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How to Benchmark the Value of a Business

The question that arises most often for many small business owners and others interested in purchasing a business is “what is a reasonable price for this business?” To some degree, every business is unique and therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all formula to determine the value. Years ago, I was visiting with a dentist who was… Continue >>>

Market Transactional Valuation Multiples are not about Averages

In October of 2003, I co-chaired a valuation roundtable session with Dr. Shannon Pratt, a highly regarded individual within the business appraisal profession. A question was asked regarding the use of market data in the market approach as it applies to the valuation of closely held companies. I thought it would be helpful to revisit… Continue >>>

FAQ’s About Key Person Consideration

Virtually every business has centralized management and/or relies on the talents of a few individuals. This risk of centralized management is taken into account for business valuation purposes in the company’s future earnings or rate of return (i.e., discount rate). In some cases, however, one person is the linchpin, and if he or she leaves… Continue >>>

EBITDA Adjustments

At least weekly we are asked to look through a valuation report, and find ourselves saying, “what in the world…?” Most often, the document supplied to us for review, cites earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) with adjustments to historical financial information. Adjustments can be perfectly acceptable, as owners run excess personal expenses… Continue >>>

IRS Estate Audits

The Federal estate tax is a tax on the transfer property at death. It is applied to estates for which at-death gross assets, the “gross estate”, exceeds the filing threshold. Included in the gross estate are real estate, cash, stocks, bonds, businesses, and decedent-owned life insurance policies. Deductions are allowed for administrative expenses, indebtedness, taxes,… Continue >>>

How to Benchmark the Value of a Business

What is a reasonable selling price for a business? This is a question that arises for many business owners and others interested in pricing a business. To some degree, every business is unique and therefore, no one-size-fits-all valuation formula works for all businesses or for a particular industry. For example, sometimes a dentist may hear… Continue >>>

Three Aspects of a Business Valuation Professional

This is a good time to reflect on three important and misunderstood aspects of the role of the valuation professional: The valuation professional. The nature of the finding. How are the findings used. Role of the Professional: Valuation professionals may act as either an “appraiser” or “consultant” – but not both in a single engagement.… Continue >>>

Price versus Value

In finance, we use words like price and value, as if they were interchangeable. I have been guilty of this myself at times. It is worth noting, price and value not only come from different processes, but are determined by different variables and yield different numbers at the same point in time. The essence of… Continue >>>

Separating Personal Goodwill in a Corporation Sale

A sale of a corporation under an asset sale arrangement should be carefully planned to establish the personal goodwill that may exist and if it is being sold in a “separate transaction” apart from the sale of the assets of the corporation. This is particularly true where a closely-held C corporation’s transaction deal is structured… Continue >>>

Quality of Financial Information – is it Important?

When we develop an opinion of value for a particular operating business, we look at the quality of the financial information as either an additional risk factor or value driver. In business valuation and especially from an investor’s viewpoint, quality of the financial information or truthfulness of the data plays an important role. Everyone has… Continue >>>

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