Can I be paid a finder's fee for helping locate a buyer for the company I work for?

Full Question:

My employer has a finders fee agreement with me to search for a buyer for his business. Is this legal in the state of Florida? I am not a licensed broker. No real property is involved, just the lease, furniture and fixtures of the restaurant. It's located in an office building.
01/31/2007   |   Category: Power of Att... ยป Real Estate   |   State: ALL   |   #1381

Answer:

A business broker is a person or firm that acts as an intermediary between sellers and buyers of businesses. Business brokers, also called business transfer agents, or intermediaries, assist buyers and sellers of privately held business in the buying and selling process. They typically estimate the value of the business; advertise it for sale with or without disclosing its identity; handle the initial interviews, discussions, and negotiations with prospective buyers; facilitate the progress of the "due diligence" investigation and generally assist with the business sale.

In the United States, licensing of business brokers varies by state, with some states requiring licenses, some not; and some requiring licenses if the broker is commissioned but not requiring a license if the broker works on an hourly fee basis. State rules also vary about recognizing licensees across state lines, especially for interstate types of businesses like national franchises. Some states, like California, require either a broker license or law license to even advise a business owner on issues of sale, terms of sale, or introduction of a buyer to a seller for a fee. The following require a license to practice as a business broker: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

In all states the broker must be a licensed real estate agent if real estate interest is involved in the transaction or the transfer of real estate interest is a requirement for the sale.

Since the state of Florida requires business brokers to be licensed, you may want to check the website of the Florida Business Brokers Association:
http://www.fbba.com/default.htm