21 Middleman & Broker Business Ideas You Can Start In 2024

Updated: July 24th, 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 you can make: $40,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $5,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 730 days (?)

How I Transitioned From A Career In Law To Starting A $40K/Month Business Managing Music Artists

A former attorney has successfully transitioned into managing musical artists, producing live events and recordings, grossing approximately $40,000 per month - all based on his lifelong passion for music, clients and employee's passion-led performance.

About
Charles started Blind Ambition Management about 24 years ago
Revenue
Charles grew the business to $40K/month
Costs
It cost Charles $5000 to start the business
Read by 6,114 founders

2. Start a dropshipping business

Dropshipping is a business model where you sell products to customers without holding inventory.

Instead, when a customer makes a purchase, you buy the product from a third-party supplier, who then ships it directly to the customer.

To start a dropshipping business on a budget, choose a niche or category of products you want to sell.

Next, set up an online store using platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce. Then, find reliable suppliers from platforms like AliExpress, list their products on your store, and focus on marketing and customer service to grow your business.

Remember to carefully manage your expenses and monitor your profit margins to ensure profitability.

How much you can make: $6,000 — $3,000,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $6,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 90 days (?)

Time commitment per week: Min. 10 hours/week

How I Started A $100K/Month Business Mentoring Dropshipping Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneur Kamil Sattar has developed multiple six-figure drop shipping businesses, and his company, e-commerce mentoring, specializes in helping others create their own successful companies, with favorite platforms including using Shopify and apps such as Loox reviews and SMSBump.

About
Kamil started E-commerce Mentoring almost 7 years ago
Revenue
Kamil grew the business to $100K/month
Costs
It cost Kamil $1000 to start the business
Read by 23,335 founders

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 you can make: $5,000 — $1,500,000/month

How long does it take to build: 180 days (?)

How I Became A Real Estate Agent And Started My Own Firm

Residential real estate company, Vesta Preferred, celebrates their 10th year of operation with 80% referral-based business and focus on relationship building, recently achieving their goal of 1000 new leases and $120M in real estate sales in 2019.

About
Grigory started Vesta Preferred Realty over 14 years ago
Revenue
Grigory grew the business to $350K/month
Costs
It cost Grigory $5000 to start the business
Read by 7,673 founders

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 you can make: $15,000/month

How I Left A 25-Year Career To Start A $15K/Month Antiques Restoration Business

How a former educator built a successful antique restoration business from scratch, growing from a 2-car garage to a 2200 sq. ft. space over seven years, thanks to communication skills, dedication to organization, regular website updates, and utilization of Google My Business and Maps.

About
Tim started Hoosierboy Restorations LLC almost 11 years ago
Revenue
Tim grew the business to $15K/month
Read by 9,130 founders

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 you can make: $2,000 — $114,200,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $1,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 90 days (?)

How I Started A $2K/Month Side Hustle Selling Vacations

Marissa Daniels runs a successful travel agency, Spread Your Wings Travel, that hit $100,000 in sales within a year of launch and provides payment plan options for its all-inclusive vacations, and she hopes to help 100 families supplement their income through the business.

About
Marissa started Spread Your Wings Travel Agency about 5 years ago
Revenue
Marissa grew the business to $7K/month
Costs
It cost Marissa $200 to start the business
Read by 16,819 founders

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 you can make: $10,000 — $11,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $7,000 (?)

How long does it take to build: 7 days (?)

How This Dropshipping Influencer Started A $11K/Month Agency

Dropshipping entrepreneur Veronica Baljak shares how her agency, Yes to Brand, helps people start and grow their online businesses, averaging $11,000 in monthly sales just three months after launching by focusing on positive mindset, collaboration, and transparency with customers.

About
Veronica started Yes To Brand over 1 year ago
Revenue
Veronica grew the business to $11K/month
Costs
It cost Veronica $7000 to start the business
Read by 1,944 founders

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 you can make: $80,000 — $17,500,000/month

How long does it take to build: 120 days (?)

