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How A Certified Business Broker Differs


A certified business broker, also known as a Certified Business Intermediary, is a professional selling businesses who has been awarded "certification" from the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA) after meeting the organization’s requirements. Those requirements include:

1. Education: The requirement is to complete a minimum of 60 class hours with courses covering business brokerage subjects. Included in the curriculum, offered by the IBBA, are mandatory classes on ethics, financial analysis, pricing/valuation and legal and tax implications. Of the total class hours, 16 can be dedicated to courses taken on an elective basis by the applicant.

2. Examination: All applicants are tested on their knowledge gained in the coursework throughout the educational process, and are required to score at least 70% in order to past the tests. A comprehensive exam also is administered at the end of the coursework, with the passing grade of at least 70% required.

3. Experience: The minimum requirement is that the candidate has at least three years of experience in business brokerage during the past ten years, and is actively involved in either the deal-making process or managing others who are listing and selling businesses and negotiating transactions. A college degree or related work experience might be substituted for two of the three years of experience required.

4. Code of Ethics: All applicants must become familiar with the IBBA Code of Ethics and agree to adhere to all 20 articles in the code.

5. Conference attendance: Another requirement for the award is to attend at least one IBBA conference for professional development.

The IBBA enforces the use of the certified business broker designation. A business broker who falsely claims to have the certification either in conversation or by including the designation on printed or online marketing materials, even while working to gain that status, may lose the opportunity to receive the “certification” and might be subject to other sanctions. Additionally the certification might be withdrawn if a business broker fails to pay money due to the IBBA, fails to maintain the code of ethics in his or her practice, or doesn’t meet other requirements for a certified business broker in good standing.

It is useful for a professional to have the designation of certified business broker in order to reinforce his or her credibility and qualification to list and sell businesses.  Among the thousands of business brokers and agents throughout California, only 112 were certified business brokers at the end of 2009.

About the Author: Peter Siegel, MBA is the Founder of www.BizBen.com (established 1994 - 7000+ California businesses for sale, 200 new listings daily) and the Director of the BizBen Network (16,000 business buyers, 4,000 small business owners, 1,800 California business brokers & agents). He consults daily with business buyers, business owners, small business advisors, business brokers and agents on selling and buying California small businesses. He is also the author of three books on the topic of how to buy and sell California small to mid-sized companies. For a FREE consultation on the best way to buy or sell a California business, phone Peter Siegel direct at 866-270-6278.


Categories: BizBen Blog Contributor, Business Broker Information



  Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses
Brad Steinberg, Broker - Laundromat Specialists

PWS is the leading laundromat broker in California. Since 1968 PWS has brokered over 2,500 laundromat sales. With over 90 employees dedicated to the coin laundry industry, PWS has 18 licensed agents, a 3 person in-house finance department, 10 service technicians and a 20 person parts department.

Willard Michlin, CPA, Certified Fraud Examiner, Due Diligence Services

Willard Michlin, CPA #106752, offers buyers step by step training & assistance in doing Due Diligence Services when they are thinking of making an offer, or are in process of investigating a business purchase. He helps to determine the actual net profit even when there is cash. Call 805-428-2063.

Diane Boudreau-Tschetter: Escrow And Bulk Sale Services

California Business Escrow, Inc. is a full service independent escrow company serving all of California and has expertise in a wide range of escrows. Our team prides itself on providing an exceptional escrow experience. For more info phone Diane Boudreau-Tschetter at 888-383-3331 or 209-838-1100.

Joe Sandbank, Esq. - Legal Services

I have provided legal counsel to business buyers, sellers and brokers for over 17 years. With prior experience as a business broker and SBA loan officer, Joe brings both a practical and legal approach to all aspects of the business acquisition process.

Elizabeth McGovern: Escrow Services - SF Bay Area

McGovern Escrow Services, Inc., is a leading independent escrow company. We are a trusted partner with our clients, assisting them through the tangled bulk sale & liquor license transfer process. We provide attentive, quality & innovative customer service. Phone Elizabeth McGovern at 415-735-3645.

Ranvir S. Sandhu, Esq. - Legal Services For Buyers And Sellers

I've worked at top Bay Area law firms and have extensive experience with business entity formation, mergers, dissolutions, conversions, employment matters, including experience in reviewing and negotiating transactional documents such as leases and purchase agreements.

Mark Chatow, Esq.: Legal Services For Buying, Selling Businesses

Mark has a broad range of small business purchase & sale experience from analyzing potential acquisition targets to successfully guiding buyers and sellers through the purchase & sale of small businesses. Mark can assist with contracts, negotiations, legal matters, etc. Reach Mark at 949-478-8393.

Janet Carrera - Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - SF Bay Area

Redwood Escrow Services, Inc. is a full service, licensed independent escrow company. We are EAFC Fidelity bonded, fully insured & licensed with the Department of Corporations. Committed to offering our clients the most comprehensive variety of escrow services available. Phone Janet at 510-247-0741.


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