I have a Media Integration project. I was under the impression we would provide the finder on a 50k job with 3% so were my partners. It was a verbal agreement and we are going to honor it. My question is if the job is going to cost us 30k to do and we have 20k left what is my finders fee? 3% of the whole project (50k) / 3% of the cost of the job (30k) or 3% of the profit (20k)?
You profit is anything you say it is. You can calculate it in a myriad of ways, which could result in a profit of $0 on every sale. Your finder has no idea what your profit margin is. It's what you tell him or her.
The only thing your finder knows is the percentage you promised him and the cost of the job. I have never heard of finders fees based on anything other than total job cost. If they were going to be based on "profit", you should have defined exactly how profit is calcualted to your finder before they found you a job.
I think the finder can reasonably expect his percentage to be based on the gross amount. So, 3% of $50K. He has no control over your expenses, after all.
Why does the finder suddenly want 5% if everybody agreed to 3% in the first place?
Tim's comment is spot on. Here's another way to look at it: Is your personal integrity worth the few hundred bucks you might gain by shorting the guy with clever accounting tricks?