Do you vet potential buyers before sending them through to us?

The answer to this question is more complicated than a simple yes. We do a background check on everybody who comes our way and we also keep records as to previous conduct by potential buyers in relation to other firms they have enquired about. We notify our sellers of everything that we know about a potential buyer, so that you can make a decision as to whether or not you want to give consent for your information to be released to them. We do not release any information about a firm for sale unless the seller has given us specific consent to release it.

The only information any buyers will ever know about your firm is the agreed paragraph of information which is the detail we use to market your firm and put together your listing. When a new buyer comes through we do ask them for quite a bit of information about themselves and their company, and we will always undertake a background check on the company and the person before we send out details to our sellers. If anything comes from that then we will notify the sellers.

For anyone who has been involved in the sale of businesses, you will know that there are a number of reasons why buyers are looking to purchase, and a significant proportion of these are buyers who have an issue which require them to purchase another business in order to carry on trading. This does not necessarily rule them out as potential buyers, but it does require extra caution.

If we know anything about a buyer based on previous behaviour when they have been dealing with other sellers, we always tell the sellers. So for example if we have a buyer who has wasted everyone’s time on numerous occasions and then makes a new enquiry about another business, we will notify the seller that we have had problems with them before. The service we provide as business brokers is not just to effect sales and purchases of businesses – we act as an intermediary wherever possible and provide impartial and confidential advice to both sides of the transaction, even though it is the buyer who contracts with us to pay our fees. Buyers and sellers who have used our service in the past have expressed surprise at how honest and open we are when it comes to potential deals, and how little we try to sell anything to anybody. We think this is of great help to anybody who is looking for a sale or purchase and simply wants a broker to be there to provide a sounding board and advice.