Mar 18, 2023
Business Brokers in Dallas, Texas: Who They Are, What They Do, and Where to Find Them
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What is a small business broker?
A small business broker is a professional who helps entrepreneurs buy and sell small businesses. Unlike the real estate industry, having a buy-side broker is pretty rare in the small business world. A typical small business broker earns over 90% of their revenue from representing owners in a business sale.
They use their knowledge and expertise to estimate a business’s value, market it to potential buyers and negotiate the best deal for the owner they represent. They understand the complexities of the process and specialize in helping small to mid-size businesses. For owners of small businesses, it is often the first and last time they may be selling a business. By working with a seasoned business broker, owners can maximize their proceeds from a sale while minimizing the risk associated with a sale. Additionally, leveraging a broker allows the business owner to remain focused on running their business while the broker takes care of the sale.
Should I use a business broker in Dallas, TX?
We recommend using a business broker if you have a business worth at least $250K and are likely selling to a third party (e.g., a competitor, a local entrepreneur, etc). If your business is worth less than $250K, most business brokers will not be able to take your business on as they would not earn enough commission to justify the work. If you are not selling to a third party, you can likely navigate the transaction with an attorney, CPA and business advisor. At Beacon, we offer custom pricing for employee- and family-transfers
Types of business brokers in Dallas, TX
1. Business brokerage franchises
There are a number of national business brokerage franchises: Transworld Business Advisors, Murphy Business Brokers, VR Business Brokers, Sunbelt Business Brokers and others. These franchisees undergo training in the world of consulting, business brokerage, franchise sales, and franchise development. Many come from a background in business ownership or corporate sales.
2. Local business brokers
In addition to national franchises, there are a good number of local business brokers in the Dallas Market. These are independent brokerages with a number of agents and 1-3 lead brokers. The upside of these brokers is that they have been in the market for a while and typically have been in business for longer than a given franchisee of a national chain.
3. Investment bankers
For owners of businesses worth more than $10M, there are a number of local investment banks that may be a fit for your needs. Investment bankers typically work with owners of businesses in the Lower Middle Market (LMM) or the Middle Market (MM). At Beacon, we work exclusively with "Main Street" businesses, so if we encounter an owner of a large business, we often refer them to investment bankers.
Aside from helping owners broker the sale of their business, investment bankers can also provide capital services (e.g., raising debt or equity to grow your business).
4. Real estate brokers and agents
Aside from brokers and bankers, a number of commercial real estate agents may broker the sale of small businesses on the side. We generally recommend avoiding working with a real estate agent, as selling small businesses is not their bread and butter. They are an important party to a transaction, if a lease needs to be negotiated or a property is included in a sale, but they are not experts on buying or selling small businesses.
5. Business valuation and exit planning services
There are a few firms in Dallas that will perform business valuations for owners or assist in exit planning. These firms are great resources for owners of small businesses who want to be proactive about planning for retirement or an exit. That being said, these firms typically do not actually broker the sale of small businesses. Instead, they stay focused on understanding the personal and business finances, advising on maximizing the value of a small business, and assisting the owner in planning for a transition.
Best business brokers in Dallas, TX
ANA Brokers is a Dallas, TX based business sales and advisory firm that provides a range of services to help business owners and entrepreneurs in the area. In addition to helping owners sell and buy small businesses, they have related entities for brokering commercial and residential property.
ANA Brokers has an entrepreneurial mindset and strives to provide their clients with the best possible outcomes by connecting them with the right buyers. They have over 32 reviews from customers with a 4.6 out of 5 star rating, which speaks to the quality of their services. Business owners in Dallas, TX can trust that ANA Brokers will provide them with the necessary guidance and support to ensure a successful sale.
Beacon Business Brokerage
While we may be biased, we'd like to throw our hat in the ring for Dallas. We've recently sold a large commercial cleaning business for over $10M as well as a local HVAC company just north of Dallas. As a brokerage focused on Texas, we have a strong network of buyers across the area, ranging from private equity firms to local entrepreneurs to regional brands looking to roll-up a number of mom-and-pop operations.
