Should I Use A Broker To Sell My Business?

Should I Use A Broker To Sell My Business? It’s a question most business owners ask themselves when thinking about selling their business.

Selling a business for some private sellers might be a straightforward process. It might be straightforward for a broker who actually made the challenging process look easy. Brokers iron out the bumps and will manage all the buyer enquiry, the questions, the critique and objections and will know what to do at every stage of the process. They often only communicate the positive and progressive stuff with the vendor.

A broker will often need to leverage the experience at the pointy end of the process when it is time to manage any offers and construct a mutually beneficial sale keeping all the parties motivated and content.

Can you sell your business yourself? Absolutely you can and it may be an easy and straightforward process for you as well, but I think this is the exception not the rule. A great buyer can make all the difference. If they are genuine, honest and communicate well that can be half the battle.

Brokers will come from a position of experience when managing any problems that arise. An experienced broker may make all the difference keeping the deal alive at all stages and may get you a better result than you could on your own – even after their well-earned commission.

An experienced and confident business owner does not equate to or match the experience and impartial approach a broker will take. Business owners will often and inadvertently be emotional and passionate and tend to be over the top when compared to the independent business broker.

Selling a business yourself privately versus using a broker might simply depend on the type, scale and size of the business. For example, a $100,000 takeaway would generally be much easier than selling a $800,000 manufacturing business. The other motivating factor might be the cost of using a broker and the overall net return to the business owner.

Selling your business privately might start out as an easy process as you are meeting a potential buyer who is open minded and interested, you share stories, perhaps personal aspects and are sharing information about the business and all is great UNTIL, the buyer wants to make an offer and then things can change.

Ultimately, at this point you the business owner wants the highest price and the buyer may want it for less than you are asking. It can get awkward really quickly as there is no middle man (the broker) to navigate this step.

Also, has either party thought about the lease, staff entitlements, deposits, gift vouchers, transfer of agreements, licences. Some businesses have even more complex matters that might include dealing with transfer of assets, software, intellectual property, websites and domains. Has training been considered and what will this look like? There are many matters that should be known and become part of any offer, the terms and conditions.

Using your accountant and solicitor can be expensive and cause time delays when ideally the deal should be fluent and progressive.

If you do decide to use a broker we recommend you choose a member of the Australian Institute of Business Brokers or partner with a professional broker here. 

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Selling your business can be tough, but so are you.

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