What Can We Do?
- Determine the True Value of Your Business
- Maintain Emotional Objectivity During Selling Process
- Evaluate Best Marketing Strategy
- Formulate a Successful Sale Structure
- Assistance Negotiating with Buyers
COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a business broker?
Much like a real estate broker, a business broker is a highly skilled and educated professional hired to assist a business owner in valuing and selling their company for top dollar in record time to a qualified buyer.
Can’t I use my CPA or lawyer to help me sell my business?
While your CPA and attorney may know certain aspects of your business intimately, there is one important aspect in which they are not familiar and which they do not have access to: current sales data and regular interaction with buyers. Lawyers are hired to navigate contractual aspects of your company. CPAs or hired to analyze financials with respect to federal tax liability. Neither of these professionals, as highly qualified as they are in their fields, are familiar with business buyers currently in the marketplace. They also do not have access to comparable business sales to use as a benchmark in valuing a business and presenting it in a marketable way to qualified buyers.
What size companies do business brokers typically work with?
In general, businesses are broken down into the following classifications. The most common are known as ‘main street businesses’ and are defined as companies with annual revenue of 5 million dollars and under. The second classification is mid-market, which is divided into three areas of its own. ‘Lower middle market’ companies with annual revenue of 5 million dollars to 50 million dollars. ‘Middle market companies’ with annual revenue of 50 million dollars to 500 million dollars. And upper middle Market companies with 500 million to 1 billion dollars in annual revenue. Most commonly business brokers work with companies in the main street and lower middle market segments. Specialty brokers and investment bankers typically work with middle market and upper Market companies.
How are business brokers paid?
Most commonly business brokers are paid a ‘success fee’ represented by a percentage of the sale price with a minimum and are paid from the proceeds of the sale. Success fee percentages differ from broker to broker. Business brokers also charge a flat fee for preparing written valuation reports and many times this flat fee is deducted from the success fee when the company sells.
As a business seller, what information do I need to provide to a business broker in order for them to value my company?
Most business brokers will request a copy of your income statement (P&L or profit and loss statement), balance sheet, and tax return for the past three years. They will also require an average value of any inventory, furniture, fixtures and equipment. You’ll also need to provide copies of your business location’s lease and details on any leased or financed equipment.
How long does it typically take for a business broker to provide a written valuation?
Depending on the size of your company, and the timeliness in which you provide the requested information, a business broker can normally provide a written valuation report within one week.
How long does it take to sell a business?
This depends greatly on the size and type of business. On average, a typical Main Street business can take up to one year to successfully sell. Main Street businesses which rely heavily on owner involvement in day to day operations, have a smaller pool of buyers in which to market making the sale cycle longer. Businesses with management personnel and other employees tend to sell quicker.
What do I do while the business is on the market for sale?
As the seller of a business, to continue working normally while the company is on the market. Income revenue and sales should not fluctuate while the business is being marketed for sale because it will negatively affect the value. Unfortunately, many business owners tend to take their foot of the pedal when they are ready to sell and revenue drops. This is something to remain keenly aware of and work diligently to avoid.
What is the most valuable service a business broker provides?
The most valuable business brokerage service is that of confidentiality. A business seller does not want his customers, employees or vendors to know that the company is for sale. Many times this information can negatively affect the business value, employee morale, vendor and customer confidence. It is the delicate and complex job of a business broker to market a company without revealing it’s actual name and exact location! Competitors may attempt to poach employees if they find out your business is on the market.
How does a business broker keep my personal information and business financials confidential?
Any prospective buyer expressing interest in your business based on the general description provided in marketing, must first execute a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before any details are shared. Additionally, an experienced business broker will always ask for a personal financial statement or pre-approved financing letter from any buyer prospect prior to sharing your information with them. This is essential to ensure that you’re dealing with a qualified buyer.
Where will my business be marketed for sale?
Palm Beach Business Brokers is a member of the Business Brokers of Florida (BBF) Association which operates and maintains its own multiple listing service available to all the business brokers in the State of Florida. Your business will be listed on that site and available to every broker in the state. Palm Beach Business Brokers also utilizes national and international commercial websites to market your company globally. Many prospects from around the world request information on business listings through these online vehicles. Through our sister company Palm Beach Brokers Group, your business listing will also appear on all of the real estate marketing websites visited by residential and commercial real estate buyers and sellers throughout the world.
Shouldn’t I use a business broker who specifically sells my type of business only?
The short answer to this is no. Business brokers are qualified to value a company’s income stream regardless of business type. There is a small niche of business types in which certain brokers specialize, however this is very limited. Many business buyers we’ll begin looking at companies in a specific industry and through their search end up purchasing a business that is completely different from those they were initially interested in. If your company is listed with a broker that specializes only in one industry you will narrow the pool of buyers to which your company is being marketed thus undeserving you and extending the sale cycle.
What other costs are involved in selling my business?
Your business sale transaction will be handled by a business attorney. Each attorney has their own set of fees and typically business closing costs are split 50-50 between the buyer and seller. Legal fee closing costs are determined based on the size of the business and complexity of the sale. Palm Beach Business Brokers refers to highly qualified business attorneys well versed and experienced in business sale transactions.