21 Middleman & Broker Business Ideas You Can Start In 2023

21 Middleman & Broker Business Ideas You Can Start In 2023

Are you looking to start a broker or middleman business but not sure what to start?

The good news is that there are so many middleman business ideas that require zero or minimal start-up capital and convert sales easily

Whether you prefer selling services or selling products and commodities, a middleman or brokerage business can be a lucrative idea.

As a broker, you do not have to worry about the tedious production or manufacturing process. All you do is sell your industry knowledge to buyers and sellers and earn a commission from the deal.

We put together a list of 21 most profitable middleman & broker business ideas you can start and build a successful business.

Here they are:

1. Become a music band manager

A music band manager is a professional representative and advisor to a musician or a band. The main duties of a band manager include negotiating contracts on behalf of the band.

The music band manager earns a commission of what the music band earns from gigs. To maximize earnings, the manager should act as a liaison between bands and the key players in the music industry and secure the best contracts and deals.

How Much Can You Make?
Average Initial Investment

Case Study

My name is Charles Driebe and I am an attorney and the founder of Blind Ambition Management, a company that manages the careers of musical artists and produces live musical events. The connecting thread with all our artists and events is that the music is authentic and life-affirming.

At FAME Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama with the Blind Boys of Alabama, four-time Grammy Award winners


2. Start a dropshipping business

Dropshipping allows you to start your online e-commerce store without stock-keeping. Therefore, you do not need huge capital, and the risk is minimal because the manufacturer is responsible for the inventory and ships it directly to the customer. Therefore, your responsibility remains to market and offer customer service.

To start a successful dropshipping business, you need a mastery of online marketing and a focus on improving customer experience.

How Much Can You Make?
$6,000 — $3,000,000/month
Average Initial Investment
Time Commitment Per Week
Min. 10 hours/week
Business model

Case Study

Hello, my name is Kamil Sattar. I am an entrepreneur who’s developed many six-figure drop shipping businesses. I’ve also created systems to maximize opportunities in different markets and I’ve started companies in many industries. One of those companies specializes in helping people who are seeking to create drop ship companies of their own.

Of course, with every store that I open, I am able to learn new things. With every new thing that I learn, it helps me improve my system that I use to create these six and seven-figure stores and it helps me improve my process for helping others generate their stores.


3. Become a real estate agent

Real estate agents are professionals who assist clients in marketing and selling their properties. They also assist the buyers in purchasing properties. Their services include meeting clients, advising them about market conditions, and providing guidance through the process of buying or selling properties.

A real estate career can be financially rewarding. However, the work requires good management skills, organization skills, customer service, handling complex paperwork and socially promoting yourself.

The pros of becoming a real estate agent include earning extra commission from clients and also setting your own working hours.

How Much Can You Make?
$5,000 — $1,500,000/month
Average Initial Investment
Time To Revenue
300 days
Business model
Work from home

Case Study

My name is Grigory Pekarsky and I own a residential real estate company called Vesta Preferred.

We consistently grow at a 20% pace and this year we are on pace to write 1000 new leases and sell over $120m in real estate.

4. Start an antique business

Owning an antique and vintage business can be fulfilling and profitable for those targeting the elite.

Antique businesses focus on procuring items at a low price and restoring them, then selling them at a profit. The items can include old toys, cars, bikes, household items, crafts, vintage jewelry, etc.

Opening an antique item store may seem somewhat daunting. However, once you have researched the items available and acquired the necessary skills and expertise, you will be ready to kick off.

For some, a storefront with enough storage for antique items might fit the bill. For others, an online store will work pretty well. Regardless of your approach, the secret is applying your entrepreneurship strategies to an overall framework for success.

How Much Can You Make?
Average Initial Investment
Business model

Case Study

In 2013 I decided to start a company where I would restore antiques and antique toys. After 25 years of working in education and information technologies, I decided to cash out my 401K savings to start Hoosierboy Restorations. I began in my mother's garage and quickly began receiving projects to restore. I quickly outgrew the small 2 car garage and expanded my operations to my present 2200 sq.ft. facility.

