Buying or selling a business is a big deal. With potentially millions of dollars at stake, you can’t afford to go into the process blind.
Yet most business owners have never sold a business before. So where do they turn for help? A business broker.
The best business brokers manage all the details, including assisting with fair business valuations, negotiations, ensuring confidentiality, and guaranteeing that all regulations are followed during the sale.
Whether you’re an existing business owner that wants to sell or a savvy entrepreneur seeking the next investment opportunity, business brokers ensure you have the best possible experience throughout the transaction.
The Top 7 Best Business Brokers
- Digital Exits — Best For Buying and Selling Online Businesses
- Woodbridge International — Best For Creating High Demand and Multiple Bids
- Peterson Acquisitions — Best For Fast Business Valuations
- Synergy Business Brokers — Best For Buying Industry-Specific Companies
- Transworld Business Advisors — Best For Buying a Franchise
- Sunbelt Business Brokers — Best For Selling Companies With Low Annual Revenue
- Calhoun Companies — Best Business Broker For Commercial Real Estate
After extensive research, we’ve narrowed down the best seven business brokers on the market today. The in-depth reviews below will help you find the best business broker for your unique situation.
#1 – Digital Exits — Best For Buying and Selling Online Businesses
- Over $35M sold last year
- 94% closing rate
- DFY marketing plans included
- Over $600M buyer network
Founded in 2013, Digital Exits is a bit newer compared to some of the other business brokers on our list.
But this brokerage is specifically designed for people interested in buying or selling an online business.
The firm boasts an impressive 94% closing rate. In the past twelve months, they’ve sold over $35 million in online businesses with an average deal price of $3.1 million.
I like Digital Exits because they go above and beyond brokering the deal. Once you come to them with an interest in selling your online business, they do everything in their power to ensure you get maximum value.
They prepare a marketing plan, executive summary for buyers, manage the deal flow, and line up multiple qualified buyers.
The brokerage has a relationship with exclusive and private buyers with $668.27 million in cash ready for business acquisitions. Just fill out a quick form online to get a valuation for your website and online business.
For those of you who are interested in buying an internet-based business, you can browse for listings on Digital Exits as well. You can even register for updates to get notified via email whenever a new business gets listed through this platform.
#2 – Woodbridge International — Best For Creating High Demand and Multiple Bids
- Over 25 years M&A experience
- Proprietary time-sensitive auction process
- DFY marketing video included
- Network of 415,000+ buyers
Woodbridge International has been a leading firm in the mergers and acquisitions space since 1993. They have 19 global offices throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, India, Japan, Germany, Hong Kong, South Africa, and more.
This broker is made for people that want to sell their business for the highest possible value.
Woodbridge International accomplishes this with a unique auction that establishes a closing date from the beginning. The way the auction gets run is designed to attract multiple buyers and create a bidding war for your business.
The entire process includes an underwriting period and a bid acceptance period as well. So not only can you sell your business for a high price, but you can close the deal quickly too.
Woodbridge International helps you create a powerful marketing video that highlights your company to prospective buyers in the auction. They also have a proprietary network of 6,600+ private equity groups and 410,000+ strategic companies. This allows them to easily identify the greatest number of possible buyers for your company.
If your company generates anywhere from $5 million to $200+ million in annual revenue, Woodbridge International can help you sell it for a high value.
#3 – Peterson Acquisitions — Best For Fast Business Valuations
- One-click 24-hour business valuations
- 90% success rate
- Works with any industry
- Ranked #1 US Business Broker
One of the hardest parts of selling a business is determining the value of your company. Underestimating and overestimating your company can equally lead to poor results during the selling process.
Peterson Acquisitions simplifies things with its one-click business valuation form.
Just head to the website and answer a handful of questions about your business, including:
- Business type
- When you want to sell
- Cost of sales
- Operating expenses
- Interest on loans
- Current state of the business
It only takes a few minutes to fill out the form. Peterson Acquisitions will get back to you within 24 hours with a fair and accurate valuation.
The firm boasts a 90% success rate, compared to the national average falling somewhere in the 11% to 25% range. This high success all starts with a fair valuation.
If you spend some time on the Peterson Acquisitions website, you’ll see that they help businesses of all shapes and sizes across every possible industry. Here are a few recent sales to showcase the firm’s versatility:
- Restaurant Chain — $6.8 million
- Roofing & Siding Supply Business — $6.2 million
- Utility Drilling & Boring Business — $3.8 million
- Digital Marketing Agency — $1.8 million
- HVAC Business — $420,000
- Foundation Repair Contractor — $225,000
Head to Peterson Acquisitions now to get an accurate valuation for your business in 24 hours.
#4 – Synergy Business Brokers — Best For Buying Industry-Specific Companies
- Industry-specific search functions
- Smart filters for custom searches
- Complete prospect overviews included
- Robust library of resources
Lots of business brokers are geared towards sellers. But Synergy Business Brokers puts equal emphasis on brokerage services for buyers.
While the company brokers business sales throughout the US, the majority of the deals come from businesses in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, South, and Midwest.
As a prospective buyer, Synergy Business Brokers has everything you need to help narrow down your search. The website has a smart filter that allows you to search for businesses based on asking price, revenue, and net cash flow. You can search businesses for sale by industry as well, including:
Narrow the search even more by inputting specific keywords or searching businesses for sale by location.
Once you find a business that fits your search criteria and piques your interest, Synergy Business Brokers provides you with a complete overview of the company. You’ll learn more about the company’s history, operations, employees, customers, and the reason why it’s listed for sale.
Details of the business even include lease options, monthly rent, office or warehouse square footage, and much more.
