The key to successfully marketing and selling a small business is confidentiality. The owners of small business do not want customers, suppliers, and the competition to know that their business is available for acquisition. Unlike real estate brokers who hang a “For Sale” sign in front of the property, professional business brokers maintain a high degree of confidentiality. Whilst the professional business broker may advertise the type of business available on websites or in trade journals or papers, no information regarding the company is distributed until the prospective buyer has executed a confidentiality agreement and passed a pre-screening process which may include financial qualifications. This process is designed to ensure that confidential information regarding the company’s financial performance, operations, and/or proprietary technologies is not distributed promiscuously to prospective buyers who do not have the financial ability to pursue such a transaction, to the general public, or to competitors and their associates.