How to Hire an M&A Advisor [2023 Update]
Hey there, thanks for visiting!
The announcement of our M&A Advisor Directory was truly groundbreaking, and we’re glad you’re considering hiring an advisor to help you get Acquire’d.
Today we’ve made working with advisors much easier and faster than before. Instead of accessing a directory (the old way), you request expert help from your seller dashboard. Our in-house counsel, James Graves, will then match you with the right expertise – saving you hours of scrolling the directory.
If you already have a seller account:
- Complete your listing.
- Click “Hire expert help” from your acquisition dashboard.
- Enter your details and the help you need.
- We’ll match you with the right expertise.
- After introduction, you can engage the advisor when you’re ready.
If you don’t have a seller account, create one free now and follow these instructions. You can also email James for an introduction at email@example.com.
Thanks for reading!
We’ve been working on something truly special for you over the last few months. A world first. Today, I’m delighted to announce the launch of our M&A advisor directory.
Every advisor you might need to get your startup Acquired, from legal to escrow to negotiations, is now available right here in our marketplace.
Think of it like Upwork or Yelp for acquisition advisors. This is the first directory of its kind, and our goal is simple: to help more startups get Acquired.
When you’re on track for a life-changing acquisition, an advisor can make all the difference.
If I hadn’t had help selling my startup back in 2017, for example, I’d have been a nervous wreck and probably blown the whole thing. Acquire might never have happened.
But thanks to professional advice, I got through the acquisition process to secure a life-changing acquisition that put me on the path of serial entrepreneurship. And I’m forever grateful.
Now, I’m proud to offer you all the help you need to get Acquired within our platform.
We have over 50 approved M&A advisors in the directory (with more to come), listed by expertise and experience, to help you maximize your exit regardless of your company’s size.
Our vision is to build a market network that works for founders, not against them.
Our M&A advisor directory is one giant step towards consolidating the fragmented acquisitions market to help 1,000s of startups get Acquired.
How M&A Advisors Can Help You Get Acquire’d
Before I explain how the advisor directory works, you might be wondering why you should hire an advisor in the first place.
It costs money to hire one, and perhaps you were planning on selling your startup without incurring extra costs. Well, let me settle that one now: You don’t need an advisor to sell your startup. And it costs nothing to sell your startup on Acquire. That hasn’t changed.
However, an advisor can help shoulder some of the responsibilities of the acquisition process and help you sell quickly, easily, and for the highest price. It stands to reason, therefore, you should at least consider hiring one – especially if it’s your first acquisition.
For example, an M&A consultant can steer you through negotiations, the legal process, and transferring assets to ensure you get the most out of your acquisition. Advisors know exactly what tactical levers to pull to achieve the highest price possible for your startup. That in itself could be worth a fortune.
Legal advisors can help you prepare documents, review legal clauses within letters of intent (LOIs) and purchase agreements, and ensure you comply with local and national laws. Again, that service alone could easily pay for itself.
Sometimes having a professional well-versed in the acquisition process can replace jangling nerves with quiet confidence and increase your final sale price. Remember you’re still growing the business you’re hoping to sell, and the advisor has your back while you focus on your strengths and they focus on theirs.
After all, why send an amateur to a title fight when you could send Tyson Fury? 😉
How to Find and Hire Acquisition Advisors
The directory is split into three parts, which you access by clicking their respective tabs on the top-left of the page:
- My advisors
Let’s take a look at each of them.
The M&A Advisor Directory
Here, you’ll find a list of over 50 advisors which you can browse or filter according to your needs. To browse, simply scroll through the advisors pictured in the center of the page. If you know the name of the advisor you want to hire, type it in the search field on the left.
Filters are also on the left, below the search bar, and include criteria such as advisor expertise (legal, escrow, valuations, negotiations, and so on) and average deal size and deals closed.
Once filtered, check out their Acquire advisor profiles for further information, including fees. You can also view their LinkedIn profiles or read their ratings and client testimonials . You can also favorite advisors to review later (just click the little heart icon).
When you’ve found someone you like, drop them a message!
Advisors shouldn’t take more than 24 hours to respond. If they agree to work with you, you’ll receive an engagement request that includes the scope of services, fee, and any other relevant information.
Then it’s up to you to decide whether to accept that engagement request or reject it. When you accept, you choose which permissions to give the advisor. For example, do you want them to negotiate on your behalf? Edit your listing? Please choose these permissions carefully.
You can also cancel engagements at any time.
This tab lists all the current advisors you’ve engaged to work on acquisitions for you. You’ll also find all the documentation and communication associated with each advisor as well as be able to open or continue chats with them.
This is where you’ll find all of your outstanding advisor requests. You can add to the request via chat, attach documents, and more, right from this tab. Once you’ve accepted an advisor engagement request, the advisor will move from this tab to the “My advisors” tab.
I’ve sent a request to an advisor but they’ve not replied. What should I do?
Our advisors commit to responding to you as quickly as possible. You should hear back from them in just a few hours. However, if you’ve been waiting longer than 24 hours, we recommend opening a chat conversation from your request page. They might’ve missed your request or not had time to reply. You can also contact us if your requests keep falling on deaf ears.
Are the Acquire M&A advisors trustworthy?
We have a stringent onboarding process established by legal professionals that helps to filter out any bad eggs. Soon, you’ll also be able to screen advisors by ratings and client testimonials. To avoid misunderstandings, please review engagement requests carefully before accepting them. If in doubt, drop us a line and we’ll help out.
What’s an engagement request?
An engagement request is an official offer from an advisor to work with you. It outlines the scope of services being offered, the fees, and any engagement documents and other relevant information critical to the offer.
You’re under no obligation to accept an engagement request. Review every engagement request in detail and only accept if you’re happy with the terms.
I’m not happy with my advisor. What now?
You can cancel your engagement at any time.
Can I hire more than one advisor?
Yes! However, for our first release of the advisor directory, you can only have one advisor engaged at a time. This means if you’ve hired an M&A consultant to perform due diligence, you’ll have to wait until their work has been complete to cancel their engagement, then engage another advisor to perform negotiations. While it might seem like you’re doubling your chances, it just ends up being messy and confusing. Acquisitions are hard enough without advisors fighting over who does what!
How much does it cost to hire an advisor?
It varies. Some advisors charge an hourly rate, some a percentage on the sale, and others a flat fee. You’ll find estimated fees on the advisor’s Acquire profile. The fee will also be included in any engagement request the advisor sends you.
What services do advisors offer?
An advisor gives you professional advice. They might also act on your behalf in certain capacities, such as editing your listing or negotiating with buyers or their legal counsel. Our approved M&A consultants cover a wide range of acquisition services, including:
My startup got Acquire’d. What happens to the advisor engagement?
This depends on the scope of services on offer. In most cases, the engagement would end when your startup was Acquired but not all (for example, if you need help administering an earn-out, you might retain the services of a legal advisor).
We recommend you agree with the advisor on what completion of the engagement looks like and then you can extend or close the engagement as necessary when your startup is Acquire’d.
I’m an advisor. Please add me to the directory!
Great to hear you’re interested in joining Acquire as an advisor! To start your application, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch.
With over 50 M&A advisors to choose from, you now have all the help you need to get Acquire’d. To hire an advisor, login to your seller dashboard and find James to put in a request.