7 years later, we have restored hundreds of projects. Everything from 100-year-old toys, to historical furniture, to a T-33 Airforce jet ejection seat.


5. Start a travel agency

Are you a passionate traveler with entrepreneurial skills? Then starting a travel agency can be a great career choice for you.

As a travel agency, you'll be responsible for linking travelers to providers of all the travel and tourism-related services such as accommodation, transportation, sightseeing, tour guides, local adventure, etc.

Starting an online travel agency is a lot easier than you might think. You'll need to perform market research, get a few necessary certifications (such as your IATA number), study competition, build a website, and do proper marketing.

To maximize earnings, negotiate discounts from the industry service providers, and charge travelers within the market rate.

How Much Can You Make?
$2,000 — $114,200,000/month
Average Initial Investment
Business model

Case Study

Hey! My name is Marissa Daniels, and I am a millennial travel agent! I began Spread Your Wings Travel in February of 2019. Prior to 2019, I wanted an extra source of income just to have an extra cushion. I did mystery shopping, took surveys online, drove for Postmates and DoorDash, worked at a grocery store, anything I could find for extra money. I also did, and still do Brand Ambassador events as well- but those things didn’t fulfill me. I was doing them to get extra money, but it didn’t have a purpose and it wasn’t paying me as much as I wanted, so I stopped it all and just gave it to God. I let Him handle it.

Spread Your Wings Travel offers all-inclusive vacations (most under $1000 per person), cruises, luxury villas, cabins, domestic travel and more! The main thing that people like about my business is that I have a payment plan option. I like to have that option for them because not everyone is able to pay for a vacation upfront.


6. Start a white label marketing automation business

Businesses that do not want to own an internal marketing department are turning to market agencies that can help to deliver digital marketing services. To save time and resources and to deliver superior service, the marketing agencies engage a white label marketing platform, subscribe to their tool, rebrand it, and resell the marketing tool.

A white label marketing software eases the most time-consuming marketing tasks like data analytics, social media posts, email marketing, reports generation, etc.

The agencies add their branding to the software and sell the services as if they develop themselves. With the increased demand for digital marketing services and market analytics, starting a white label marketing tool can be a profitable business.

How Much Can You Make?
$10,000 — $11,000/month

Case Study

Hello, my name is Veronica Baljak, and I am excited to share my story with you. I am the co-owner of Yes to Brand and a big-time manifestor. I believe all people can get what they want if they see and believe in it. Our Agency helps people start or improve various types of online businesses, from dropshipping, and drop servicing/white labeling, to full-blown affiliate marketing websites and more.


7. Start a mortgage brokerage business

A mortgage broker is an intermediary who helps homebuyers choose the best mortgage lenders and facilitates the mortgage application process.

To start a mortgage brokerage business, you must complete the pre-licensure program and an official test. Getting an internship with an established mortgage brokerage company will help you gain experience before you can go into private practice.

How Much Can You Make?
$80,000 — $17,500,000/month
Average Initial Investment

Case Study

Hi reader! My name is Alex Leduc and I’m the Founder and CEO of Perch. We’re a real estate tech company based in Toronto, Canada and we offer our service to all provinces across the country. At Perch, our mission is to empower Canadians to make more informed decisions about their real estate. We love helping buyers become homeowners, and helping homeowners optimize their finances and grow their wealth.

The average Perch user saves $1,500 per year on their mortgage, compared to going with a bank. Perch has recently raised $1 million in seed round funding and was recently selected to join the 2022 REACH Canada accelerator program, operated by Second Century Ventures, the strategic investment arm of the National Association of Realtors®.


8. Start an entertainment booking agency

Are you passionate about the entertainment industry and interested in turning your passion into a profitable business? How about launching your own entertainment booking business?

An entertainment booking agency helps entertainers get gigs. Simply put, an entertainment booking agency works with performers and those who need entertainers. The agency socializes and builds relationships with the owners and managers of establishments featuring live acts.

If starting your entertainment booking agency, find a specialty area and build a list of entertainers you can work with. Market your business and focus on networking so you maximize market reach.

How Much Can You Make?

