Frequently Asked Questions

Where is DealBuilder located?

We operate from beautiful Victoria, BC in Canada. However, we work with business owners all across Canada and the USA.

Why did you decide to start DealBuilder?

DealBuilder was founded by 3 business brokers who saw that the traditional business brokerage model didn’t work for every business owner. Not only was the process expensive, many brokers were using out-of-date systems that didn’t optimize success. This sparked an idea amongst the Co-Founders to bring 21st century tools to the business brokerage industry, which would give every business (regardless of size) the ability to sell.

How do the fees work? Is there a minimum commitment period?

DealBuilder charges a 5% success fee of the purchase price, which is 2x lower than the typical brokerage fee. Why? We operate as a virtual brokerage, using our proprietary software to reduce our costs, we pass these savings along to our clients.

To list on our platform, you must meet our listing requirements. DealBuilder also charges a $1,000 Engagement Fee, which is deducted from the success fee when your business sells.

What is required to list on your platform?

Our promise to Buyers is that every listing on DealBuilder will contain complete information. This includes:

> Historical financial statements from the Seller's accountant
> A completed buyer presentation (see an example here)
> Documents ready for due diligence

This may seem like a lot of work, but just like eating your greens, it's for your own good. As businesses are far more likely to sell when they are prepared correctly.

How do you keep the sale of my business confidential?

All buyers must sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before accessing any information about your business. This legally prevents buyers from sharing information about your business to anyone else.

You have full control as to whether you accept or reject buyer access to the presentation.

How do you find buyers for my business?

In addition to our growing list of buyers, we confidentially advertise your business across the internet. The sites we advertise on include and - the two largest business-for-sale sites online.

What type of support do Deal Managers provide?

Deal Managers provide comprehensive sales & marketing support while you sell your business. This includes completing your business valuation, writing your buyer presentation, and answering the questions you may have along the way.

You can think of your Deal Manager as your personal Deal Concierge. Need help finding a good transactional lawyer? Your Deal Manager can make a few recommendations. Is the Buyer trying to figure out how to get financing? Your Deal Manager can help them secure financing.

You can read more about the difference between a Deal Manager and a Business Broker here.

How long will it take to sell my business?

The honest answer? It depends. On average, it takes 6-12 months to successfully sell a business. Sometimes you can get lucky and sell faster, however, it is best to set the right expectations.

What is included in my business valuation/asking price?

Your business valuation typically includes all equipment + the normal level of inventory to operate your business. A business valuation does not include the value of any real estate owned by the company, which is often valued differently.

Is there financing available to purchase a business? How much of a down payment is required?

Yes, transactional financing is available for many businesses. The amount of financing available depends on many factors including but not limited to your business experience, the size of the business you want to buy, its industry, and how profitable it is.

Financing a business acquisition is very different in Canada compared to the USA. In Canada, you may need 25% to 100% of the purchase price available as a down payment. Whereas in the USA you may need as little as 10% of the purchase price available as a down payment.

Still a bit confused? Don’t worry, our team of experienced Deal Managers are able to assist you in identifying the appropriate lender depending on the unique characteristics of the deal.

Who completes due diligence?

We recommend that every buyer does their own due diligence prior to completing any business transaction. In addition to your Deal Manager, we encourage you to leverage the knowledge of both your accountant and lawyer throughout the due diligence process. Don’t have a lawyer or accountant? Don’t worry as we have a list of recommended professionals we can refer you to.

What are good businesses to buy?

The answer = it depends! Do you have experience operating restaurants? Well, it may make sense for you to purchase a restaurant.

Our piece of advice - find a business you can imagine yourself working in everyday. If you can’t see yourself enjoying the work, it can be tough to find success.

How long does it take to purchase a business?

The longest part of the journey is finding a business that fits your criteria. Once that is done (and you have an accepted offer) the process can take 4-8 weeks for smaller deals. Larger more complex deals can take up to 12-16 weeks.

What is Seller’s Discretionary Earnings (SDE)?

SDE is a calculation of the total financial benefit that a single full-time owner-operator would derive from a business on an annual basis. It includes all salaries or wages paid to the owner (just one) along with any “discretionary” expenses that are paid for by the company that benefit that single owner directly but are not necessary for operations.

What is EBITDA?

EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) is an indicator of a company’s financial performance. On the DealBuilder platform it is calculated as follows: SDE – Owner’s Salary. In essence, it is the Net Profit of the business plus interest on long term debt plus taxes plus depreciation and amortization.

Why do I need a valuation if I am not planning on selling?

Because you can’t improve what you don’t measure. Further, many business owners have a false sense of the value of their business (unfortunately it is usually inflated). More importantly, there are several small things that you can do that make a tremendous difference when it comes to selling your business - most of which are easier than you think.

Can you provide a few examples of exit planning strategies?

Exit-planning is a catch-all term that applies to many things. We like to break it down to anything that improves the valuation or saleability of your business (read this article to understand the difference).

This can be as little as incorporating your business, cleaning-up your company finances, paying yourself a salary, or larger projects like hiring a full-time General Manager. These are all strategies we cover in the DealBuilder Community.

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