New Advice Business Buy/Sell Option Gaining Traction


Finance to buy a financial advice business is seemingly harder to source as traditional lenders appear to have raised their minimum loan requirements, according to John Birt of Radar Results.

Radar Results CEO, John Birt …vendor finance is becoming an alternative for some sellers.

Birt contends that the big four banks are now asking for an approved loan to be at least $1 million, although he says they may be more flexible if a loan is secured against residential property.

He explains in a recent statement that this has seen several non-traditional lenders surface to accommodate loans of between $250,000 and $500,000 by using the equity in the business they are buying. “Naturally, interest rates are higher due to the lender taking on a higher risk,” he writes.

But he is also encouraging his clients who selling are their advice business, but finding it difficult to attract a suitable buyer, to consider vendor finance. He says it is now becoming an alternative if the buyer is someone who needs traditional finance.

“While not ideal for many sellers, it can provide the solution to receiving the capital over an agreed period and at a reasonable interest rate on the deferred payments.”

Birt told Riskinfo that an example might be where a purchaser pays a deposit of 30 percent of the sale price and an agreement is drawn up for the outstanding 70 percent to be paid in installments over a five-year period with payments to include both principal and interest.

He says it is like any property mortgage, where a buyer pays the deposit and borrows the rest from the bank through a mortgage. With vendor finance, the vendor is acting as the bank.

Birt says some prospective buyers are keen on vendor finance as it is easier than trying to source other funding and the interest rate is not that much higher.

“It’s a good outcome for the seller to get the business sold,” he said, adding that it might take five years for the vendor to get the full price but in the meantime he or she is earning around 7.5 percent interest on the balance.

He believes vendor finance will become more prevalent in Australia.

Birt also noted that Radar Results, in conjunction with a specialist legal practice, will be running workshops on vendor finance during the first half of 2020. Click here to go to the website.


  1. I have a question, There was always a risk with a standard “balloon” payment that the purchaser could default – I know of one case today where an estate is still pursuing the final payment

    Under vendor finance there is a real risk a “purchaser” of the book on “time payment” could rape and pillage clients over a year or so and then default. and ride off
    To regain the asset to re-sell, the original adviser must be licenced or he cannot re-sell as all of the agency numbers may be with the purchaser. After a year or so, the selling adviser would find it very difficult or impossible to regain adviser registration, particularly if he does not meet FASEAs requirements right now.

    And then there will be issues with insurers AND Licencees

    Not as good as it looks !

    • I think the issue old mate is if your going to go down this path of sale do it now while you still have control to 2026 after that the issues become very real as you have indicated. No license no rebuff on a saving plan!
      Nothing is ever as easy as it looks particualy when it comes to money
      John Lennon said it best “Life is what happens to you when your planning other things”

  2. Oh gee, how smart an idea! I’ve already sold my business on a contractual repayment basis over 3 years. Got 0.50% more for the multiple than selling ‘upfront’. Only clause is the ASIC commission review due sometime in 2021. But come on, after what happened with the Mortgage Brokers, what idiot government or even that useless mob called ‘ASIC’ would ‘ban all commissions’. Worst case from 2022 or 2023 is flat [i.e. level] commission. Anything from 20 to 30% + GST.

    I’m prepared to take the risk to pocket an extra $100k over 3 years.

    • Hi – I have a question. Out of interest are you still able to claim the 50% CGT exception for the sale on a repayment basis vs. lump sum?

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