Our average rating on Google is 5 stars, and we can provide a number of references from Texas business owners who have bought or sold businesses through Beacon.
Texas Business Brokers
Texas Business Brokers has offices in Austin and Houston but does provide brokerage services to small business owners in the Dallas, TX metro area. In addition to providing brokerage services to small business owners, their site includes a number of helpful calculators and tools: "Is my business ready to sell?", "Seller item checklist", "Is My Business Ready To Sell?".
This brokerage has experience in various industries such as manufacturing, technology, construction, distribution, health care, services, transportation, and education. They have over 45 reviews from customers with a 5 out of 5 star rating. Business owners in Dallas, TX should consider Texas Business Brokers when thinking of selling.
Transworld Business Advisors - Dallas
Transworld Business Advisors - Dallas is a local office of the national Transworld business brokerage franchise. This office offers a wide range of services including business evaluation, candidate research, marketing strategy development, company liquidation, and other services. They specialize in providing solutions tailored to their clients' individual needs, whether it be finding an appropriate buyer or seller.
While this brokerage does not have any reviews online, the national franchise is well established and trustworthy. Owners should consider Transworld, especially if looking for a fast sale or for owners with relatively small businesses.
Sunbelt Business Brokers - Dallas
Similar to Transworld, Sunbelt Business Brokers of Dallas is a local franchise of the national Sunbelt chain. This franchise offers a similar range of services to business buyers and sellers in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. These services include tax planning, company liquidation, company capital, counseling, valuations, and sales.
Similarly to Transworld, this brokerage does not have any reviews online but has a strong national brand. Owners should consider Sunbelt along with Transworld.
Murphy Business Sales - Texas
Murphy Business Sales offers a wide range of services to their clients in Texas, including skilled intermediaries for Mergers and Acquisitions, Business Valuation Reports and Appraisal Reports, experienced Commercial Real Estate Brokers to aid in site selection, and accurate Equipment Appraisals. Additionally, they are experienced in facilitating business sales in Northern Texas, across most major industries, and have been particularly successful in the Dallas-Fort Worth region of Northern Texas.
Similar to Transworld and Sunbelt, this is a local office of the national franchise chain.
Questions to ask your business broker
How do you charge? Are there any upfront fees or retainers?
It's important to understand how business brokers will charge you. Do they require their entire commission upfront? Or are they willing to take it as you get paid, given that they recommended the buyer? Do they require a hefty upfront retainer? Do they have a minimum fee?
At Beacon, we earn a commission as the owner gets paid. That means that if there is an installment component to the sale, we share the same risk as our clients. In other words, we put our money where our mouth is.
What types of buyers do you focus on?
Some business brokers in Dallas focus on international buyers, others may know very large private equity players. Depending on who your ideal buyer is, you should make sure that the business broker you're speaking with has experience finding and closing that type of buyer.
Will you perform a complimentary valuation?
Some brokerages require owners to pay for valuations. The price can range from $499 to more than $3,000. Ensure that you know what you're getting yourself into. Knowing your exit options is important before committing to a third-party sale with a business broker.
At Beacon, we provide complimentary valuations to owners. But, we do ask owners to pick us when they are ready to sell. As you can see, we like to pay it forward.
Can you provide a reference to an owner who recently worked with you?
We highly recommend asking for references from past clients of the broker. How accurate was the broker's valuation? How careful were they with vetting and selecting buyers to advance to meeting the owner? How helpful were they in helping close the deal after the initial offer was countersigned?
What types of businesses do you specialize in?
If you have a unique business, make sure that the broker is capable of helping you sell. Some business brokers may focus on online or e-commerce businesses. Others may specialize in medical or manufacturing. Having a business broker who truly understands your business is key to achieving the ideal outcome.
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Anthony is the Marketing Lead at Beacon. He previously spent his career working for software companies in Silicon Valley but is now focused on making it easier to buy and sell Main Street businesses. Anthony studied Economics at Brown University and resides in Austin.
Information posted on this page is not intended to be, and should not be construed as tax, legal, investment or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, investment and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.