. Credentials - The broker must be licensed or approved to sell businesses under the regulations in your state.
  5. Facilities - The broker should have office facilities available for meetings and to which you are able to direct inquiries by telephone when necessary.
  6. Be available - The broker must be available by phone, even if it is just his mobile, so that you can clear queries that arise immediately.
  7. Alive - The broker should have sufficient energy to be able to give the time to help find your business quickly. In this regard age will come into it because on the one end a broker that is young will not have the experience or maturity to handle the assignment properly, and a broker that is too old will not have the stamina or the energy to do the job quickly.
  8. Easy to get along with - Your broker must be someone that you believe you can put your trust in because you will be working with him or her quite closely in the future. He or she must have credibility and bring across to you a sense that you can rely on him or her to secure a good business at the best price in the shortest amount of time.

Finding a good business broker is difficult, but you definitely need one to help you in your business search. If your accountant or attorney cannot refer you to a business broker that is "right" for you, ask your banker or other advisors for a referral. Your family and friends are also excellent resources.

You can search over 2,500 business brokers and agents in our Business Broker Directory.

Click here to search our Business For Sale Listings.

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