Working With A Business Broker: What You Need To Know

You’ve worked too hard and too long to risk selling your business by yourself. You need a professional who knows how to sell businesses, where to advertise, and has industry contacts. The chances are you’ve not sold many businesses in your career, and now is not the time to learn.

Engaging Your Broker’s Services

When seeking a broker to sell your business, your due diligence is required in selecting the most suitable firm. Some things to think about:

– You want to know how your broker will advertise your business and their budget for this purpose. – If your sale is confidential, you’ll want to know how the broker will advertise, yet keep your identity unknown. – Does your broker think a cash sale is best for you, or a price with terms? – Determine that the broker is a good fit for your type of business; has the firm previously sold a business of your type and size, and in your location? – Remember that time kills deals… so is the broker experienced in moving the process along rapidly? – Be clear about the frequency of contact you expect from your broker; if you want frequent updates, say so. – Find out how quickly the broker responds to buyer inquiries, and the protocol for moving prospects forward. – Inquire about how many listings the broker has and determine if he or she is too busy to be a good selection for you.

Reviewing the engagement proposal

Once you have selected the broker you believe will do the best work for you, the broker will require you to sign an engagement letter detailing your working relationship. This letter states the terms of the services and the fees you will pay. Most engagement letters have standard language; some of the elements you should expect are:

– The services you are hiring, such as preparing a marketing brochure, working with specialists on your behalf, advertising your business’s availability, filtering inquiries, and recommending worthy prospects. – Limitations of the services the broker will provide. – A term for performance; 3 – 24 months is typical. – Client’s responsibilities in support of the effort. – A disclaimer describing the broker’s potential for performance. – A description of the fees, discussed below.

The broker’s fee

Brokers are compensated either hourly, through a success fee, by a retainer, or by combinations of these options. Here are some details:

Success Fee: A success fee is a commission based on a percentage of the sale price, or a dollar amount. Typically, a success fee is between 5 – 12% and the smaller the sale, the higher the percentage.

Advisor’s Fee, or Retainer: Brokers expect to be paid for their hard costs and minimal services whether you sell or not. If the sale is successful, their fees may be deducted from the success fee. The retainer may include the advertising budget and other upfront costs the broker will commit to doing, such as meeting with members of your professional team.

Reverse Fee: As mentioned above, most of the time a broker will present a graded fee schedule with a higher fee percentage for a smaller sale price. A reverse fee schedule works like this:

Assume that you and your financial planner have determined your business has a value of $700,000 and you have set this as your top price. The broker tells you they charge 10% on all sales under $1 million. However, the broker also tells you his firm will try to sell your business for over a million, and if they do, will you be willing to pay 15%? Do the math and you’ll see that a reverse fee is desirable.

Consult your business broker or attorney with questions about the terms of your agreement.

Who Do You Think Is Going To Steal Your Identity?

When people think about identity theft and identity thieves, they usually have some pre-conceived notions about what identity thieves look like and how they operate.

If you go out and ask a few people what they picture in their minds when you say the word “identity thief,” you’ll probably get a wide variety of responses.

Some people picture identity thieves as lone hackers, sitting in their mother’s basement and typing away at a keyboard, stealing credit card numbers off the internet.

Other people imagine someone standing at a stranger’s mailbox, riffling through mail, looking for pre-approved credit card offers.

While those scenarios do happen (quite often, in fact), they’re not the only threat to people concerned about the security of their financial identity.

Law Enforcement officers are well aware of another, much more dangerous type of identity thief – the type that works with multiple partners. I’m talking about identity theft rings.

Much like shoplifting rings, identity theft rings operate in large groups, roaming throughout the country in search of a market that hasn’t been hit for awhile.

Once an identity theft ring identifies a market, sometimes through the use of scouts, sometimes just by showing up one day, taking a look around and seeing a few easy marks, they can set up shop quickly.

These identity theft rings, who often consist of 5 to 10 people working in conjunction, strategically target high-income individuals. This is a tried-and-true tactic which, if you think about it, makes perfect sense. After all, why would an identity thief risk stealing from people with low credit scores – and low credit limits?

So how does an identity theft ring identify potential victims?

Usually scouts for the group will look for and look into people or groups of people who display indicators of a high income.

Expensive subdivisions are driven through, often while they are under construction. Office building parking lots are staked out, with the best cars being followed home at the end of the day. Gym parking lots are watched and cars glanced into when the individual has gone inside the building and is working out.

In other cases, scouts for the identity theft ring will look into groups of individuals whose personal information has proven to be fairly easy to gather. College professors, teachers, government employees and real estate brokers fall into this category.

