Of the eight top companies we evaluated, Business Exits is our favorite business broker. The company had a 91% close rate in 2021, and includes an extensive database of serious buyers, free valuation, and no upfront fees. The broker specializes in 20+ industries and is a terrific first choice whether you’re planning to buy or sell a business.
Read on to find the best business brokers across multiple categories, including buying an established business, selling your business, and mergers and acquisitions.
Top Business Brokers: Golden Eggs
Below are our Golden Eggs, the best business brokers out of the dozens of companies that were up for consideration:
Business Exits is our favorite business broker, with a 91% close rate, nationwide presence, and experience across various industries. Visit the Business Exits website to get a free valuation.
Woodbridge International puts your business up for a time-based auction to ensure you sell your business in the quickest time and at the highest price possible. Sign up with Woodbridge International and sell your business in 150 days.
Synergy Business Brokers offers merger and acquisition services to businesses in the lower middle market and has an extensive database of potential buyers and sellers. Visit the Synergy Business Brokers website and choose your preferred industry.
Best Business Brokers Review Process
Most business brokers offer similar services, such as buying or selling businesses. However, each broker has a strong suit, which is vital to recognize. It will help you find a broker that aligns with your requirements.
Additionally, mergers and acquisitions are more nuanced and require the help of a merger and acquisition (M&A) advisor. An M&A advisor is different than your average business broker, with a unique specialty. With these scenarios in mind, we split this review to focus on the typical use cases and highlight the best brokers for each scenario.
- You want to buy an established business
- You’re selling your own business
- You need guidance on mergers and acquisitions
While a broker may buy and sell businesses, both services are rarely at par. Business brokers tend to specialize in one area or the other despite offering multiple services. So, the following sections will help you identify the best place to look, depending on your use case.
The Best Business Brokers for Buying an Established Business
Purchasing an established business is an exciting and promising time for an entrepreneur. However, difficulty finding a viable business, poring over existing contracts and agreements, performing due diligence, and prolonged negotiations can make for a nightmarish experience. The right business broker will help smooth the waters so you can focus on formulating strategies for making your new business profitable.
First Choice Business Brokers (FCBB) has been in business since 1994, with an impressive track record of managing more than $10.5 billion in businesses for sale. Its primary target market is main street and lower-mid-size businesses, which many brokerages ignore. So, you don’t need a hefty budget to enter the potentially lucrative entrepreneurial space.
The company is accredited by the International Business Brokers Association and the Institute of Business Appraisers. You’ll work directly with a certified agent and broker to identify the perfect business opportunity based on your entrepreneurial goals. The brokerage also deals with online and brick-and-mortar businesses.
The brokerage’s agents are spread out across the United States. So you’re guaranteed a professional knowledgeable about the local business environment, regardless of location. The broker also has a thorough valuation model and handles the entire acquisition process until the contract is finalized.
FCBB also started offering franchise opportunities in 2005, with over 43 locations in 21 states. Since the brokerage is a well-established brand, franchisees can benefit from more predictable earnings than investing in a new business. FCBB also helps set up franchisees for success by providing training, business advice, and other support.
Murphy Business Sales offers brokerage services to people buying and selling companies. However, the broker is best positioned for entrepreneurs seeking to purchase established businesses. The broker has a successful track record spanning more than 28 years.
The broker helps clients buy different businesses, including franchises, commercial real estate, and mergers and acquisitions. The company also has an extensive business network to help you during the process, including accounting, legal, banking, and real estate professionals.
Don’t worry if you don’t yet know the type of business you want to purchase. You’ll work with a Murphy Business Sales consultant to identify your business goals, skillset, risk appetite, and experience. And, with more than 1000 businesses listed for sale at any one time, you’re sure to find the perfect company to buy.
The broker also has an extensive global network affiliation. So, you also have access to international businesses for sale. Murphy Business Sales also has a proven due diligence and valuation system to ensure you purchase a profitable business.
Murphy Business Sales takes a hands-on approach, and you can count on its experts every step of the way. For example, the company will guide you through acquiring financing, represent you during negotiations, and help you draw up a contract that aligns with your intentions.
The Best Business Brokers for Selling Your Business
The process of selling a business differs for each owner, and inevitable challenges cut across the board. You need a broker to help you navigate valuation, your role once the company is sold, what to do with key employees, and manage the emotional due diligence process. The right broker will have extensive experience selling businesses and help you navigate the sale.
Woodbridge International is a global broker with offices in more than 19 countries. It’s one of the older brokerages, founded in 1993. The company sells larger businesses valued between $5 and $200 million.
Woodbridge International is a perfect partner for business owners that want to sell quickly and for the highest price. The broker works on a 150-day time-driven auction, giving you a definite window to market your business. The auction also ensures that your business sells to the highest bidder.
The brokerage also has an extensive network of thousands of equity groups and hundred of thousands of strategic companies and attaches up to 25,000 contacts to each deal. So your business is exposed to a vast pool of potential buyers.
