How much does it cost to sell a business?
Selling a business can cost you anywhere from nothing to as much as 12% of the selling price or more. We have heard stories from individuals who have been approached to purchase a business and the buyer covers all costs of the transaction including attorney fees, to those who sell with a business broker and pay a 12% fee. Using a professional business broker you should expect to pay between 8%-12% of the sales fee. If commercial real estate is included in the transaction you should expect to pay 4%-7% on the real estate component and 8%-12% on the business value. If your business is worth less than $100,000 expect at minimum commission of $10,000 to be set by the broker.
Selling a business is not like selling a piece of real estate as their are many factors that go into the marketing and sale and often times the only reason your business may have any value is because you have a business broker that knows what they are doing. If you are a true business professional, can take emotion out of the equation to sell on your own, are organized with clean financial records, clean entity records and are realistic in terms of the asking price, you can sell successfully on your own. You may need to involve an attorney or broker to help with closing the transaction but sometimes the best salesperson is the business owner themselves, and in that case selling costs you virtually nothing except your time.