Are you searching for a phrase like “sell my business” or for reviews of the best business brokers for selling your business?
Whether you are searching for “business brokers near me” or just want to know who the best business broker in the United States is, you’ve come to the right place.
And if your intention is to hire a business broker to sell your business in the near future, this is the information you need to get the best possible result for your transaction.
You have worked so hard to build your business into the success that it is.
But there are other reasons you may want to sell your business.
Some common reasons to sell your company:
- Ready for your next entrepreneurial adventure
- Ready for retirement
- Death, divorce or health reasons
- Liquidation from an inherited business
But for most business owners, it’s the first point – the desire to move on to a new passion or entrepreneurial journey…
Let’s face it, most entrepreneurs like you are “builders” and for you, businesses are like potato chips – you can’t stop at just one! And if you’re like most other entrepreneurs, when you sell your business, it’s highly likely that you will start a new venture or buy another business.
The problem is that many small business owners may not have the experience or contacts to market and sell their own company.
As an entrepreneur, you’ve done many things on your own and worn many hats – but selling your business on your own is not something you should try on your own.
That is where a professional small business brokerage firm can really help you to find the best buyers, prep your company for sale, and ultimately help you get the best deal for your company.
Business brokers work in a very similar manner to how a real estate agent does with land and homes, but the good ones will add A LOT more value than real estate agents.
Small Business Mergers and Acquisitions
Since business M&A transactions are inherently more complex than real estate sales, business brokers bring a lot more to the table than real estate agents.
Yet many business brokers are not knowledgeable and do not have experience.
All they want to do is get you one contract and “spray and pray” your listing.
This can be very embarrassing and stressful for you.
They may not honor your confidentiality.
They may be driven only by the commission and not always working in your best interest.
This is why doing your research and finding a qualified, talented, and experienced business broker with a track record and reviews in critical.
Picking the wrong business broker can cost you big time!
They are in the business of putting buyers and sellers of small businesses together.
Advantages of Using a Top Rated Business Broker
- You will be able to show your business to a larger number of serious, qualified investors
- Experience brokers will be able to get your buyer funded in any market (including the current economy)
- The best business brokers will try to make sure everyone wins: they want you to win, they want the bank to win, they want the buyer to win, and they want to make sure that they business you helped to build thrives after you exit
- An experienced business broker will make the complex process of selling your business seem easy and pain-free for you
- Your business broker should help you navigate the legal process and help you professionally complete all the legal paperwork required to close the sale
- The best business brokers will get you the best price and best terms for your business
Tips for Vetting Business Brokers & Small Business M&A Firms
Testimonials & Reviews: This is probably the most important step in selecting a business broker. It is easy to find genuine testimonials and reviews. Check on the business broker’s website and look specifically for video reviews. Google reviews are also really important.
Referrals: It is best to choose a small business broker who has referrals from industry groups, lawyers, accountants, or other business owners.
IBBA: The International Business Broker Association is the industry association for business brokers. You can vet small business brokers and M&A firms with them as well.
Check the Broker Out: You will need to invest the time to ensure the broker you would like to work with has the experience, industry credentials and good recommendations. Look on the Better Business Bureau website to see if they have a clean record and good recommendations. Find out if they have the expertise to work with small business sales.
Look for a Full-Time Broker: The sale of your business that you invested so much time and energy into is not to be taken lightly by someone who does not help business owners sell their enterprises full time. Full-time brokers have extensive contacts and are capable of knowledgeable business valuation.
Ask for the Broker’s Marketing Strategy: By asking a few brokers this same question, you can position yourself and your business with the broker likely to glean the best leads.
Don’t Pay Big Fees Upfront: The broker should not need to garner a large fee in order to make an assessment of the value of your business. The broker also should not expect a large fee to have you apply to them to place your business for sale. They will get a 10 to 15 percent commission on the sale.
Don’t Succumb to Pressure Tactics: Take your time in completing the sale of your business. You will also need the services of a qualified small business lawyer to look over any contracts with you.
Who are the nation’s best business brokers and middle marketing M&A firms?
