UK directory of business brokers (business transfer agents)?

...and why you've got no chance of finding the most competent ones in Google or in business directories.

Business Broker Directory

The problem we had trying to find a list of business brokers in the UK

The UK has long suffered from the fact that there is no comprehensive national directory of business brokers / business transfer agents.

The reason may be that this is a fast changing landscape with some brokers regularly going bust and then reappearing under a new name (read our article about this).

When we first started building our database and knowledge base on UK business brokers we looked around for a seed directory to use as a starting point. We visited the directory at the well known BizBuySell site. But it's a US only affair and, though they had a UK section, it contained less than half a dozen names!

The "directory" at the International Business Brokers Association isn't any better. Not much international about it as it requires you to say which US state you're in. It was exactly the same with businessbroker.net and businessbookpress.com (a resource centre for business brokers). The former has just one broker listed in the UK at the time of writing this article!

Then we found the UK directory at the BusinessesForSale site. It's a big improvement, but it's not a comprehensive directory. It lists only those brokers who've applied to be listed and doesn't include the numerous Corporate Finance firms, legal firms and others who have very large and specialised business broking operations. This site lists only those calling themselves "business brokers" which, unfortunately,  leaves out most of the top talent.

It's also the case that many of the brokers listed on that last site are no longer in business!

We did investigate a few more directories, but the bottom line is that, er, there's nobody keeping track of who's still in business far less the areas they cover, the type of businesses they are specialised in handling, the fees they charge or the reputation of individual brokers.

So we took on the task of putting together a database with all of the above information, and more, and commissioned a team to work on it. The public don't have access to our knowledge base, but it is used to advise and guide clients (and you can avail of that service yourself).

We now track over 1000 firms. In fact, there are 100+ brokers just under the letter "C". Have a look at this article on the sheer wealth of talent we have in the UK that you have no idea exists, talent that you have no way of finding by yourself! Talent that can get you a much better price than your average, run of the mill, business broker.

How you can go about finding a broker:

  • Finding a broker
  • Some search terms (& Broker names)

As stated on the first tab, using search engines to find business brokers is, on its own, unlikely to get you the more competent brokers. You'll simply find the ones best at Search Engine Optimisation or Google Adwords advertising.

Your best option is to use our expertise, our broker database and knowledge base and some careful filtering to find you the talent most appropriate to your requirements. And to find you that talent at a fair price and with fair terms.

You will also learn what questions to ask brokers, what terms to be wary about, how to negotiate their fees, how to get them to prioritise your business over every other business they are selling ... and much more.

The most attractive part for our clients is that they save far more on broker fees than they pay for our services. Even if you've decided on the broker you're going to use, it'll cost you less to go through us than if you approached them directly!

But if you are returning to Google, here are some suggestions:

Try a range of search terms, including terms like your industry + business broker.  Try replacing broker in your searches with
M&A advisor
exit planner
corporate finance advisor/ adviser
etc

Of course that will still get you only the brokers in Google's index.

It's worth running the searches through other search engines: Bing, Yahoo, Duck Duck Go and Yandex.

You could also search M&A Award sites, LinkedIn and independent sites like this Europe wide resource for M&A advisors (my own listing at that site is here).

Below are the brokers you're likely to find in a Google search. Less than 150 brokers feature in Google searches when using all the main search terms. Bear in mind that we have​ 1000+ brokers and other intermediaries (who provide the same broker service).

A2Z Business Brokers Ltd
Abbott & Crowe
Acquire Business Sales Ltd
Active Business Sales
Adams and Co
Addisons
Adepto Acquisitions Ltd
Advent Business Sales Ltd
Albert Goodman LLP
Alexander Mackie Associates Ltd
Altius Group Ltd
Anderson Moore Business Consultants
Anderson Shaw Corporate Finance Ltd
Andon Freres Corporate Brokers Ltd
Andrew Greenwood Business Transfer Agent
Apex Business Sales
Arrow Business Sales
ASG Commercial
Ashley Tate Ltd
Aspire Business Brokers Ltd
AWG Business Transfer
Axis Partnership UK Limited
Barry Crux & Company Limited
Beardsley Theobalds
Beer Mergers Limited
Begbies Traynor Group
Benchmark International Brokers Limited
Bernard Baxter Business Brokers
Bespoke Care
Blacks Business Brokers
Bridgers Central UK Ltd
Brown & Co
Bruce Commercial Estate Agents
BTG Corporate Finance
Business Transfer Agent Ltd
Businesses To Go
Businesslink Brokers Ltd
Camlee Group
Capital Logic Investments Ltd
Caremark UK Ltd
Careport Advisory Services Ltd
Chemex International Ltd
Chris Hart Business Sales Ltd
City Business Brokers Ltd
Clyde Commercial Ltd
Corporate Mergers Ltd
CS Consultancy
Dankor Commercial
DC Care
Dean Gambles & Co
Derbyshires Business to Business
Direct Commercial Property Solutions
Diverco Limited
Douglas Barrie & Co Ltd
Dowle, Smith & Rutherford
Draper Hinks
Easy Business Sales Ltd
Edge Allen Practice Mergers
Ellis and Ellis Business Transfer Agents
Ensors Chartered Accountants
Ernest Wilsons & Co Ltd
Everett Masson & Furby
Evolution Complete Business Sales Ltd
Falcon Commercial
Fenn Wright
Fish and Chip Sale Ltd
GA Select Ltd
Goldsmiths Corporate Finance Limited
Goodchilds Estate Agents & Lettings Limited
Gordon Craig O”Brien & Co
Harvey Silver Hodgkinson
Henley Business Brokers Ltd
Hilton Smythe
Hornblower Business Brokers Ltd
Humberstones
Hunter Gee Holroyd Limited
Hurdley and Co
Hyde House
Ian Benson Mergers
Intelligent Business Transfer
Isis Business Brokers Ltd
JDP Corporate Finance Ltd
Jeremy Kitchin Practice M & A Ltd
KBS Corporate
KBT Associates
Kenricks Commercial
Kings Business Transfer
Kingswood Business Sales Ltd
Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward
Knightsbridge Business Sales
Lakey & Co
Larking Gowen Holdings Limited
LaSalle Investment Management
Lawrence & co
Leith Mergers & Acquisitions Limited
Lime Licensing Group
Lucas & Weston Limited
Maximiti Ltd
Merger Services Limited T/A Select Business Sales
Meridian Business Sales Ltd,
Michael Brewer
Miller Commercial LLP
Mirrelson Commercial
Morgan Cox Ltd
National School Transfer NST (UK) Ltd
Nationwide Businesses Ltd
North East & Yorkshire Commercial
Oxenham Associates Ltd
Paviour Property Services
Pegasus Business Sales
Proctor Partnerships Ltd
Property Solutions GB North Limited
Reads Davies
Redwoods Dowling Kerr
Retiring Accountants
Richmond Capital Partners Ltd
RS Business Transfer Agents
RTA Business Consultants Ltd
Savills (UK) t/a Charles F Jones & Sons
School Transfer Consultants
Scott Burridge Commercial LLP
Select Business Transfer
Sett & Lucas
Seymour & Clink Limited
Shaw Gibbs Ltd
Smith and Clough Business Associates
South East Business Brokers
Stirling Business Solutions Ltd
Succession Strategies Limited
Sunbelt Network
Tait Walker
The Business Partnership
Vandervells LLP
Vexus Business Brokers Limited
Vivian Sram Ltd
Wilkins Kennedy LLP