With either kind of groups targeted, the identity theft ring then uses an information broker to get the Social Security Numbers of their selected targets. This is usually a simple thing for information brokers to do, as they have access to credit bureau files and just run the names through their databases using what’s called a “national identifier search.” While this is strictly an illegal use of these credit bureau files, there are more than enough corrupt information brokers out there who are perfectly willing to make a few bucks on the side and do this for identity thieves who make it worth their while.

Now, identity theft rings do not want problems to pop up with any of the numbers they buy. If one individual’s Social Security number is found to be less than readily available to the information broker, or if there are flags on the account from a identity theft prevention service, those names are dropped off the list of targets. Usually there are very few names whose files fall into that category, however, and identity thieves are rarely inconvenienced by having large numbers of people using that service. There are hundreds of millions of unprotected people out there, and criminals like to go after low-hanging fruit.

Once the Social Security numbers have been procured, the identity theft ring will then go into overdrive, applying for credit cards, loans, lines of credit and checking accounts – all using the names and Social Security numbers of their pre-selected targets. Those credit card applications, credit cards, and checking account applications are usually mailed to a small apartment or PO box that had been rented as soon as the identity theft ring members got into town.

In what may be a surprisingly short amount of time to you or I, but a completely expected amount of time to professional identity thieves, credit cards and blank checks will begin to show up at the identity thieves’ apartment or at that Post Office box.

As fast as those credit cards and blank checks come in, they go out, in the hands of identity theft ring members whose work consists of buying expensive merchandise – usually computer equipment, jewelry and consumer electronics such as game consoles. Spending cash is obtained by the thieves who hit ATM’s and cash bad checks.

Usually, by the end of the day, there are literally piles of merchandise sitting on the floor, ready to be sold to area fences, at flea markets or to pawn shops.

Within a few weeks, before the new credit card bills start to arrive and before the checks start to bounce, the identity theft ring will sell everything, pack up their tools, and leave town – looking for their next target city and their next group of identity theft victims.

They leave behind them financial disaster.

People whose credit has been perfect (up until now) are now faced with many, many man-hours of work on the phone with credit card companies, businesses in the area and banks who all want to be paid. The police are usually called and time has to be spent with them, clearing things up. Credit bureaus, who report what they’re told to report by the companies who are their customers, are always slow in fixing what was reported erroneously.

Meanwhile, the people who use identity theft prevention services are completely unaware that any of this is going on, unless they see it in the news. All because their names were crossed off the identity thieves’ list at the very beginning of the selection process.

The best way to protect yourself against something is to learn as much as you can about it and do the work yourself.

For those of us who don’t have the time to do that, the next best thing to do is to hire someone who makes it their business to know what we don’t.

You hire a doctor to heal you.

You hire lawyers to defend you.

For just $10 a month or so, you can hire an identity theft prevention service to protect your financial identity from those who would steal it, use it and ruin it.

Best Forex Brokers Search, A Guide To Select A Top Forex Broker

Quest For The Best Forex Broker

Let’s face the reality. Everybody is in business to make money, including the brokers. There are mainly two types of brokers. Dealing desk and non dealing desk. An important fact to know when you trade is, in a dealing desk environment there are hardly any win-win situation. So called top forex brokers may even be trading against you.

Now the question arises, how to find genuine non dealing desk brokers? Simple. Go find ECN brokers. Although it sounds simple, there are few considerations surrounding it too. e.g. ECN environment may not be offered with smaller accounts such as ‘micro’ or even with ‘standard’ accounts below a certain deposit margin. So if you want a real ECN broker, low minimum deposits may not be an option.

It’s also true that some brokers not only may trade against you, but also send fake spikes and dips in rates to terminate your open profitable trades. This is a dirty tactic utilized by few so called “best forex brokers” in order to capitalize on the unsuspecting novice traders’ innocence.

Forex is the most dynamic financial market in the world. Its so dynamic that there are no central regulating body to endorse rates and tick data. While this very phenomena has been the back bone of forex, some brokers misuse it against their clients to manipulate market conditions and trends, simply because the average trader cannot verify the authenticity of the chart data provided by the broker. Do you still think yours is the best forex broker in the market?

Real time results in identical demo accounts and live accounts of the same broker may highly differ. I personally did not want to know why. But think of how much control a broker has over traders’ accounts. Another simple experiment is that you cannot simply trade using charts and data from a different broker, unless they are genuinely non dealing desk or ECN brokers. Whether you are veteran trader or just starting your forex career, a thorough research about how top forex brokers operate and their genuineness are on the cards.

Find out the important characteristics of best forex brokers. The most important part of trading forex is not the trading strategy but a balance between all components involved in trading decisions. Even if you do have a holy grail of a system, it may be useless if you don’t have best forex broker to go along with it.