FAQ for Searchers


What does Majority Search offer?

Trusted partnership
The Majority Search team has spent our careers searching for companies to buy, executing the acquisitions, and growing them over time. We want to get in the trenches with you and leverage all of our experience to help.

We specifically designed our fund to allow us to be your perfect partners. That means we can afford to invest more time, resources, and trust in our relationship than any other investment firm.

A suite of resources
We'll equip you with the skills, databases, software, and connections to help you find and acquire the right business.

As your conversations with business owners become opportunities, we’ll review every deal in parallel with you and make sure we ask the right questions and run the right analyses.

When the time comes to execute a transaction, we have a trusted roster of advisors to make legal, tax, and accounting due diligence as efficient as possible.

Capital to fund the purchase
When we settle together on a business to buy, we'll provide the capital to fund the purchase.

We don't use debt, so there's no need for a cumbersome bank approval process or a personal guarantee.

However, we're placing a big bet on you, so we want you to bet on yourself too. We expect every operator we back to make a personally meaningful investment into their company. That amount is different for every person.

Commitment you can count on
We know that making a change of this magnitude involves risk. For that reason, we want to give you enough certainty to leave a stable W-2 paycheck job behind.

When we agree to back your search, we make a commitment to work with you in earnest to look for a company to buy for up to two years.

You can feel confident knowing that when we find the right deal together, Majority Search will be there to fund it.


How is partnering with Majority Search different from a search fund?

We're the only sponsor you need
While most search fund investors invest as part of a consortium, we’re the sole sponsor for the operators we back.

Backing your efforts on our own makes for streamlined decision-making and allows us to spend much more time supporting you. It also means you don’t have to spend time raising capital, since we already have a committed fund at the ready.

Unlike search funds, we don't charge a step-up on the capital invested to fund the search.

We offer a broader range of equity awards
Our equity awards are 100% tied to performance, which allows us to offer a broader range of award sizes.

If you grow your business slowly, you’ll earn less equity than the traditional search fund model. But if you grow your business quickly, you can earn (much) more equity. Even the majority equity. That’s our goal for every operator we partner with.

We avoid third party debt
Search funds rely on bank debt to help fund their acquisitions. We don’t.

Debt makes good outcomes better and bad outcomes worse. However, it also adds risk. The returns of small business investing are attractive enough without using debt, so it’s not worth the extra risk at the time of closing.

Forgoing debt also provides you with more flexibility to invest for growth. When the risk is highest over your first few years of operations, you’ll be able to direct cash to fund growth investments, not interest payments.

You can operate with a "forever mindset"
Our unique fund structure allows us to operate with an indefinite time horizon.

If you earn majority ownership in your company and you want to hold it forever, you’ll be able to.

Even if you don’t earn majority ownership, there’s still a good chance that we’ll want to keep our partnership going indefinitely.

We believe that the best outcomes occur over very long time periods.


Who is involved with Majority Search?

The partners of Majority Search are Justin Burris and Tim Ludwig
Justin and Tim both have extensive experience in small business acquisitions and bring their skills, resources, and connections to assist you.

Justin previously worked at BDT Capital Partners, a merchant bank that advises and invests in founder- and family-owned companies. At BDT, Justin worked closely with the CEOs of private companies across a broad range of industries.

Tim has invested in more than 80 search funds since 2007 and has acquired three small businesses for his own portfolio. Tim's search fund investments have generated 30%+ annualized returns returns over a 15 year period by providing support and capital for first-time CEOs.

The investors in Majority Search include more 30+ individuals and families
Majority Search invests committed capital on behalf of a group of individual and family investors, many of whom have owned or led small businesses themselves and are eager to support you.


How does compensation work?

While you're searching for a business to buy, you will receive an annual salary of $125,000 and a stipend for health insurance.

Once you acquire a business, you will receive compensation in three buckets:

Base Salary: Once you become CEO, your salary will be roughly 10-15% of the free cash flow of the company you lead.

Annual Incentive Bonus: As CEO, you will be eligible to receive an annual bonus based on performance.

Equity Award: In addition to the equity you purchase with your initial investment, you will also receive an equity award based on the growth your company achieves over your first 5 years of leadership. The more you grow the business, the more ownership you will receive. You won’t receive this award until after your first 5 years of operations, but if you grow your company successfully, this award will be the largest portion of your compensation by far.


How do decisions get made?

Search phase
We believe in true partnerships, and that begins while searching for a business to buy.

During the search phase, you will be responsible for speaking with business owners and surfacing opportunities. But we’ll be there with you day-in and day-out.

While we expect to be in constant communication, our investment committee convenes every other week to hold a formal check-in.

The investment committee for your search will include you and the two partners of Majority Search, Justin Burris and Tim Ludwig.

Together we will decide whether to pursue each opportunity. This means that you won’t have the unilateral ability to spend resources on an opportunity without investment committee approval, nor will we be able to compel you to pursue an opportunity that you don’t want to.

Partnership is a two-way street.

Growth phase
Once we buy a company for you to grow, we assemble a board of directors to provide governance, oversight, and support.

The board of directors will include you, one or more partners from Majority Search, and other directors we may appoint to add relationships or strategic value.

For the first 5 years, Majority Search will control the board of directors, but you’ll be a critical voice as the company’s CEO and the driver of its growth. You will be closest to the day-to-day operations, so your word will always carry a great deal of gravity.

After year 5, you will earn additional board representation proportionate to the equity you are awarded. This means that if you earn majority ownership of the company, you will also control the board of directors.

We hope to compound not only capital together, but also trust.


What kinds of people does Majority Search partner with?

We back individuals from all backgrounds.

Whatever your age, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, education, and more, we want to hear from you.

There are, however, a few constants in the people with whom we choose to partner.

Our partners must want to lead a small company and personally drive and benefit from its growth.

They should have a very long-term mindset because that’s where the greatest rewards are.

And they should be geographically flexible and willing to relocate within the U.S. or Canada for the right opportunity.

Our life’s work is growing small businesses into category leaders. We look for partners who want to make this their life’s work as well.


What kinds of companies does Majority Search acquire?

We seek to invest in enduringly profitable businesses with between $1-2 million of free cash flow that are being sold by owners looking to relocate or retire.

We’re most interested in service, healthcare, and light manufacturing companies in growing industries with strong margins and a high proportion of recurring revenues.

We like situations where a company has both a defensible moat in a niche industry as well as the potential to achieve significant growth over a long time period.

For example, businesses we have successfully acquired in the past include an alternative student transit provider for homeless, foster, and special needs children and a specialty insulation manufacturer for metal buildings.