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Dean Burnette, Other/Just Looking in Savannah, GA

Do I have to belong to a Realtor Organization to be a licensed Real Estate agent in GA, I am primarily a Business Broker and do not sell houses.?

Asked by Dean Burnette, Savannah, GA Fri Oct 8, 2010

I am a licensed real estate agent in GA, I was required to be a licensed real estate agent in order to be Business Broker in the State of Georgia. I help people buy and sell businesses and most of these transactions do not include real estate. The transactions that do include real estate are operating businesses and do not require a lock box. I am not interested in selling anything but an operating business. I do not have any need for MLS or Lock Boxes at all. My question is, do I have to pay the fees and be a member of a local real estate Realtor organization to be a business broker?

Help the community by answering this question:


No - you are allowed to be a Real Estate Broker in all states without an association affiliation.

You will not be able to call yourself a Realtor - but that should not affect your ability to do business as a business broker.

It is probably NOT worth the multi layered fees to affiliate if you already are doing business. Most associations are not set up to assist business brokers to the same extent as resale residential.

Good Luck!

If you like the answer - please consider making it a "Best Answer" !

Gerard Dunn
Associate Broker
Licensed in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Assisting Homebuyer's and Seller's for 28 years
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 8, 2010
Well most time you do not have to be a member of any association. In Florida you are free to practice as long as you are license by the state. Even though you might not need the local Realtor association to practice there are plenty of benefits to be a part of it even in your case and as Kevin says it always best to just give them a ring and find out but be prepared for a ear full.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Oct 9, 2010

I would contact the local real estate board and ask. You would think they are going to say YES YES YES, but most are very honest and upfront with you. This is the safest road to take, and it's only a couple of minutes on the phone.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 8, 2010

Thanks for the clarification.

I looked into Business Brokerage a long time ago and I was told about the real estate inclusion/exclusion requirement (e.g., web hosting company that rents w/o owning real estate) and that since most business sales involved the sale of real estate, it would be prudent to get your license.

Things may have changed since then...and another sign of an aging brain!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 8, 2010
My understanding is that if you want to sell real estate in Georgia, you need to have a real estate license. If you're not selling real estate, and you said most of these transactions do not include real estate, then you wouldn't need a license. For a business, I think you would require a Occupation License.

I think this question would be bettered answered by the Georgia Real Estate Commission or the Department of Revenue in Savannah.

Best of luck to you!
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 8, 2010
Hello James,
It is my understanding that if you sell a business in the state of Georgia whether there is real estate or not you are required to have a Real Estate License. In other words, if you are a Business Broker in Georgia you are required to have a Real Estate License.

Thanks for your input!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 8, 2010

I believe you need a real estate license in Georgia in order to sell real estate along with the business itself. Otherwise, I understand that if a business sale does not involve the sale of real estate, that you don't need a real estate license...Does that sound correct?

Anyway, I believe all you need to do is "hang" your license with a Georgia Real Estate Broker, but that may be the minimum to practice real estate and you don't need affiliation in the state or local real estate lobbying organizations (i.e., associations of realtors)...but you may miss out on some benefits like being informed about changes in legal/realty practice issues and free or reduced cost CE classes. So it might be a benefit to join one of them...

Anyone else have any thought about the pros and cons of joining an organization?

Good luck and let me know if I can ever be of service.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 8, 2010
No. You won't have access to any of their tools but you do not have to be an association member to be licensed.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 8, 2010
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