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Should You Use a Business Broker When Buying or Selling a Business?

Navigating the complexities of buying or selling a business can be daunting. Discover how a business broker's expertise can streamline the process, ensuring a successful deal while avoiding common pitfalls.

Buying or selling a business is a monumental decision with significant financial risks and rewards. And it can all come down to choosing between learning how to sell a business without a broker or finding an experienced business broker to guide you. Entrepreneurs and small business owners often find themselves at a crossroads, deciding whether to navigate this complex process on their own or seek professional assistance.

In this guide, we'll take a closer look at how business brokers play a crucial role in making business deals happen. We'll discuss what they do - negotiating, handling due diligence, offering industry-specific advice - and highlight why their personalized support and one-on-one guidance can be so valuable.

What is a Business Broker?

A business broker acts as an intermediary between buyers and sellers of businesses. Their primary role is to assist in selling or purchasing a business by providing expert guidance, market insights and negotiation skills.

Business brokers are particularly valuable for those who may not have prior experience selling or buying a business. They act as a bridge between buyers and sellers, facilitating transactions by leveraging their expertise and network of contacts.

Business brokers specialize in understanding the intricacies of the market, including valuation, marketing, negotiation and closing deals.

In the buying and selling process, business brokers play several vital roles:

Valuation: Accurately determining a business' value is essential. Business brokers use their expertise and access to industry data to provide a realistic appraisal.

Screening Buyers/Sellers: They screen potential buyers and sellers to match the right parties, ensuring that each transaction has a higher chance of success.

Negotiation: Skilled in the art of negotiation, brokers work to secure the best possible terms for their clients.

Due Diligence: They guide both parties through the due diligence process, ensuring that all legal and financial aspects are thoroughly vetted.

Closing the Deal: Business brokers help finalize the transaction, ensuring all paperwork is completed correctly and that the transition goes smoothly.

By fulfilling these roles, business brokers provide invaluable support and guidance, making the complex process of buying or selling a business more manageable and efficient.

colleagues looking at a graph

Why Should I Use a Business Broker?

Utilizing a business broker presents numerous advantages in purchasing or selling a business. Their expertise and resources can substantially streamline the process, enabling you to achieve your objectives more efficiently and effectively.

Here are some key reasons to consider engaging a business broker:

Market Insights

Business brokers have their fingers on the pulse of the market. They are well-versed in industry trends, competitive landscapes, and buyer behavior. This knowledge is invaluable when setting a realistic price and crafting a compelling value proposition.

Network and Contacts

Brokers have extensive networks of potential buyers and sellers and relationships with other professionals, such as attorneys and accountants. This network can significantly expedite the process and increase the likelihood of finding the right match.


Maintaining confidentiality is crucial during a business sale to prevent disruptions among employees, customers, and suppliers. Business brokers have protocols in place to ensure that sensitive information is disclosed only to serious, vetted parties.

Emotional Detachment

Selling a business can be an emotional journey. Owners often have deep personal connections to their businesses, which can cloud judgment during negotiations. A business broker provides an objective perspective, focusing on the financial and strategic aspects of the deal.

What Does a Business Broker Do?

A business broker is a versatile professional who manages all aspects of buying or selling a business to ensure a smooth transaction. Here are the key roles they play in making business deals successful:

Initial Consultation

The process typically begins with an initial consultation where the broker assesses the business and discusses the owner's goals and expectations. This meeting sets the foundation for a tailored strategy.

Business Valuation

Accurate valuation is critical. To determine a fair market value, brokers use various methods, including comparable sales and financial analysis. This ensures that the business is neither undervalued nor overpriced.

Marketing Strategy

Once the business is valued, the broker develops a comprehensive marketing strategy. This may include creating a detailed business profile, listing the business on online platforms such as, and leveraging their network to reach potential buyers.

Screening Buyers

Not all interested parties are qualified to buy a business. Brokers screen potential buyers to ensure they have the financial capability and genuine interest. This saves time and protects confidentiality.

Negotiation and Due Diligence

Negotiation is where a broker’s skills truly shine. They handle offers and counteroffers, striving to achieve terms favorable to their client. During due diligence, the broker coordinates with lawyers, accountants, and other professionals to thoroughly examine all aspects.

Closing the Deal

The final stage involves finalizing the sale. Brokers oversee the signing of agreements, transfer of assets, and other closing activities, ensuring that all legal and financial requirements are met.

couple meeting with business advisor

Common Concerns About Using a Business Broker


One of the primary concerns is the cost of hiring a business broker. Brokers typically charge a commission based on the sale price, ranging from 5% to 10%. It’s up to you to decide whether this fee is justified by the time saved, mitigated risks, and potentially higher sale price you could secure by working with a business broker.

Finding the Right Broker

Choosing the right broker is crucial. Look for brokers with experience in your industry, a proven track record, and positive client testimonials. It’s also essential to have a clear agreement outlining the broker’s responsibilities and fees.

Loss of Control

Some business owners worry about losing control over the sale process. A good broker, however, works closely with their clients, keeping them informed and involved at every step. The aim is to collaborate, not to take over.

Can You Sell a Business Without a Broker?

Online platforms like provide tools and resources for business owners who prefer a DIY approach. These platforms can help with listing your business, reaching potential buyers, and providing guidance on the sale process. However, a broker's personalized support and expertise can be valuable tools to assist you.


Deciding whether to use a business broker when buying or selling a business is a significant decision that depends on various factors, including your experience, the complexity of the transaction, and your willingness to invest time and effort. For many entrepreneurs and small business owners, the expertise, market insights, and negotiation skills that brokers bring to the table are invaluable, often leading to more successful and smoother transactions.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. But before making a decision, consider the potential benefits and weigh them against the costs. Whether you choose to work with a broker or go it alone, being well-informed and prepared is critical to achieving your business goals.

Stuart Wood

About the author

Stuart is Editorial Manager at He has worked as Editor for a B2B publisher, Content Manager for a PR firm, and most recently as a Copywriter for Barclays.