Announcing the Empire Flippers Referral Program

Nick Chi Updated on April 8, 2022

Announcing the Empire Flippers Referral Program

What if I told you there’s a new way to make money from buying and selling online businesses without ever having to own one yourself? What if you could make a six-figure income in the M&A space without assuming the risk of operating an online business?

This is now possible with the launch of the Empire Flippers referral program. After a successful pilot program, we’re excited to open our waitlist and make this available to a first official round of referral partners.

In this article, we’ll outline what our referral program is, provide answers to some of the most common questions, and explain how you can join the waitlist to potentially become a partner with us.

First, let’s review what our referral program is and why we’re doing this.

What is the Empire Flippers Referral Program?

The Empire Flippers referral program allows approved referral partners to receive a commission whenever a referred lead either buys or sells an online business on the Empire Flippers marketplace.

The amount of the commission will vary depending on the size of the business, with 7-figure+ deals offering referral partners the potential to make a significant full-time annual income.

Why We’ve Launched the Program

Over the years, buyers and sellers within our community have referred other buyers or sellers within their circles to us based on the trust and reputation we’ve developed as the go-to M&A brokerage for online businesses.

Community members have sent numerous high-quality referrals, which have in turn allowed us to continue placing high-quality businesses on our marketplace.

We want to make this program official, to continue our forward trajectory, to offer a compelling system that compensates our partners for referrals, to make it simple to refer buyers and sellers and to track commission owed.

How the Referral Program Works

Our goal with the referral program is to make it simple, transparent, and compelling. Here is how our program works to accomplish this:

Linking System

Once you’ve been approved as a referral partner, you’ll be able to share a blog post, podcast, our valuation tool, or any content on the Empire Flippers website using your referral link. The linking system allows you to be infinitely flexible on how you want to introduce us to your network.


You’ll be able to see how many clicks your links are getting, and where specific deals are in the process once your referrals start buying or selling businesses on the marketplace. This dashboard will be automatically updated so you’ll never wonder what happened to your hard-won referral.

Get Paid on Everything

You won’t just get paid on 1 business sold, you’ll get paid on any business bought or sold within that 2-year cookie period.

Many sellers have multiple businesses to sell, and it is not uncommon when a seller gets their exit capital that they turn it around to buy new businesses from us. Many of our buyers were once our sellers.

How Compensation is Calculated

As a referral partner, you make 20% of the commission we make on a deal. Currently, our average listing price is ~$1.2M. So for a $1.2M deal, we take a 12.08% commission, or $145,000. Therefore, your commission on a $1.2M deal would be 20% of $145,000, so $29,000.

To test out different compensation scenarios, you can view our commission calculator to see how much commission we receive for any deal size and how our commission structure works overall. Just take 20% of that value to calculate your compensation.

Here is a snapshot of some other commission examples based on:

Announcing the EF Referral Program

If you look at normal affiliate offers, you’ll notice that a 20% commission is double the typical referral rate. We truly want this to be a win-win and long-term relationship with those selected to partner with us.

Referral Commission on Deals with Earnouts

A deal with an earnout means a business was bought with a portion of it being paid in cash up front, with the remainder to be paid over an agreed-upon amount of time or performance level.

The specific details of an earnout payment structure vary depending on the agreement between each buyer and seller, but it’s common to see a majority of the business paid for in cash up front, and a smaller percentage (say 35%) paid out as an earnout.

With that said, how does a referral partner earn commission on a deal with an earnout? First, the referral partner will receive a commission on the upfront payment, and then when the earnout payments are received the partner will earn on the payments as they come in. We ensure this is transparent and easy to track on each partner’s referral dashboard.

The Referral Partner Dashboard

For transparency and simplicity, we’ve created a dashboard for referral partners. This platform allows partners to create links, track clicks and commissions based on those links, and track individual deals.

Here’s an example of what this dashboard looks like:

Announcing the Empire Flippers Referral Program

Referral partners can see how much commission was paid out on a monthly basis.


Announcing the Empire Flippers Referral Program

Referral partners can also track the status of each deal, whether it’s currently listed for sale, in the post-sale migration to the buyer, etc.

How to Make a Referral

To make a referral, partners simply need to use a referral link generated from their partner dashboard. Beyond this, no interaction with buyers or sellers is necessary, though you can advise on the deal if you believe it would be helpful.

Alternatively, for a more personal touch, you can introduce a colleague with a formal email without using the link. Tracking for that referral will be manually added to your account.

What Does and Does Not Count as a Referral?

There are some constraints or guidelines to consider as far as what counts as a referral.

A qualified referral can’t have already submitted their business for sale with Empire Flippers or unlocked a business on the marketplace.

How and When Will You Get Paid?

You’ll get paid after a referred deal is finalized and migration is complete. The referral commission funds due to you will be moved to your Marketplace Wallet in your Empire Flippers account.

When you wish to withdraw these funds, you can log in to your dashboard to complete a “withdraw funds request” via ACH bank wire.

Who We’re Looking to Partner With

We’re looking for top-tier referral partners who have a real strategy, brand, presence, or influence in the online business space.

