What Is A Finders Fee? – Understanding Its Importance And Benefits

What Is A Finders Fee - Understanding Its Importance And Benefits

A finder’s fee is the one that you pay to a finder (a third party), that is, a person or an entity that facilitates the transaction between you and the party you are transacting with. This fee is also called a referral fee or referral bonus. As a business owner, you can make use of the finder’s fee if you want to expand your customer base and increase your sales. At the same time, with the use of this fee, you can reward your existing customers for their loyalty.

In this article, you will learn about finder fees and what are the constituents of a finder’s fee agreement. Apart from that, you will also learn about how a finder’s fee works. Furthermore, we will share with you a few common examples to make you understand the workings of finder’s fees. Finally, you will also learn some of the special considerations related to finder’s fees.


What Is A Finders Fee?

According to Investopedia,

A finder’s fee (also known as “referral income” or “referral fee”) is a commission paid to an intermediary or the facilitator of a transaction. The finder’s fee is rewarded because the intermediary discovered the deal and brought it to the attention of interested parties.

A finder’s fee is paid to the intermediary of a transaction between two parties. The transacting parties presume that without the presence of the intermediary, this transaction would not have happened. Furthermore, the intermediary acts as the facilitator of the transaction and hence warrants the compensation out of the transaction.

In most cases, the finder’s fee is paid after the completion of the deal. Either the buyer or the seller in the transaction pays the fees to the intermediary, which is based on who needs to have the transaction in the first place.

Basically, you (as a seller or a customer) are paying the finder’s fee to the third party person or entity to successfully find a customer or a seller. This helps to set up the business deal with the two parties concerned. In general cases, insurance companies pay a finder’s fee to people who connect those companies with new policyholders. It also happens the other way.

How Much Is A Finders Fee, And How Does It Work?

How Much Is A Finders Fee, And How Does It Work

As you have already understood, you pay the finder’s fee to a person or an entity who facilitates the transaction between you and the person with whom you are transacting within the first palace. The finder (also the intermediary) is the one who takes the fee to facilitate the transaction. In some cases, these fees are also called referral fees or referral bonuses.

However, finder’s fees are not paid in every case. In the United States, state law determines whether a finder’s fee is applicable in a particular transaction. This is true for all types of purchases, even in the real estate industry.

For example, in the state of Maryland in the US, the Commissioner of Financial Regulation defines the finder’s fee this way –

A finder’s fee means any compensation or commission directly or indirectly imposed by a broker and paid by or on behalf of the borrower for the broker’s services in procuring, arranging, or otherwise assisting a borrower in obtaining a loan or advance of money.

In most cases, finder’s fee agreements work quite well for businesses and come with a variety of benefits for businesses. However, in some cases, there are some potential risks involved with a finder’s fee, too. Hence, we recommend you carefully consider every aspect of the transaction before you enter into one. This will make you aware of every obligation and limitation in the transaction.

What Is The Example Of A Finder’s Fee?

You can find the best examples of finder’s fees in the ones that insurance companies pay to a third-party person or agents.

According to an example by Insuranceopedia,

Insurance companies […] are willing to pay finder’s fees to the agents and brokers who find insurance applicants and help them sign up for the insurer’s policies. For example, if a person connects a mortgage insurance company with ten recent mortgage borrowers, the mortgage insurance company may pay the intermediary a finder’s fee for helping them discover these people.

In many cases, businesses also use the finder’s fee to expand their customer base and increase their sales. Here, businesses reward existing customers to bring in new customers for the business. Basically, the business is offering commissions to the intermediate customer.

Finder’s Fee – Some Special Considerations To Learn

Finder’s fee is a great option to earn money for people who want to be intermediaries. However, in most cases, the finder’s fee is not free money that you can pocket every time you want. Like every other source of income, this money is taxable as well. You have to report your taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.

You will need to fill out Form 1099-MISC or Form 1099-NEC if you want to report your finder’s fee, referral bonuses, or referral fees. In the form, you will also need to report the amount of finder’s fee you received throughout the year. Furthermore, you will also need to specify who paid you the fee. Hence, it is essential to keep all the details of the finder’s fee in one place.

If you fail to report the finder’s fee you received or any other related taxable income, you can trigger penalties and interest if the IRS audits your returns.

Final Thoughts

A finders fee is nothing but a commission that you pay to the intermediary of a transaction that you want to have without another person. The intermediary of the transaction is basically linking up a potential customer with a seller of a particular service. The fees also act as a motivating factor for the intermediary to keep providing referrals to the buyer/seller.

Based on the deal between the two concerned parties, the terms of a finder’s fee can vary accordingly. The payout of the finder’s fee is mostly a finders fee percentage of the sale completed. Do you have any more information to add regarding the finder’s fee? Share your information with us in the comments section below.

Continue Reading:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here