Tampa, FL asked in Business Law for Florida

Q: I hired a business broker to sell my business. His contract won’t let me fire him. Please help!

I hired a business broker in May to sell by business. For the last 3.5 months he has not done anything to sell my business. He hadn’t posted it on the BusinessMLS or BizBuySell. Nowhere. When I discussed my frustrations he gave me a song and dance and then told me that it’s just slow during the summer and I should consider lowering my price. (Which is crazy because it’s only listed for 50k with 50k in accounts receivable. Selling it for anything less is absurd. As specially after his 15k fee.) I finally told him that he’s not listening to me and I would rather keep it then sell it for anything less. This is where the problems come into play. He insists that because I signed a listing agreement, I am now legally obligated to either allow him to keep it listed until September of next year (23) or I can pay him his $15,000 fee that he was supposed to get by selling the business. He’s sitting on the listing simply waiting for a payout. How do I get out of this contract.Is there even a way?

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3 Lawyer Answers
Jane Kim
Jane Kim PRO label
  • Naples, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: It is impossible to provide advice without reviewing your agreement with the broker.

A broker should not earn a fee if he does not actually procure a buyer, that would be unjust enrichment and likely a violation of the rules regulating brokers (FL DBPR).

You should read the agreement to see if it says anything about what this broker is expected to do for you, see if he's breached any of the terms. See if there is a termination or a default clause in the agreement. There are many things you can spot in the agreement, but someone must review it.

Good luck.

Bruce Alexander Minnick agrees with this answer

Michael  Mayoral
Michael Mayoral
  • Coral Gables, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: I agree with Ms. Kim. Giving you an answer to your question requires an attorney to read all of the terms of the contract/agreement. Consult with an attorney who handles commercial law and/or business litigation and provide them with the contract beforehand.

Bruce Alexander Minnick agrees with this answer

Bruce Alexander Minnick
Bruce Alexander Minnick
  • Tallahassee, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: The responding experienced lawyers are correct: No Florida lawyer can advise you what to do without first seeing the agreement that you say has captured you until next year.

However, it is not necessary to go visit a lawyer at their office because we have the ability to communicate effectively and send and receive copies of all documents over the Internet.

Use Justia to locate experienced Florida lawyers who will conduct business over the Internet today.

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