Selling Your Business – Business Broker or Merger and Acquisition Advisor
Number of Clients Represented –
Up-Front or Monthly Fees – generally will charge a minor up-front fee to begin the engagement or have a simplified valuation completed. Generally there is no monthly fee charged. Merger & Acquisition Advisors generally charge either a substantial up-front fee or a monthly fee in the $3,500 to $10,000 per month range depending on the size of the business.
Success Fees -generally charge a success fee of 10% of transaction value. Merger & Acquisition Advisors generally have a sliding scale based on the anticipated size of the business. The known Wall Street firms that sell the mega businesses will not touch a transaction where they are not guaranteed $1 million in fees. The big regional firms require at least $750,000. The M&A firms that deal in the lower end usually charge considerably less than that with a minimum or $150,000 cash at close. If your transaction value is in the $10 million range, count on paying your M&A firm $300K to $400K.
Conclusions – The deciding factor is in cost benefit. An M&A firm is going to cost a lot of money and you are going to be paying either an up front or monthly fees without a guarantee of success. If your business is smaller and is a commodity type business or Main Street business where the target buyer is an individual, an M&A firm will not add much value and is not worth the fee. If your business is larger, complex, unusual, strategic, with a high component of intellectual property or technology and subject to a broad interpretation of value in the marketplace, an M&A firm is the right choice. In the final analysis, is a swing of 20% in your company’s selling price worth $5,000 per month for 8 months?