Do you ever wonder how business brokers earn their income? Are you curious about the fees they charge and how they determine their commission? In this article, we will explore the world of business brokers and uncover the details of how much they get paid. Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, understanding the compensation structure of business brokers can help you make informed decisions during the process. Let’s dive in and discover the ins and outs of business broker fees and commissions.

Understanding the Role of a Business Broker

Before we delve into the topic of how much business brokers get paid, let’s first understand what a business broker does. A business broker acts as a middleman, facilitating the buying and selling of businesses between buyers and sellers. They provide valuable guidance and assistance throughout the entire process, from initial negotiations to the final closing.

Business Broker Fees: A Commission-Based Model

Like real estate agents, business brokers are typically compensated through a commission-based model. This means that they receive a percentage of the final sales price of the business as their fee. The exact commission percentage can vary depending on various factors such as the size and value of the business.

Factors Affecting Business Broker Fees

Several factors come into play when determining the fees charged by business brokers. Let’s take a closer look at some of these factors:

Business Value

The value of the business is one of the primary factors that influence the commission percentage charged by a business broker. In general, business brokers charge a higher commission for larger businesses with higher sales prices. The commission percentage tends to decrease for businesses with lower values.

Sale Price Range

Business brokers often use a tiered commission structure based on the sale price range of the business. For example, they may charge a higher commission percentage for the first $1,000,000 of the sale price and a lower percentage for anything above that threshold. This tiered structure allows for flexibility and ensures that the commission aligns with the value of the business.

Flat Fees for Small Businesses

For small businesses with a lower value, business brokers may opt for a flat fee rather than a commission-based model. This approach is commonly seen for businesses valued under $100,000. The flat fee provides a straightforward and transparent compensation structure for both parties involved.

Negotiation and Customization

It’s important to note that business broker fees are not set in stone. There is often room for negotiation and customization based on the specific circumstances of the transaction. The final fee arrangement is typically agreed upon through a negotiation process between the business broker and the client.

The Typical Range of Commission Percentages

While business broker fees can vary, there is a typical range of commission percentages that you can expect. It’s important to remember that these percentages are not fixed and may differ depending on the specific situation. However, the following ranges are commonly seen in the industry:

  • For businesses sold between $100,000 and $1,000,000, the commission percentage typically falls between 10% and 15%.
  • For businesses valued under $100,000, flat fees are more prevalent.
  • For businesses sold for over $1,000,000, the commission percentage may be negotiated, with a potential decrease in the percentage for amounts exceeding the threshold.

Who Pays the Business Broker?

In most cases, the business seller is responsible for paying the business broker fees. The commission is deducted from the proceeds of the sale at the time of closing. However, if both the buyer and seller have their own business brokers, the commission is usually split between them. This arrangement ensures fairness and incentivizes brokers to work collaboratively.

Tax Implications of Business Broker Fees

When selling a business and paying a business broker commission, it’s essential to consult with an accountant to understand the tax implications. In many cases, the business broker’s commission can be tax-deductible. Additionally, your accountant can help allocate the ultimate sales price between depreciable and amortizable assets to optimize tax benefits.

Evaluating the Value of Hiring a Business Broker

Now that we have explored the topic of business broker fees, you might be wondering whether it’s worth hiring a business broker in the first place. The answer depends on various factors, including the complexity of the transaction and your level of expertise in buying or selling businesses.

Benefits for Sellers

For sellers, hiring a business broker can be advantageous. An experienced broker can help determine the optimal listing price, effectively market the business, and attract qualified buyers. They also assist with negotiations, due diligence, and handling any issues that may arise during the process. Ultimately, a skilled business broker can potentially maximize the sale price and ensure a smooth transaction.

Benefits for Buyers

Buyers can also benefit from the expertise of a business broker. A broker can help identify suitable businesses that align with the buyer’s goals and financial capabilities. They can assist with negotiations, provide valuable insights during due diligence, and facilitate a seamless closing process. By working with a business broker, buyers can avoid overpaying and mitigate potential risks.


Understanding how business brokers get paid is crucial when considering their services. Their commission-based model, which is often a percentage of the final sales price, compensates them for their expertise and efforts in facilitating the buying and selling of businesses. By knowing the factors that influence business broker fees and the typical commission ranges, you can make informed decisions as a buyer or seller. Ultimately, hiring a business broker can provide valuable guidance and increase the chances of a successful transaction.

Next time you find yourself asking, “How much do business brokers get paid?” remember that their compensation is a result of their dedication to assisting buyers and sellers in achieving their business goals.