Working with a Business Broker

Considering making a major career move and buying a business? Or, perhaps you have already built up a successful business and feel it’s time to let someone else take the reins. Either way, the decision is a big one and it shouldn’t be undertaken lightly – or alone. As with any big decision, it’s wise to consult professionals with the experience to help you avoid potential pitfalls. In fact, it’s a decision that could even save you quite a bit of money.

Enter the business broker.

Sometimes called intermediaries, business brokers are (often) licensed professionals who help facilitate many of the moving parts of buying or selling a business. Their fees, in a majority of cases, are paid by the seller in the transaction, but both parties can benefit from the use of a business broker.

With the right experience, some of the areas business brokers can help buyers and sellers with include evaluating the price of a business, providing wide market exposure for the property being sold, guiding clients through the buying or selling process, and overseeing negotiations once a buyer is interested in a particular business.

When choosing a business broker, it’s important to ask several key questions, including:

  • How long have you been a business broker?
  • Do you have prior business experience?
  • Are you licensed? (Applied in 17 of the 50 United States.)
  • If licensing does not apply, what sort of training have you had to be a business broker?
  • What are the fees involved?
  • For sellers: how will you market my business?
  • How do you go about determining the value of a business?
  • Can I speak with former clients of yours to learn about their experience?

With these questions answered, you can proceed confidently in the sale or purchase of your business. By using a business broker, you’ll not only save money and time but avoid common mistakes often made by first-time business buyers and sellers.

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