CODE OF ETHICS OF THE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS BROKER
This Code of Ethics was enacted by the Board of Directors
of the International Business Brokers Association and is a part of the bylaws of
the Association. This Code of Ethics is for use by all Business Brokers and
Members of the Association as a means of establishing uniform ethical practices
when providing business brokerage services for clients and
While the Code of Ethics establishes obligations that may be
higher than those mandated by law, in any instances where the Code of Ethics and
the law conflict, the obligations of the law must take
Modifications to this Code of Ethics are approved from time
to time by the Association. Readers are cautioned to ensure that the most recent
publication is utilized.
Business Brokers and the Association
support entrepreneurialship, and that the investment risks of owning a business
deserve a straightforward professional and honest presentation to both seller
This Code of Ethics imposes obligations beyond those of
ordinary commerce. Business Brokers should be zealous in maintaining and
improving ethical practices and sharing with their fellow Business Brokers a
common responsibility for integrity and honor in their business
In recognition and appreciation of their obligations to
clients, customers, the public, and each other, Business Brokers should
continuously strive to become and remain informed on issues affecting the sale
of businesses, and willing to share their experience with others. Business
Brokers should strive to eliminate practices which may damage the public or
which might discredit or bring dishonor to the business brokerage
Business Brokers should urge sole and exclusive
representation of clients, not attempt to gain any unfair advantage over
competitors, and refrain from making unsolicited comments about other
Business Brokers should pledge to observe the spirit of
this Code of Ethics in all of their activities and to conduct their business in
accordance with the tenets set forth below:
should avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts
relating to properties and business transactions; however, nothing herein shall
be construed to obligate Business Brokers to discover latent defects, to advise
on matters outside the scope of their expertise, or to disclose facts which are
confidential under the scope of agency duties owed to their
Business Brokers should make a reasonable effort to
protect the public and all parties in a transaction against fraud,
misrepresentation, or unethical practices in the area of business opportunity
Business Brokers should not discourage or
prevent customers and clients from seeking the services of attorneys,
accountants or other professional advisors.
should keep in a special bank account, separated from their own funds, monies
coming into their possessions in trust for other persons.
Business Brokers should obtain terms and conditions of agreements in
writing regarding business opportunity transactions and ensure that copies of
such agreements are given to all parties involved.
Brokers, in accepting employment as agents, should pledge to protect and promote
the interests of their clients. This obligation of absolute loyalty and honesty
to the client’s interest is primary, but it does not relieve Business Brokers
from the obligation of dealing fairly with all parties to business opportunity
Business Brokers accepting compensation from
more than one party, should make disclosure to the principals of the
Business Brokers serving as both an agent and
principal, should disclose the duel agency relationship to the principals of the
Business Brokers having an present or
contemplated interest concerning a business property or its value should
disclose such interest to the principals of the transaction.
Business Brokers, acting as an agent, accepting any commission, rebate, or
profit due to expenditures made on behalf of the principal should disclosure and
obtain consent from the principal.
undertaking to provide specialized services concerning a type of property or a
service outside their field of competence should disclose such facts, or engage
the assistance of one who is competent on such types of property or service. Any
persons engaged to provide such assistance should be so identified to the client
and their contribution to the assignment should be set forth.
Business Brokers should only advertise business opportunities as being for
sale when they have written authority. All offerings or promotions of business
opportunities should reflect the terms consistent with those in writing with the
All written offers will be submitted to the client
unless otherwise directed by the client.
will not engage in the practice of disclosing the terms of one buyer’s offer to
Business Brokers shall not deny equal access
of professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion,
sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. Business Brokers shall not
be a party to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons
on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or
CODE OF ETHICS OF THE NEW ENGLAND BUSINESS BROKER
This Code of Ethics was enacted by the Members of the New England Business Brokers Association (the “Association”) and is a part of the bylaws of the Association. This Code is for the use by all members of the Association as a means of establishing a uniform standard of conduct for business broker members.
We adhere to the ethical principle of business and believe the investment risk and effort required to build a profitable, ongoing business or enterprise deserves a fair evaluation and a straightforward, professional, and honest presentation to both seller and buyer.
The business broker will keep himself/herself informed as to trends affecting business opportunities.
The business broker will make a reasonable effort to protect the public and all parties to a transaction against fraud, misrepresentation, or unethical practices in the area of business opportunities.
The business broker will recommend that clients use attorneys and tax accountants for independent advice on transactions.
The business broker will keep monies coming into his/her possession in trust for other persons in a special bank account, separated from his/her own funds and accounted for separately.
The business broker, for the protection of all parties with whom he/she deals, will see that financial obligations and commitments regarding transactions of which he/she is a part are in writing, expressing the exact agreement of the parties. He/she will also see that copies of such agreements are given to all parties involved.
A business broker, in accepting employment as an agent, pledges himself/herself to protect and promote the interests of the client. These obligations of absolute loyalty and honesty to his/her client's interests are primary, but they do not relieve the business broker from the obligations of dealing fairly with all parties to the transaction.
Since the business broker is representing one or another party to a transaction, he/she will not accept compensation from more than one party (act as a dual agent) without full knowledge and written consent of all parties to the transaction.
The business broker will not serve as both principal and consultant on a transaction unless full disclosure is made in writing to all principals involved.
The exclusive listing of property should be urged and practiced by the business broker.
The business broker, when acting as an agent in the management of a business, shall not accept any commission, rebate, or profit on expenditures made for an owner without the owner's knowledge and consent.
The business broker shall not undertake to do a valuation, make an appraisal, or issue an opinion of value that is outside or beyond the scope of his/her experience without first obtaining the assistance of an authority on such types of property, unless the extent or lack of experience of the business broker is fully disclosed to the client.
A business broker, when doing a valuation or appraisal or issuing an opinion of value of a business opportunity, shall render an opinion only after careful and thorough analysis and interpretation of all market and economic factors affecting the value of the opportunity.
The business broker should not undertake to do a valuation, make an appraisal or render an opinion of value on any property when he/she has a present or contemplated interest in it unless such an interest is specifically disclosed in the appraisal. The business broker should not undertake to do a valuation, make an appraisal or render an opinion of value on any property when his/her employment or fee is contingent upon the amount of his/her appraisal.
The business broker should not submit or advertise any business without authority. In all offerings the price quoted shall be that agreed upon with the owners as the offering price. A business broker shall always have written authorization to sell or purchase, as the case may, be from the prospective seller or purchaser. Said writing shall include all the material of the terms of the sale or purchase, including price, term of the agreement, and compensation to be paid to the business broker.
All bona fide written offers will be submitted to the seller. The decision to accept or reject an offer remains with the seller at all times.
The business broker will not engage in the practice of disclosing one buyer's offer to another buyer as a sales technique. This is not to be interpreted so to deny the responsibility of the broker to meet the fiduciary responsibilities due the client in accordance with the agency agreements with the client.
The business broker shall seek no unfair advantage over his/her fellow brokers, and will willingly share with them the lessons of his/her experience and study.
The business broker should conduct his/her business to avoid controversies with his/her fellow brokers and shall cooperate with the Association and its officers in all matters, including investigations, censure, discipline, or dismissal of members who, by their conduct, prejudice their professional status or the reputation of the Association.
In the best interests of the Association, society, and his/her associates, the business broker will be loyal to his/her community and active in its work.
The business broker shall not deny equal professional services to any persons for reasons of race, creed, sex, or country of origin. The business broker shall not be a party to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, creed, sex, or country of national origin.
The business broker shall refrain from continued and prolonged association with individuals or organizations which act in a manner contrary to this Code. Such continued association shall be deemed denial of this Code.