A business broker and M&A advisor are two professional service providers that can assist a business owner in selling their business. Both can be great resources to their clients, but there are differences in their respective approaches.
A business broker typically works with businesses that are worth less than $1 million – $2 million in value (e.g. main street businesses). They often post a business for sale on a listing services with a desired asking price for the business. Alternatively, a M&A advisor works with businesses in the middle or lower middle market – customarily with values greater than $5 million all the way in excess of $100 million.
M&A advisors run various sales processes, ranging from a direct negotiations to auction sale processes, but typically do not set an asking price and rather work with a targeted set of buyers to develop a competitive offer for their client.
There is no formal set process that either advisor type rigidly follows, but there are distinct differences in the client types, buyer groups, and sale strategies they employ and fit depends on a number of factors influenced by the selling business’s profile and natural market.
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