Synergy Business Brokers provides additional resources, help articles, and other tools to help buyers succeed with the search and purchase of another business.
#5 – Transworld Business Advisors — Best For Buying a Franchise
- 10,000+ businesses sold since 1980
- Over 200 franchise opportunities
- Custom franchising advice included
- Over 600 brokers around the globe
Transworld Business Advisors is one of the most reputable business brokers on the market. They’ve sold 10,000+ businesses over the past 40+ years. The firm has more than 600+ qualified brokers working from 250+ offices located throughout the globe.
What really makes Transworld Business Advisors stand out compared to other business brokers is its franchise services.
The idea of buying a franchise is an appealing investment for many entrepreneurs. If you find yourself in this position but don’t know where to start your search, Transworld Business Advisors is perfect for your situation.
They represent roughly 200 franchise opportunities across different industries and investment levels.
To get started, they offer a free franchise consultation. During this process, they get to learn a bit more about you, your business background, hobbies, interests, and more. Using that background information, you’ll be presented with potential franchise opportunities that fit your criteria.
Transworld Business Advisors does more than just broker the deal. They also offer continued consulting and due diligence. You’ll even have the opportunity to speak with the franchisors directly and ask them more questions about the business.
#6 – Sunbelt Business Brokers — Best For Selling Companies With Low Annual Revenue
- Will work with any size business
- $50,000 minimum revenue
- $50M+ maximum revenue
- Experts since 1978
Founded back in 1978, Sunbelt Business Brokers claims to have sold more businesses than anyone else in the world. They have solutions for buyers, sellers and work with companies across a wide range of industries.
What makes Sunbelt Business Brokers unique compared to alternatives on the market is their willingness to work with businesses of all sizes.
Lots of brokers won’t work with companies unless the business does $1 million or $5 million, at minimum, in annual revenue. But Sunbelt will broker your deal as long as the business generates annual revenue of $50,000.
This is an appealing option for smaller businesses and startups that want to exit early without having to put in more years until reaching a seven-figure revenue stream.
Compared to other business brokers, Sunbelt probably has the most extensive list of industry expertise that we’ve seen. They facilitate business transitions in industries like:
- Communication and Media
- Professional Services
- Convenience Stores
- Entertainment and Leisure
- Home and Garden
- Day Care Services
- Real Estate
The list goes on and on.
Sunbelt Business Brokers doesn’t just help small businesses either. They work with companies generating an annual revenue of $50+ million as well. So whether you’re small or large, Sunbelt will help get your business sold.
#7 – Calhoun Companies — Best Business Broker For Commercial Real Estate
- Over 100 years selling businesses
- Massive individual attention from brokers
- Commercial real estate specialties
- No upfront seller fees
Calhoun Companies is a pioneer in the business brokerage world. Founded in 1908, this firm has over 100 years of experience selling businesses.
Even with such a long history, the brokerage is relatively small. They only have 23 brokers on staff, and they close an average of 63 deals per year. So you know that you’ll be getting lots of attention from your broker throughout the process.
In addition to traditional business brokerage services for buying and selling a business, Calhoun Companies stands out from the crowd with its experience in the commercial real estate space.
They provide an extensive range of services for buying, selling, and leasing commercial real estate through a vast professional network. Calhoun Companies helps sell retail space, commercial offices, and industrial properties.
Sales prices on the commercial real estate transactions brokered by Calhoun Companies fall in the $1 million to $50+ million range.
Best of all, Calhoun Companies has zero upfront seller fees. So you can contact them today to get started without worrying about dipping into your wallet.
How to Find the Best Business Brokers For You
Business brokers assist in the purchase and sale of businesses. They typically work on commission, and lots of the firms you’ll find on the market will offer similar services.
With that said, there are certain factors that should be taken into consideration as you’re comparing brokers side by side. This ensures that you’re working with a broker that can accommodate your specific needs.
If you’re selling a business, your company’s annual revenue will be one of the first questions on any valuation form.
Some brokers impose minimum annual revenue streams for sellers. On the higher end, these can start around $1 million, $5 million, or even $10 million. So you’ll need to make sure your revenue qualifies for certain brokers to consider the deal.
There are some business brokers out there that are willing to work with smaller companies generating less annual revenue. The lowest we’ve seen starts at $50,000 per year. You might have fewer options if your revenue is in this range, but the options still exist.
Buying vs. Selling
Both buyers and sellers go through business brokers to facilitate big transactions. However, some brokerages tend to favor one group over another.
It should be fairly obvious when you land on a brokerage website to figure out if they’re trying to appeal more towards buyers or sellers.
As a seller, you want to look for services that will help you get competing bids and maximize the sale value. Buyers should look for brokers with lots of businesses for sale at a fair price, with tools for narrowing the search.
You can find some brokerage services with an even split between buyers and sellers, but most of them will lean one way over the other.
Look for a business broker that has experience selling companies in your industry. They’ll have existing relationships with buyers and private equity groups that want to invest in specific spaces.
If you can’t find some success stories and recent sales of businesses in your niche from a broker, then you should probably keep shopping around.
Examples of industries with specific needs include technology, online businesses, commercial real estate, restaurants, franchises, manufacturing, and more.
Whether you’re looking to retire or start your next venture, moving forward all starts with finding the right business broker.
Woodbridge International is an excellent option for sellers that want bids from multiple buyers to drive up the sales price. If you want a fast valuation of your business, you can get one from Peterson Acquisitions in less than 24 hours.
Check out Synergy Business Brokers if you’re interested in buying a business or look into Transworld Business Advisors if you want to buy a franchise. For buying and selling online businesses, Digital Exits is our top recommendation.
Regardless of your needs, you can find the best business broker using the recommendations and methodology listed in this guide.