Do I need a broker to sell my business?

If you’re looking to sell your business, there may be a number of questions going through your head. A broker can assist with streamlining the sale process for you and find you a pool of buyers. But using a broker is not mandatory and selling your business without one is actually possible.

In fact, brokers can be redundant where you intend to sell the business to family of a friend, because you’ve already found your buyer. Essentially, a broker is there to find a buyer for your business and assist with the negotiations. Everything else like drawing up sale contracts, showcasing your business, due diligence requests and so on will need to be undertaken by you and if not you, other experts you intend to hire.

You may be thinking a broker can assist with marketing your business so the right buyer at the right price is found. But now with online listing platforms, you can tap into a whole buyer pool yourself.

For small business owners in particular, selling the business without a broker can be advantageous in many ways.

Less fees

You may have heard of the fees that brokers charge for selling a business. If you have a company that is struggling financially, using a broker is an extra cost, but one that can be avoided if you sell the business yourself. Something like an online platform has a cost attached to it but is nowhere near what a broker would charge.

Screen buyers earlier

Without a broker, you can also screen your buyers much sooner. Because, when you sell the business without a broker, you will talk directly with the buyer and find out their motives and financial capacity in the first instance.

Sale can move quickly

A broker is not as emotionally invested in your business as you may be - very understandable given they probably have many other businesses to sell. This may also then mean that the time they invest in your sale is not going to be as much as you would like it to be. Without the broker, you can decide the amount of time that ought to be invested in marketing your business and finding the ideal buyer. And when you do find that buyer, you can dive straight into negotiations and work towards finalising the deal.

Lawyers & Accountants

Regardless of whether you have a broker or not, you will still need to find your own lawyer and accountant. The former, to assist with the sale paperwork and the latter, to ensure that the proceeds from the sale are managed correctly and you fulfil your tax obligations.

Brokers can provide referrals to legal and accountancy services but without them, you can choose your own, depending on the particular needs of your business.

Brokers can be extremely useful in selling your business as they have the required expertise; however, their assistance may not always be critical. As a small business owner, you have built your business from the ground-up and want to ensure the buyer is equally excited about the opportunities that lay ahead. By marketing your business without a broker, you may find that you will save time, money and find a buyer that matches the needs of your business sooner rather than later.