More than just partners referring us deals passively, we’re looking for people we would want to work with from a collaboration standpoint that could go far beyond just a referral relationship, such as content collaborations and co-marketing activities.

Here are some examples of individuals we have successfully worked with:


Whether through an email list, YouTube channel, or other forms of social media, influencers can see immediate referral wins by promoting the program to their community.


Aggregators can monetize their private deal flow that doesn’t meet certain criteria by sending them to Empire Flippers.


Brands can refer their customers to a trusted partner that is aligned with helping them get the most out of their exit.


Companies can leverage their marketing in the industry to be symbiotic with their referral marketing. Plus, our marketing team can proactively work with you to determine the best way to include Empire Flippers in your messaging and where it makes sense for your customers and your business.


Even if you aren’t an influencer, being part of smaller online communities can help cultivate a higher degree of trust among community members and lead to a higher percentage of high-quality referrals.

Online courses

You can work with us to integrate content into your online course and educate your students about building a business that is ready to exit.


Agency owners who help online businesses with growth can also help their clients transition to an exit. If you’re assisting in a client’s growth, you might know how much profit they’re generating, and therefore how much their business could be sold for.

If you are an influencer in the space, a brand that serves our customers as well, or an agency that sees a way to help their clients even more through our program, feel free to reach out to determine if we’d be a good fit for each other.

How Much Could You Realistically Make?

The referral partners involved in our soft launch are currently on track to generate $200k–$500k from commissions. Our largest single referral payment made so far was for $61,444.62, and our top-performing referral partner has made $160,555.45 in referral commission to date.

Here are some examples of our current partners, and how they were successful in using our program and receiving significant commission payouts:

An aggregator who forwards leads

This aggregator forwards sellers to us for businesses that do not fit their criteria. This year they will easily make enough from the referral program to hire another employee or grow their organization. They are also bolstering their brand by providing guidance to a trusted broker instead of simply turning down clients that do not meet their requirements.

A seller who made a podcast appearance

This referral partner sold his business on Empire Flippers in 2 weeks for ~$500k. After the sale, he made an appearance on a podcast discussing his story and his positive experience with us. He is essentially making a full-time living by simply sharing his story.

An ecommerce thought leader

Another current referral partner owned an online business that he sold through Empire Flippers in less than a week. He’s also an influencer and thought leader in the ecommerce industry and was able to monetize his goodwill and connections in the space.

A YouTuber and online course instructor

After selling his business with us for ~$1M, this referral partner posted a video about his experience and included his referral link in the video description. This link received 1,000+ clicks and resulted in 3 buyers and 12 sellers listing their businesses for an estimated combined total of about $3.3M, or $150k in potential referral commission.

Strategies for Promoting the Referral Program

As seen from the above examples, our referral partners don’t have to “sell” anyone anything. They can simply tell their story or share an opportunity with their network, and promotion strategies can often be integrated within pre-existing communications or marketing workflows.

By sharing something useful with your audiences, including our valuation tool or a piece of content, such as steps to sell a business quickly, you can warm up potential referrals by being value-focused.

Why Partner With Us Over Others?

So, why promote Empire Flippers over other brokers, aggregators, or alternative options?

Examining the details of the program itself, here are some major benefits to our program that are likely missing in others:

You receive a commission for sellers and buyers

Perhaps your content caters more to buyers rather than sellers. Perhaps you cater to both, and you’re unsure as to whether your audience will buy or sell a business. With our program, you’ll receive a commission in either instance.

A custom dashboard

Most referral programs in the M&A space rely on email and Excel spreadsheets to pay partners. Ours also provides transparent tracking and a custom link system to make it easier to promote the program and see how your promotional efforts are performing.

2-year cookie period

You’ll receive payment for businesses bought or sold based on your referrals within a 2-year period, and an unlimited number of businesses can be sold within that timeframe.

Empire Flippers Over Other Brokers

Our current partners from our soft launch have so far been very successful, and we expect the success rate to remain high given the trust and recognition we’ve developed.

This, along with our simple referral and tracking process, makes the referral program a potentially highly lucrative and seamless option to bring in additional revenue at no cost.

Empire Flippers Over Aggregators

Aggregators are incentivized to acquire business directly and for as low a price as possible, meaning they’re incentivized to minimize commission.

We work to get sellers the highest price possible, thereby working to maximize your commission.

Steps to Partner With Us:

Step 1. Join the waitlist

We will manually go through and select candidates we think can make the best referral partners.

Step 2. Promote buying or selling an online business

Use our technology to promote buying or selling a business through Empire Flippers.

Here are some examples of platforms to promote on:

  • Traditional email referrals
  • YouTube channel discussing online business with your referral links
  • Your own blog driving traffic
  • Lead generation sites using paid media

Step 3. Review your performance statistics

Access the dashboard to track performance and commissions generated.

Take the First Step

If you’re unsure about whether or not you’d qualify to become a partner, we recommend just reaching out. If we’re not the best fit for each other at the moment, we may reach out to chat about what you can do to better position yourself to become a partner.

We recommend contacting us sooner than later, as we anticipate high demand. It’d be best to get in as an early adopter to maximize your referral presence in the space.

To get started, join the waitlist by clicking here.

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