Business Exits is a nationwide brokerage with almost a decade of experience selling businesses. The brokerage sells firms with $1 million to $50 million in revenue. The company also boasts a 91% close rate, so you can trust that you’re in good hands.
Selling your business with Business Exits starts with a free and painless valuation. Simply fill out an online form with details about your business. Then, an agent will get in touch with a valuation or additional questions, usually within 48 hours.
The best part is Business Exits has an extensive database of a few thousand buyers and can help match you with the best price. The broker also does most of the heavy lifting, including marketing your business, answering queries about your business, and negotiating the best sale price. More than 70% of the closed deals come directly from the broker’s buyer database.
Business Exits also helps sell businesses in over 25 industries, including online and ecommerce companies. The brokerage doesn’t charge any upfront fees. Finally, commission rates vary between 4.5% and 10% of the sale, depending on the value of your business.
Website Closers focuses on selling ecommerce websites, including software development companies. The company assigns a dedicated deal broker to help you formulate a comprehensive exit plan. While many brokers also help sell digital assets, you might prefer a broker specializing in web-based businesses like Website Closers.
The broker doesn’t charge a commission until your company sells. You also get access to the international market, increasing your chances of finding a lucrative deal. Furthermore, you’ll get a personalized fee based on your type of business, valuation, and other factors.
The broker sells businesses worth between $50,000 and upwards of $200 million. The company has a capable team of entrepreneurs with experience building and selling online businesses. Website Closers handles the entire process, including valuing your business, pairing you with potential buyers, and negotiating the sale price.
The broker has a vast network of potential buyers. So you’re sure to find a buyer in your niche. It also uses advanced software to create a strong sales plan that guarantees to sell your business for the best price.
The Best Business Brokers for Mergers and Acquisitions
Combining two disparate entities into a single successful business presents unique challenges, different from purchasing a business outright. You’ll need to think beyond finances and look at best practices, leadership, and collaboration. A merger and acquisition advisor can facilitate a smooth transition to ensure the new business entity is profitable.
Synergy Business Brokers serves small to mid-market businesses with annual revenues between $700,000 and $70 million. The M&A advisory firm helps match businesses in diverse industries, including financial, construction, healthcare, distribution services, and energy mergers. The company also works with buy-side and sell-side companies to facilitate successful mergers and acquisitions.
Synergy Business Brokers also has a comprehensive multi-step selling process and can introduce qualified buyers and sellers in one to eight weeks. The company also avails a qualified advisor to help you through the steps.
Additionally, it creates marketing material, advertises and markets businesses, handles Q&As with buyers, and assists with negotiations.
As with most good brokers, Synergy Business Brokers has an extensive database of more than 27,000 potential buyers. You’re assured that the broker can match you with a buy-side company in your industry. Synergy Business Brokers also handles the most common types of mergers, including horizontal and vertical mergers.
The merger and acquisition process starts with a free, confidential consultation. The firm will help you create a purchase or sale strategy depending on the M&A side you’re on. You can also trust the firm’s 15-year experience in M&A, regardless of your situation.
Peterson Acquisition boasts a 90% closing rate, higher than many competitors. The company prides itself in an aggressive approach to M&A and works with businesses in most industries. Peterson Acquisition has a decent pool of a few thousand ready buyers and a competent team of brokers and M&A experts.
The founder, Chad Peterson, is an accomplished serial entrepreneur, author, podcast host, and certified broker. The founder has also built and sold six of his businesses. Peterson Acquisition works with businesses with revenues between $1 million and $25 million.
Peterson Acquisition also has some of the quickest valuations, usually within 24 hours. You only need to fill out a short online form that takes just a few minutes. The firm also handles all the acquisition details, including buyer qualification, marketing, and negotiations.
Peterson Acquisition is a smaller company than most renowned M&A advisory firms. However, you’ll benefit from personalized services, a solid reputation, and one-one consultations.
Sunbelt Business Brokers has a special department at its brokerage firm to handle merger and acquisition deals. It’s known as the True North Mergers & Acquisition. This M&A division specializes in diverse industries, including construction, manufacturing, hospitality, business services, and distribution.
Sunbelt Business Brokers works with businesses with revenues between $5 million and $150 million. The consulting firm has a staff of more than 40 advisors and other professionals.
The company’s advisors also have hands-on experience with mergers and acquisitions. Many of them have built and sold businesses of their own. Sunbelt Business Brokers also works with founders and buyers to ensure the best match.
Lastly, the advisor handles the entire process, including pre-sale consulting, strategic planning and problem solving, creating offer materials, and negotiations. The firm also handles M&As if you already have a prospective buyer and have received an offer. In this case, True North Mergers & Acquisitions will help you negotiate the best price.
At Crazy Egg, we have more resources to help you learn more about buying and selling a business. We also have a separate review post highlighting the industry’s best business brokers. Be sure to check out these resources for more information on how to buy or sell a business.