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The Top 6 Business Broker Franchises in the U.S.

Jeffery Baxter

Sellers Seller Articles Seller FAQ

From gourmet cereal and anger rooms to bird watching supplies, it seems as there is a franchise for everything. And yes, when it comes time to sell your business there are franchises that specialize in that too. 

So, what are the benefits and drawbacks of a business brokerage franchise? Should you consider using a franchise to help you sell your business? 

At MidStreet, we’re known for the sale of businesses with revenues between $1 million to $25 million which means we may not be the best fit for everyone. However, we’re big believers in small business. 

Over 20 years ago, we started out selling main street businesses (under $1 million in revenue). We know how hard business owners work and want to make sure we do everything we can to help all business owners get the help they deserve. 

We take referrals seriously and try hard to make sure we refer to business brokers across the U.S. that will treat owners with respect and do a good job at main street business sales. That’s why we have created a list of the top six brokerage franchises across the United States that have a good reputation for selling main street businesses. 

Let’s hop in. 

The Best Business Broker Franchises 

Flag tacked onto map of the United States

While the franchise system or “franchisor” may have a compelling website and listings compiled from all their franchisees across the country, it's important to remember each brokerage office is independently owned and operated.

What does this mean for you?

It's important to do a bit of due diligence on the local broker before listing your business with a business brokerage that’s part of a franchise system. If not, you may end up locked into a contract with a brokerage firm you don't like. Or you may end up selling your business with less than desirable results

Just like every other profession, there are good business brokers and bad ones. In one city, a franchise may have an experienced, professional broker with several good listings. In another, you may find an inexperienced or unprofessional broker with very few listings. Due to the nature of the profession, there are vast differences from one broker (or brokerage office) to the next. Quality is certainly not going to be consistent across the board. 

With that in mind, in no particular order, here is our list of the top six business brokerage franchises in the United States:

1. Murphy Business Brokers 
2. Sunbelt Business Brokers 
3. VR Business Brokers 
4. Transworld Business Advisors
5. First Choice Business Brokers 
6. We Sell Restaurants

With the exception of one, all of these franchises are "generalists". That means they sell businesses in a wide variety industries. All of offer some combination of common brokerage services including business sales, business consulting, franchise sales, commercial real estate sales, and business valuations. 

1. Murphy Business Brokers

Founded: 1994

Headquarters: Clearwater, Florida 

Locations: 38 states and Canada 

Background: The Murphy Business Brokers franchise was started by Roger Murphy and is now led by Thomas Coba. While they primarily sell main street businesses with revenues under $1 million, they have a few larger listings with asking prices of up to $10 million. 

Murphy is concentrated on representing sellers but also encourages their franchisees to work with buyers and help them find the correct business for their needs. Murphy Business Brokers is considered a generalist and sells a variety of companies in industries such as retail, restaurants, distribution, home improvement, and fitness. 

2. Sunbelt Business Brokers 

Founded: 1978

Headquarters: Charleston, South Carolina 

Locations: Brokers in 39 states and Canada

Background: The Sunbelt Business Brokers franchise was founded in 1978 by Ed Pendarvis in Charleston, South Carolina. In 2006, Sunbelt was acquired by investment group Merrymeeting, based in Cleveland, Ohio. 

Since its founding, Sunbelt’s primary focus has been on providing brokerage services to main street business owners with revenues under $1 million, with a handful of larger listings of up to $10 million. Sunbelt sells a variety of businesses such as residential construction companies, civil engineering firms, restaurants, and cleaning companies. 

3. VR Business Brokers

Founded: 1979

Headquarters: Fort Lauderdale, Florida 

Locations: Brokers in 16 states plus Canada

Background: The VR Business Brokers franchise is led by Peter King and JoAnn Lombardi. They offer seller and buyer representation to help owners sell their businesses and help buyers purchase a new business. 

VR primarily works with businesses under $1 million in sales price, but also has a few listings between $1 million to $5 million in sales price. Their listings include companies in marketing and advertising, education, auto glass repair, countertop fabrication and installation, and residential roofing. 

4. Transworld Business Advisors

Founded: 1979

Headquarters: West Palm Beach, Florida 

Locations: Brokers in 45 states

Background: Transworld is one of the larger franchises. The Transworld Business Advisors franchise was founded by Don and Bonnie Parrish and is now led by Andrew Cagnetta and Ray Titus. Andrew and Ray have grown the company to include more franchises while keeping a focus on brokerage and buyer services. 

They primarily sell main street businesses with sales prices up to $1 million, and also have a few listings between $1 million and $10 million. They sell businesses such as custom home building, home care, transportation, and commercial printing. 

5. First Choice Business Brokers

Founded: 1994

Headquarters: Las Vegas, Nevada 

Locations: Brokers in 20 states

Background: The First Choice Business Brokers franchise was started by Jeffrey Nyman. First Choice is focused on assisting buyers and sellers in the process of purchasing or exiting a business. 

They focus on selling businesses under $1 million in sales price with a handful of businesses priced between $1 million and $5 million. Examples of companies they represent include insurance, fitness, child care, photography, property management, e-commerce, and accounting. 

6. We Sell Restaurants

Founded: 2001

Headquarters: Palm Coast, Florida 

Locations: Brokers in 32 states 

Background: The We Sell Restaurants franchise was created by Eric and Robin Gagnon. As their name suggests, they sell restaurants - so their listings consist of anything from coffee shops, sandwich shops, to seafood restaurants on the coast. 

Since buying and selling restaurants can be nuanced, they have structured their services to buyers and sellers to the restaurant industry. While the majority of their listings are priced around under $1 million, they occasionally sell multi-unit operations and businesses priced between $1 million and $3 million. 

Finding The Best Brokerage For Your Needs

Before choosing to list with any business broker, make sure you take the time to ask the right questions. Don't be persuaded by claims such as "we're the largest" or "we sold more businesses than anyone else". Or the claims that "We have several offices around the country and other offices refer buyers for your business". It rarely happens.

In the end, the only thing that matters is the success of the individual broker you choose to work with. How many businesses have they personally sold. What size and in what industries? Do you like and trust them? What other franchisees have done in other parts of the country is completely irrelevant.   

So, to help you get started, we've put together a checklist with questions to ask brokers. The list will help determine if the broker is a good fit you and your specific business. To help you perform a thorough review of each brokerage you are considering, download the free checklist below. 

Want a list of things to keep in mind when picking a broker?

Download our broker checklist below!

If you want to sell your business, but are still having difficulty determining who to trust, feel free to call us to discuss what brokerage may be the right fit for you. 

Know Your Company's Worth

Prepare to sell by determining the value of your business.


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