Case Study

I’m Natasha Miller- raised in Des Moines, Iowa but high-tailed it out of there as soon as I could at the age of 23. I thought I’d be a performer only - a classical violinist and jazz vocalist, but as it turns out those careers might have been the catalyst for where I am today.

  • Inc. 5,000 Fastest Growing Companies in America
  • Entrepreneur Magazine 360 List “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America”
  • San Francisco Business Times Fast 100 “Fastest Growing Companies in the San Francisco Bay Area”
  • Special Event Top 50 Event Planners in the World


9. Start an affiliate marketing business

Are you looking for a side hustle to pay you a passive income? Affiliate marketing is one of those side hustles that will pay you well over the long term. It is a way to earn money online by promoting other companies' products and services. You will be paid a commission for each sale you make as an affiliate marketer.

To get started, learn how to find the right product and brand to partner with. For example, you may prefer becoming an affiliate marketer for an eCommerce store, partnering with a manufacturer, and marketing their products for a commission.

How Much Can You Make?
$500 — $500,000/month
Average Initial Investment

Case Study

My name is Spencer Mecham. In 2016 I first heard about an industry called affiliate marketing and in 2017 I founded Buildapreneur, an affiliate business.


10. Start a website flipping business

Website flipping business helps people buy and sell online businesses. The website flipping business has a low barrier to entry and requires minimal investment. To start a website flipping business, make sure you have all the legal paperwork, buy a website, and improve and sell it for a profit.

How Much Can You Make?
$349,983 — $1,525,000/month

Case Study

My name is Gregory Elfrink and I’m the director of marketing with Empire Flippers. We’re a three-time winner of the INC 5,000 award for being one of the fastest growing companies in America and we help people buy and sell online businesses.

We have brokered over $50 million worth of deals, and since we’re a big believer in transparency we also created a scoreboard that details most of our stats - from the hundreds of thousands of website visitors we get to our pool of potential buyers that grow by the hundreds every month.


11. Start an art brokerage business

An art brokerage business advises and assists art buyers in all aspects of selling and purchasing art objects. The art brokers negotiate prices and bids on their client’s behalf. Art brokers offer their services to art dealers, private collectors, gallery owners, individuals, or companies seeking to diversify their portfolios.

To start an art brokerage business, familiarize yourself with the art market, its dynamics, and regulations.

How Much Can You Make?
Average Initial Investment

Case Study

Hi, my name is Adam Vieira, and I’m the creative director for Station 16 Gallery, a contemporary art gallery in Montreal heavily influenced by graffiti and street art.

We showcase original art, sculptures, and works on paper, which changes every month, sometimes every week. We also launch a new limited edition silkscreen print every month with international artists.


12. Start a bounty hunting business

A Bounty hunter is a skilled professional hired by a bail bondsman to capture fugitives and deliver them to the appropriate authorities. The bounty hunters earn a commission of the bond amount.

Bounty hunters spend much of their time investigating, researching, interviewing, and staking out locations to obtain the fugitives' whereabouts.

To become a bounty hunter, consider taking criminal justice education and training in martial arts, self-defense, and weapons. However, training and education for bounty hunters' licensure also vary from one state to another.

13. Start a data brokerage business

Data brokers are individuals and businesses that collect information or data from online activity and public records and sell it to other companies for marketing and advertising campaigns. Data broking is a big business estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.8% in the next few years.

Therefore, starting a data brokerage firm in 2023 is a noble idea.

To start, decide on the type of research services hyou will provide and identify the databases and information sources that serve the particular area. Then, market your business and focus on providing excellent business.

14. Start a construction brokerage business

A construction broker is a professional who guides homebuilders through the process of home construction, from planning to completion. A skilled construction broker helps remove the stress of constructing a new home because they represent the homeowner throughout the construction process.

To become a construction broker, take a course that will equip you with the skills needed in the construction industry. Then, join an established construction company under an internship so you will gain firsthand experience.

15. Start a human resource recruitment agency

A recruitment agency is a company that finds people looking for candidates and matches them with job vacancies on behalf of the employer.

When a company enlists the services of a recruitment agency, it pays the recruiting consultancy a fee to cover the initial search for candidates. Recruitment agencies have become popular because of their potential to access the best job-seekers and because they save companies time, helping them fill positions faster.

