Business brokers, like real estate brokers, bring the buyers and sellers of businesses together. More business owners nationally choose to use a broker than to sell a business themselves, but some business owners do handle sales on their own. Brokers work on commission (usually 10-12% of the sale price) and are under contract with the seller. This means that the broker represents the seller’s interests and benefits most by getting the highest possible sales price – something to remember when you’re buying a business.

To locate a broker, ask your attorney, accountant, banker or other advisor for a referral. You can also find them through your newspaper classifieds, or in the Yellow pages. Try to use a broker who specializes in business sales – in other words, avoid someone who does it part-time while selling real estate. Whether you’re a seller or a buyer, look for a broker who asks a lot of questions. If you’re selling, this means that the broker is looking for information to help you come up with a fair price for your company. If you’re buying, it means that he/she wants to find out what you want and how much money you have to spend.