These Are the Top Business Brokers in the United States
1. Peterson Acquisitions
Chad Peterson is an award-winning business broker and a global authority in the business brokerage industry and an expert in helping companies sell their businesses for top dollar. Chad’s team is ‘atypical’ in that they have an aggressive approach based on work ethic, customer service, and maintaining the highest level of integrity for all parties (buyer, sellers and the banks that provide financing). In many ways, this firm represents the “new way” of selling businesses that is much more marketing and internet-savvy than many of the other business brokers on this list.
Peterson Acquisitions works with businesses that have revenue from $1 million to $100 million. Chad and his team have an unparalleled 90% percent closing rate! The national average for business brokers is around 11 to 25 percent. Peterson Acquisitions has a large pool of qualified, investment-ready investors (well over 3,000 buyers) that are ready to buy your business.
This small business M&A firm will do an analysis of your business and create a written report for potential buyers. They encourage all business owners who are ready to sell to contact them because their buyers are looking for all types of businesses that have a history of generating positive cash flow. Managing Partner Chad Peterson has also written two popular business books and hosts his own podcast.
8700 Monrovia, Suite 310
Lenexa, Kansas 66215
Phone: (800) 845-0188
2. Woodbridge International
Woodbridge International is a more traditional business broker. This firm works with businesses that earn $5 million to $250 million yearly. They have been in business for over 25 years and have 21 U.S. and international office locations. They have a 150-day “auction process” that promotes you to a large audience while creating a set closing date for the sale. They have three partners who work your business through the entire process of marketing, underwriting and closing the sale. They will also provide you with a two-day seller workshop and create a video that helps sell your business.
1764 Litchfield Turnpike, Suite 250
New Haven, CT 06525
Phone: (800) 567-1119
3. Allan Taylor & Co.
Allan Taylor is a business brokerage firm that is headquartered in Arkansas. Their focus is to take the time to fully understand your enterprise and your reasons for wanting to sell. Their website has some really helpful information, such as an ebook for business owners considering selling their business as well as some insightful blog articles. The blogs are written by the co-founder of the company, who also previously wrote financial blogs for The New York Times. One particularly helpful blog is entitled, “Is My Business Too Small for a Business Broker?” Their business brokerage work has been featured on CBS Moneywatch, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Inc. Magazine and Fox Business.
Allan Taylor & Co.
2403 SE Cottonwood
Bentonville, AR 72712
Phone: (479) 254-7887
4. PHP Business Brokers
PHP Business Brokers is one of the largest and most successful business brokerage firms in North America with offices conveniently located throughout the Southeast. We provide our clients and business associates with the highest standards of professional service and unmatched performance in the sale of privately held businesses,
mergers & acquisitions, franchise sales, business valuations, machinery & equipment appraisals, commercial real estate, machinery & equipment brokerage and business consulting. Members of our team have been carefully recruited and selected for their high level of achievement as former CEOs, CFOs, CPAs, business owners and senior level executives in a wide range of industries and professions. Our clients are represented by outstanding, experienced and knowledgeable professionals who will provide sound financial, strategic and tactical implementation to achieve successful transactions.
PHP Business Brokers
1005 Marina Mile Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL, 33315
Phone: (954) 809-4017
5. Freedom Factory
Freedom Factory was founded by long-time entrepreneurs, private equity buyers and business brokers Robert Hirsch and Ty Tysdal. At Freedom Factory, their purpose is to free fellow entrepreneurs like you to live your best life, fulfill your life’s purpose and secure your financial future by helping you sell your business for maximum value.
5500 Greenwood Plaza Blvd #230
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Phone: (844) 629-8259
6. Murphy Business & Financial Corporation, LLC
Murphy has offices in 36 U.S. states as well as Canadian offices. They have a high closing ratio and have been in business for 25 years. They emphasize strategic, ethical and personalized sales of businesses. They provide in-depth information to potential buyers and fully qualify each potential buyer on your behalf.
Their extensive contacts allow them to list your business on both national and international brokerage networks, so your business will be viewed by a larger pool of potential buyers. In addition to business brokerage services, they also offer valuations, merger and acquisition services, appraisals of your machinery and equipment as well as commercial real estate and business consulting services.
