Here’s a quick FAQ to provide a heads up to potential business buyers and sellers.

When looking at the current listings being marketed by the brokerage firms you are considering be wary of excessive superlatives and over reaching claims. If every other listings sounds like the best business ever you might want to turn your “BS” meter on.

Do the listing titles include words like “Perfect”, “Stunning”, “Unbelievable”, “Booming”, “Thriving”, “Amazing”, “Awesome”, “Incredible” and my personal favorite “Recession Proof”? Are you being told this is a “Once in a lifetime opportunity” or that this is your only chance to “Get in on the ground floor”? Be wary.

Sometimes one of these is appropriate, but if you see these superlatives being over used you should be extra cautious when reviewing financials and other materials produced by the broker.

If the business broker and seller are willing to exaggerate the first information viewed by potential buyers there is a good chance that other important information has been exaggerated as well – potentially having a material adverse impact on the true value of the business.

The best business description ever is one that accurately presents the information about the company for sale to prospective buyers. No business is perfect. It’s important that the business description be interesting enough to attract prospective buyers while providing accurate and factual information that buyers, lenders and underwriters can rely upon.