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Illegal business brokers are not entitled to earn commission

Cape Town – 15 September 2016

The buying and selling of businesses is very intricate and detailed,with a minefield of legislation governing the contractual obligations between the buyer and seller.In many cases the sale will be finalised by a business broker who is regulated in terms of the Estate Agency Affairs Board Act.Such broker is required to be registered with Estate Agency Affairs Board (EAAB) and must hold a valid fidelity fund certificate for the current calendar year.

The EAAB Act defines an estate agent as the following in section 1 of the Act:

a)Means any person who for the acquisition on gain on his own account or in partnership,in any matter holds himself out as a person who,or directly or indirectly advertises that he,on the instructions of or on behalf of any other person --

i)Sells or purchases or publicly exhibits for sale immovable property or any business undertaking or negotiate in connection therewith  or canvasses or undertakes or offers to canvass a seller or purchaser therefor,or

ii)Lets or hires publicly exhibits for hire immovable property or any business undertaking or negotiates in connection therewith or canvasses or undertakes or offers to canvass a lessee or lessor therefor ,or

iii)Collects or receives any moneys payable on account of a lease of immovable property or any business undertaking,or

In order to avoid suffering a huge financial loss,when engaging the services of a potential business broker,you should request the following:

  • Copies of the fidelity fund certificate held by the broker in his personal capacity,as well as the fidelity fund certificate held by the business brokerage he/she is employed by.Both should be valid for the current calendar year.
  • Ask for at least 5 references from both buyers and sellers.
  • Enquire about the broker’s background and experience in the industry.
  • Check the registration details of the broker and the firm with the EAAB.
  • Visit the offices of the broker.
  • Check that the  broker has a valid trust account

A Fidelity Fund Certificate is the only guarantee that business buyers and sellers have against misappropriation of funds by the broker.The EAAB’s Fidelity Fund will only reimburse victims of fraudulent transactions by business brokers where there is a valid fidelity fund certificate.

Like there are thousands of unregistered estate agents selling property,so too are there unregistered business brokers concluding business sales without being registered.The EAAB has sent out numerous communications warning the general public to refrain from engaging the services of such illegal brokers.These illegal business brokers ARE NOT ENTITLED TO COMMISSION.

One such unregistered and illegal business brokerage,operating on the West Rand of Johannesburg,is Business Xpress which is owned and operated by a Mr Adrian Sissing.On the Business Express website,on their Broker Assistance page,reference is made to clients having to deposit the purchase price into the Business Xpress Trust Account.If neither Adrian Sissing nor Business Xpress are registered with the EAAB,it means that any losses sustained from funds being deposited into such an account cannot be recovered from the Fidelity Fund of the EAAB.

Business Express is owned by Adrian Sissing who also calls himself Evangelist Visioner Adrian Sissing.On the Business Xpress website clients are encouraged to deposit funds into their trust account which does not enjoy protection of fidelity cover by the EAAB.

Mr Sissing and a previous business of his did hold fidelity fund certificates in the late 1990’s.However,Mr Sissing’s fidelity fund certificate was revoked due to disciplinary action by the board.It was revoked on allegations that he had misappropriated clients funds from the trust account of his then estate agency,Devon Sissing Estates.Mr Sissing now calls himself Evangelist Visioner Adrian Sissing on Facebook and other social media platforms and pastors a church in the Roodepoort area.We checked the registration of both Adrian Sissing and Business Xpress with both the EAAB website and their registrations department.The EAAB confirmed that both Mr Sissing and Business Xpress do not hold fidelity fund certificates and are therefore prohibited from trading in terms of the EAAB Act.

These screen shots from the EAAB website show that neither Adrian Sissing nor Business Xpress are registered and therefore don't hold valid fidelity fund certificates.They are in terms of legislation then not allowed to trade as business brokers or estate agents.

By Wesley Fester


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