The Business Brokers of Florida (BBF) website boasts a Multi Listing System (MLS), which mandates that member business brokers share their listings and participate in commission-sharing arrangements with other members. This platform has proven to be an invaluable resource for my business broker career in Florida, spanning a successful 10 years. Despite attempting to capitalize on offers from alternative platforms such as BizBuySell, BusinessForSale, and Loopnet, I have consistently found success solely through the BBFMLS.
The BBFMLS site is unique in that it exclusively lists businesses represented by professional business brokers. Gaining membership to the BBF is a rigorous process, requiring applicants to demonstrate their experience and skills in the field. Furthermore, members must adhere to a stringent ethical charter and follow established processes and guidelines for the industry. As a business broker and BBF member, I have access to detailed company information in the back office, enabling me to efficiently shortlist opportunities tailored to clients' needs. Over the years, I have built a solid reputation within the BBF network and have formed trusted working relationships with other brokers.
On the other hand, listings on sites like BizBuySell, BusinessForSale, and Loopnet can come from a variety of sources, which often results in inconsistent quality. For instance, business owners may list their companies themselves and have unrealistic expectations about their company's value, leading to difficult negotiations. They may also be skeptical of brokers representing buyers, believing they ask too many questions or overstep boundaries.
Additionally, real estate agents specializing in residential sales may list businesses on these sites. However, their expertise in selling houses does not necessarily translate to success in selling businesses. As an experienced business broker, I focus on selling businesses while my wife, Daphne, handles the residential real estate side of our agency. I have encountered instances where the incompetence of a residential real estate agent representing the other party has been a significant obstacle to a successful transaction. Unfortunately, the seller may never realize that their agent's incompetence was a contributing factor to the deal's failure.
As a result, listings on alternative platforms can often feature unrealistic or inconsistent valuations that do not adhere to industry norms and customs. In many cases, the financial figures provided lack coherence and cannot withstand basic analysis. This issue is particularly concerning for E2 visa applicants, as the quality of the business they acquire will directly impact the outcome of their application and their future life in the United States.
It's important to clarify that I do not outright dismiss cases that are listed simultaneously on BBFMLS and other platforms. In fact, as business brokers, we often post our listings on these alternative sites to increase their visibility and reach a wider audience.
When searching for a business on your behalf, I will not entirely exclude these alternative sites, but I will prioritize the BBFMLS due to its proven track record of success and higher-quality opportunities. The BBFMLS has consistently proven to be a more reliable and trustworthy source for finding the right business opportunities for my clients, and I am committed to using this resource to ensure your success as well.
Sylvain Perret is a business professional who has been living in the United States since 2010. Along with his wife Daphnee, he has established several businesses in the country, including Integrity International Brokers, an agency based in Orlando where he works as a business broker, real estate broker, business consultant, and business plan writer. Over the years, he has helped numerous clients from around the world achieve success in their projects to create or take over a company in the United States with an E2 visa. He is highly knowledgeable about U.S. immigration issues and is the author of the book "S'expatrier aux USA grâce aux visas d'entrepreneurs," which is soon to be translated into English. Sylvain is also a Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) by the International Business Brokers Association and is regularly consulted on issues related to this field. At the age of 50, Sylvain chose to enhance his expertise in finance and strategy by pursuing a Master of Business Administration from the University of Central Florida. He successfully graduated in May 2023, adding a valuable finishing touch to his knowledge. He is active on LinkedIn and Twitter, where he shares his insights and experiences with a wider audience.