How to Hire an Acquisition Advisor in 5 Easy Steps

To get what you want from an acquisition, you need a star player on your team. Someone who knows the acquisition process intimately and can lead you to a successful close. We recruited over 50 of the best and most experienced acquisition advisors for our M&A Advisor Directory, all with a common goal: to help you close quickly, easily, and at the highest price. 

But if you’ve never hired an advisor before, it might feel a little daunting and intrusive. But don’t be dismayed: our advisors are passionate advocates of founders and the startup community. If you want to hire someone with your best interests at heart, you’ve come to the right place. Just follow the steps below and drop us a line if you need help:

1. Identify Your Goals

Before hiring an advisor, first establish what you want to get out of an acquisition. For example, why are you selling? How will an acquisition affect your short, medium, and long-term goals? Is money more important to you or time? Advisors will ask you these questions to determine the best course of action and advisor expertise that’ll achieve the outcome you want. 

Unsure of what you want? Then stop, breathe, and figure it out. Start with what you’ll do after the acquisition closes. Will you start a new business? Go on vacation? Retire? Advisors can devise short and long-term strategies that go beyond this acquisition to where you want to be in five years or more. Be honest – advisors appreciate candor as it helps them do their job.    

2. Browse the Directory

Once you’ve nailed your acquisition goals, you’re ready to browse the Advisor Directory for expert help to achieve them. You have access to over 50 professionals covering every aspect of the acquisition process, from valuations to due diligence. First, filter the Directory by expertise, deal size, and closed deals to narrow down to a shortlist of potential candidates.

An example of a Acquire advisor profile with the Top Closer badge

Next, evaluate advisors using their Acquire and LinkedIn profiles. Search for evidence of closed deals, recommendations from other sellers, and experience that aligns with your industry and goals. If an advisor has helped close at least one deal on Acquire, they’ll sport the Top Closer badge on their profile. Reach out to those advisors you think are a good match.

3. Get to Know Each Other

Once you’re ready to take things further with an advisor, send a contact request via their profile. Introduce yourself and summarize your goals. Once the advisor accepts your request, which shouldn’t take longer than a business day (usually only a few hours), you can either discuss your needs through Acquire or arrange a telephone or video call. (Contacting an advisor doesn’t obligate you to use their services.)

While conversing, you’ll quickly get a sense of the advisor’s personality and whether you’d work well together. Don’t be afraid to walk away if you clash or the vibe feels wrong. Since your Acquire chats are recorded, we recommend using chat as much as possible before taking your conversation offline. Then update the chat record once you’ve agreed to work together to keep a handy record of your conversation throughout the engagement.

4. Evaluate the Engagement Request

Once you’re happy to proceed with your chosen advisor, ask them to send you an engagement request. This document outlines the scope of work, pricing, and other terms such as confidentiality and cancelation clauses. Please review the engagement request carefully, and if there’s anything you’re unsure of, discuss it with the advisor. 

Review advisor engagement requests from your Requests tab.

All of our advisors are champions of the startup community. We handpicked them to put your best interests at heart. In that sense, your experience may differ from previous dealings with services professionals – in a good way. Not only do they believe in what Acquire is trying to achieve, but they’re sensitive to the stress and frustration of the acquisition process.  

As a result, you’ll find our advisors consultative and amenable to your needs, and they’ll do their utmost to agree acceptable engagement terms that fit around you. Don’t be afraid to lean on them for advice and to negotiate anything you’re unhappy with in the engagement request. In the unlikely event you can’t agree, walk away and speak to another advisor.  

5. Hire Your Advisor

Almost there! Next is to accept your advisor’s engagement request from your seller account on Acquire. Just click or tap to accept their engagement proposal and that will trigger a notification to your advisor that it’s game on. You must also decide what information to share with them, and whether you want to permit them to manage your seller account. 

Seller accepts engagement request from advisor
Engagement requests will summarize the advisor’s services and include the formal engagement contract – review this carefully before accepting the engagement.

From this point on, your acquisition is in the confident hands of an advisor. You won’t need to lead the process – that’s the advisor’s job – but do give them as much information as they need to help you close successfully. Also, not all advisors can manage an acquisition from start to close, but they’ll help you engage expert help when necessary and appropriate. 

Head to our advisor directory now to start your search for the person who’ll help you achieve the best from your acquisition. Or if you’d rather speak to us, we’d happily recommend an advisor for you. Our resident M&A advisor Paul Kelley is a great matchmaker, so drop us a line at if you’d like a personal introduction.

The content on this site is not intended to provide legal, financial, or M&A advice. It is for information purposes only, and any links provided are for your convenience. Please seek the services of an M&A professional before entering into any M&A transaction. It is not Acquire’s intention to solicit or interfere with any established relationship you may have with any M&A professional.