My Proptech Startup Makes $960K/Year Helping People Save Money On Their Mortgage

Toronto-based real estate tech company, Perch, offers a free analytics platform with personalized insights for homebuyers and homeowners, and has saved its users an average of $1,500 per year on their mortgage, with a 174% referral rate, and has raised $1m in seed round funding.

About
Alex started Perch over 5 years ago
Revenue
Alex grew the business to $80K/month
Costs
It cost Alex $80000 to start the business
Read by 3,343 founders

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 you can make: $2,400 — $108,000/month

How Natasha Miller Started A $4M Event Management Company

Entire Productions is a fast-growing event and entertainment production company with an emphasis on experience design, primarily working with corporate clients including many Fortune 500 companies in the tech and pharma industries, boasting a growth of 148% and a goal of reaching $20M annual mark.

About
Natasha started Entire Productions about 23 years ago
Revenue
Natasha grew the business to $108K/month
Read by 7,556 founders

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 you can make: $500 — $773,000/month

How much does it cost to start: $500 (?)

How long does it take to build: 55 days (?)

My Affiliate Marketing Business Earns $500K/Year Profit [No Employees]

This case study explores how Spencer Mecham founded Buildapreneur, an affiliate marketing business, and has made over half a million dollars in profit with no employees, relying solely on content marketing through platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok.

About
Spencer started Buildapreneur over 6 years ago
Revenue
Spencer grew the business to $80K/month
Read by 22,204 founders

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 you can make: $349,983 — $1,525,000/month

How long does it take to build: 180 days (?)

Empire Flippers: $20M/Year Helping People Buy And Sell Websites

Empire Flippers is a thought leader in brokering online business deals, having brokered over $50 million worth of deals and grown their pool of potential buyers by hundreds every month through a focus on content marketing and middle-of-funnel content.

About
Justin started Empire Flippers over 11 years ago
Revenue
Justin grew the business to $350K/month
Read by 9,331 founders

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 you can make: $350,000/month

Growing an Art Gallery to $150,000/month

Station 16 Gallery, a contemporary art gallery in Montreal influenced by graffiti and street art, started with a pop-up in 2013, now showcasing original art, sculptures, works on paper, and limited edition silkscreen prints that have become popular with international artists, attracting new collectors on Artsy, using Instagram to reach an international market, and expanding to opening a second location in Denver, Colorado in May.

About
Adam started Station 16 Editions / S16 over 10 years ago
Revenue
Adam grew the business to $350K/month
Costs
It cost Adam $150000 to start the business
Read by 6,187 founders

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 2024 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.

How much you can make: $5,000/month

How I Started My Business With A Vision To Disrupt The Data Economy [Bootstrapped]

Data Daddy Inc. is a mobile application that enables users to manage their personal data networks and automate manual data exchanges, such as exchanging information after a car accident, with the use of a scannable QR or URL. The company has generated $5K/month through an early supporter program and is targeting industries like eVisa, healthcare, and esports for automation.

About
Matt started Data Daddy Inc. 10 months ago
Revenue
Matt grew the business to $5K/month
Costs
It cost Matt $60000 to start the business
Read by 484 founders

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 you can make: $1,816,666/month

How much does it cost to start: $1,250 (?)

How long does it take to build: 180 days (?)

Meet the Creator of HR.com

Case study of CEO and creator of HR.com, the world's largest social networking and resource site for HR professionals, which is trusted by over 110,000 HR professionals and offers 5,900+ courses and 400+ webcasts every year.

About
Debbie started HR.com about 25 years ago
Revenue
Debbie grew the business to $1.82M/month
Read by 839 founders

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 you can make: $1,500,000/month

How long does it take to build: 60 days (?)

How I Started A $18M/Year Vehicle Shipping Brokerage Business

Eric Ray founded Easy Auto Ship LLC, a vehicle shipping brokerage, generating $250,000/month in brokerage fees with a net profit of $100,000/month and averaging over 1,500 Google reviews with a 4.6 rating, expected to earn $18 million/year in total sales, expanding into B2B with two more divisions.

About
Eric started Easy Auto Ship over 11 years ago
Revenue
Eric grew the business to $1.5M/month
Costs
It cost Eric $20000 to start the business
Read by 9,438 founders

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.

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
meet the author
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.