Murphy Business & Financial Corporation, LLC
407 N. Belcher Road
Clearwater, Florida 33765
Phone: (727) 725-7090
7. Synergy Business Brokers
Synergy focuses upon the Northeastern United States business brokerage market. They work with businesses that have annual revenues from $200,000 to $5 million. There is absolutely no fee to the seller until the business has been sold. Their database lists over 24,000 buyers who are located in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
They have won multiple awards for their Northeastern U.S. brokerage firm services. They have experience selling firms in the sectors of construction, manufacturing, healthcare, technology, professional services, distribution, engineering, software, home and environmental services, transportation, education, imports and HVAC. Their company is a part of the International Business Brokers’ Association.
Synergy Business Brokers
7 Schuyler Street
New Rochelle, New York 10801
Phone: (888) 750-5950
8. First Choice Business Brokers
First Choice has a nationwide network of brokers and has been in business since 1994. They work in the middle market, businesses with annual revenues from $100 million to $500 million yearly. Their brokerage firm is one of the largest in the U.S., and they focus on the national market.
They intentionally hire brokers who come from a variety of business backgrounds, so they can tailor the broker to your unique business type. Brokers are then provided training and professional development, so they are experts in valuations, marketing and negotiations. In order to preserve confidentiality of business listings for sale, potential buyers view listings through their brokers.
First Choice Business Brokers
5420 West Sahara
Las Vegas, Nevada 89146
Phone: (800) 940-9109
9. VR Business Brokers
VR has been in business since 1979. They also claim to have sold more businesses than anyone in the world. They provide a learning center for both buyers and sellers on their website that makes clear the buying and selling process. They sell both privately-owned and family-owned businesses.
They make all potential buyers sign non-disclosure agreements in order to ensure the confidentiality of your business transaction. They list your business in a non-identifiable manner on their website as well as through websites that list businesses for sale locally, regionally and nationally. They vet all potential buyers and guide you and your buyer through the entire sale process.
VR Business Brokers
2601 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Suite 300
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306
Phone: (800) 377-8722
10. Sunbelt Business Brokers
Also known as Sunbelt Network, they work with businesses that have annual revenues from $500,000 to $50 million. They have been in business since 1978. They claim to have sold more businesses than any broker in the world. They have over 1,000 brokers worldwide and have the largest proprietary database of businesses for sale in the world. 2.4 million visitors view businesses for sale each year on their website. The average number of offerings at any given time is 5,000 businesses for sale on their website. Since they focus on both small and mid-sized businesses, they have approaches tailored to each situation.
Sunbelt Business Brokers
7100 East Pleasant Valley Road, Suite 300
Independence, OH 44131
Phone: (216) 674-0645
Other Business Brokers and Small Business M&A Firms
Transworld Business Advisors
Transworld has over 40 years of experience as a business brokerage. They have sold over 10,000 businesses. They have over 500 brokers and over 200 offices worldwide. They emphasize confidentiality, quality representation, thousands of buyers, a worldwide advertising network as well as the fact that they spend more money advertising each business than their competitors. They also create competition for each business for sale. In order to find the buyer for your business, they focus upon your industry. There is no obligation for the initial consultation, and it is confidential.
Transworld Business Advisors
2121 Vista Parkway
West Palm Beach, Florida 33411
Phone: (800) 205-7605
Now You Are Ready to Hire a Business Broker to Sell Your Small Business
As you can see, it really is dependent upon your yearly annual revenue as to which of these companies will best meet your business brokerage needs. One important guideline is that you don’t really need a small business M&A firm with international connections if your firm’s sales are only on the national or local stage.
Over and over, this author saw the same message from many of the firms that focused more on the smaller businesses, “Don’t discount the idea that your firm will sell.” Many of the brokerages made it clear that a wide variety of businesses, even ones in industries where earning money is a lot of hard work, really will sell. People who are in the market to buy a business are sick of working for others, especially in this “great” economy, and the true buyers out there are fully willing to roll up their sleeves.
If your business has a more regional focus, then you might want to work with a regional brokerage, but the larger firms to tend to have brokers in the major cities. Some small business owners may choose to work with regional brokers while other prefer to work with M&A firm that have a national or international footprint, simply because they provided in-depth information about what to expect during the sale process and key considerations if you are contemplating a sale. Some financial advisors say that your should consult a handful of small business brokers right out of the box to see what they had to say.
That really seems like the best advice.
If you like this post, you might also want to check out our list of top commercial real estate lenders.