To start a recruitment agency, choose an area of expertise, create a recruitment agency where job seekers can submit their CVs and advertise or market your services to companies.

How Much Can You Make?
Average Initial Investment

Case Study

Debbie McGrath is the CEO and creator of HR.com. The world's largest social networking and resource site for human resource professionals to help recruit quality individuals.

The company's online social community provides its members with access to shared knowledge on practices, trends, and industry news to help them develop their people, as well as articles, case studies, newsletters, surveys, and discussion forums that help Human Resources (HR) professionals find the right candidate for their client companies.

The platform also provides webinars that allow users to keep up with different HR trends and needs.

HR.com is trusted by over 110,000 HR professionals for education, career development, and compliance: 5,900+ courses and tips in the HR Genius on-demand training library and 400+ webcasts every year.


Listen to the full podcast on podpage.com ➜

16. Start a freight brokerage business

The transportation industry has experienced rapid interest and growth over the past years. The increased demand has created business opportunities for various professionals, among them freight brokers. Freight brokers connect shipping companies with carriers. Serving different markets, freight brokers help make goods transport a reality for their customers.

If you are looking for a business opportunity within the transportation industry, you may consider starting a freight brokerage company.

To start, take the prerequisite course and look for an internship opportunity where you will gain industry experience. Then, follow licensing requirements and focus on building business relationships with potential customers.

How Much Can You Make?
Average Initial Investment

Case Study

My name is Eric Ray, the CEO, and Founder of Easy Auto Ship LLC, a nationwide vehicle shipping brokerage located in Youngstown, Ohio. About 80% of our business is shipping POV (privately owned vehicles) for the end consumer, and the rest is for dealerships and relocation companies.

We average around $250,000 a month in brokerage fees with a net profit of $100,000 a month. We are ranked as the Best Overall Car Shipping Company of 2020 on Move.org, as well as Movebuddha.com, with over 1,500 reviews on Google and a 4.6 rating! We will do about $18 million this year in sales, but it was not an easy road getting here.


17. Start an import-export brokerage business

An import-export broker facilitates the trade of goods and commodities between foreign companies. Essentially, they buy goods internationally and ship them in for domestic purchases.

International trade has become a hot industry in the current day and age. As a result, how to import and export is a popular inquiry among traders. Therefore, starting an import-export business could be a profitable venture.

To start an import-export business, decide the type of business you want to focus on, identify the target customers, register, and start marketing your business.

18. Start a lumber brokerage business

Lumber brokers serve as middlemen between mills and lumber buyers. To become a lumber broker, you need industry expertise, be well-connected, and possess a firm understanding of lumber products and the marketplace in general.

Lumber brokers also specialize in providing lumber and building materials for large building projects and major contractors.

19. Start a lease brokerage business

A leasing broker is a professional or a firm that arranges lease transactions involving commercial and industrial equipment. The lease broker has to be experienced in locating prospective lessors and advising the clients on current market conditions.

To become a lease broker, acquire the necessary certifications and focus on building your network of contacts.

Time To Revenue
330 days
Business model
Work from home

20. Become a forex broker

A forex broker is a financial service company that provides traders access to a platform for buying and selling foreign currencies. Forex brokers serve currency speculators and investors. Most forex brokers allow customers to trade in different currencies.

To start a forex brokerage, study competition and determine the target audience. Then, establish the capital estimation depending on the level of trading. Register your business and apply for the required licenses.

Then, you will need a connection to a payment solution and build the software infrastructure.

21. Start a pawn brokerage business

A pawn broker lends money in exchange for personal property that the broker can sell if the loan is not repaid by a specific time. Pawn brokers charge interest rates, often higher than the banks.

To start a pawn brokerage, open a physical shop where loan applicants will drop their valuables. Develop a binding contract so loanees can sign their commitment when applying for the loan.

Article Sources:

  1. Business Brokers in the US - Market Size 2003–2027 at ibisworld.com
  2. Middleman at CFI
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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Pat Walls

I'm Pat Walls and I created Starter Story - a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. We interview entrepreneurs from around the world about how they started and grew their businesses.

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