I am often asked by folks, “What is a business broker? What do you do?”
My response is always the same at the start: “I help people buy and sell businesses.”
As simple as that sounds, a more formal definition would be that business broker is a trained intermediary who assists sellers and buyers of businesses in the transfer of ownership. Business brokerage generally involves small businesses ranging from stereotypical “Mom & Pop” shops to franchises and chains.
“I’ve never met a business broker before.”
That’s usually the case. The industry is relatively small to compared to other trades, such as real estate. There are several thousand real estate agents in Central Florida, however only about 1,000 business brokers and intermediaries throughout the entire state.
While most brokers are competent to mediate the sale of many types of businesses, many have further developed niche markets. Some brokers concentrate on the sale of petrol stations, while others prefer to work with manufacturers, printing companies or restaurants, for example.
My particular area of expertise includes work with both Americans and foreign national buyers who are seeking business opportunities for not only investment purposes, but to also meet criteria established by the U.S. Embassy in applying for a visa to the US.
“What designations should I look for in my business broker?”
Common associations that brokers are members of include the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), as well as state organizations. In the state of Florida, I both a member of the IBBA as well as the Business Brokers of Florida (BBF) .