How to Find a Good Business Broker In Florida
How do you find a good business broker in Florida? Let’s aim higher: how do you find the best business broker in Florida? One who will work aggressively and relentlessly on your behalf? Who will take the time to understand your goals and objectives, who has the connections you need to leverage, and who has the depth and breadth of market insight you need for a successful transaction?
Those are just the initial questions. Now that we found our starting point, we can get to work on actionable tips that will help you find the right professionals as you take the first steps towards the next chapter of your life and career.
How Can I Sell My Business Fast? Finding a Business Broker In Florida
Time is of the essence when selling a business. Most people like you are eager for new ventures and adventures. Understandable! But take the time to do your homework.
Florida is one of only 13 states that require that business brokers hold a real estate license. In the other 37 states, anyone – yes, anyone – can call themselves a “business broker.” Even with this added protection, it is important that business owners exercise caution when seeking the right professional to help them sell their company. Not all brokers have the same level of training, education, accreditation, and insider insight. Remember, we’re looking for the best.
To that end:
Check Experience and Accreditation
When you’re searching for a cardiologist, you look for an MD with accreditation from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM). When you need a top-notch mechanic, you may look for a professional with National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) credentials. When you’re selling your home, you look for the REALTOR designation.
And when you’re selling your business, you need a professional with accreditation from a recognized authority, such as the International Business Broker Association (IBBA) and Mergers and Acquisitions Source (M&A Source).
When it comes to the former, brokers must have 68 credit hours in required and elective courses, pass the Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) exam, and have acted as a lead broker on at least three business transactions. For M&A Source accreditation, they must lead at least three transactions of more than $1 million in sales price, have the required education, and have at least three years of M&A experience in the last decade.
These are stringent requirements, but they do not necessarily ensure a broker is the “best” – or the best for you. They do, however, provide an excellent measurement in your search.
Look for Industry Experience
Every company is different, and your path to where you are now has probably been unique. That said, there is value in engaging a business broker with experience specific to your industry. For example, if you’re in the hospitality space, you want someone who has handled transactions in this area. Regardless of your speciality, look for a broker who:
- Handles sales in your space
- Sells businesses of your size
- Sells companies in your general location
You need to hit the ground running when it comes to selling your business, particularly if you are on a tight timeline. You don’t have time to wait for a broker who isn’t familiar with the industry.
Reputation is everything in the commercial real estate industry; your business broker can only work optimally for you if they have made a name for themselves in the community. Connections can lead to advantageous transactions, and a history of satisfied customers behind them is the best credit.
There are two ways to approach finding a business broker: asking an associate, colleague, friend, etc., for a referral, or going in cold with an internet search.
A referral gives you a leg up. You know that your personal connection has dealt with this individual and has had an experience that led to a recommendation. This isn’t always foolproof, of course, but it is a great start.
Whether you find a name online or a connection that refers a broker, the next step is to vet them. Luckily, there is a wealth of information at your disposal. The internet loves nothing better than airing dirty laundry – and this can work in your favor. Scour sites for reviews, and read them thoroughly.
We’re years into internet reviews, and, for the most part, we’ve developed the ability to find the honest ones and discard the fake ones. What’s left is the truth we’re looking for – the client experience. Find out what people are saying about brokers, the process, the results.
Be sure to check the State of Florida Consumer Complaints Guide to see if brokers have any complaints lodged against them.
Schedule a Sit-Down
Take the opportunity to ask questions (any and everyone you can think of) regarding experience, training/education, specialties, prior transactions, processes, methodologies, etc. The goal is two-fold: get the information and gauge how well this person communicates with you. Are they attentive? Respectful? Eager to learn about your business and goals? Or do they rush you through the process, talk more than listen, and seem dismissive? Go with your gut (after a thorough investigation into their professional lives!).
For more guidance on finding the right business broker in Florida, contact AMB Performance Group.