Value is not necessarily a single, universal term when it comes to determining the value of a business. There are at least four widely accepted standards of value you will hear discussed.

Fair value (unique value):This is the value that would be paid by a willing buyer to a willing seller when neither party is under any compulsion to buy or sell and both parties have good knowledge of all relevant facts. This value is often used in court cases or other disputes where an objective, third-party valuation is required.

Investment value (going concern value):This value is what a buyer would be willing to pay for the company if its purpose was to be held as an investment rather than operated. The key difference here is that the investor-buyer would expect to earn a return on their investment so this value would take into account factors such as expected future cash flow and profitability.

Liquidation value:This is the value of a company's assets if they were to be sold off piecemeal in an orderly manner. It does not consider the company's earning power or ability to generate future cash flow, so it would typically be lower than either fair value or investment value.

Fair market value:The estimated selling price at which a willing buyer and willing seller regularly price a parcel of real estate when the two parties have sufficient information about the item and neither force the other to take action.

Unlike discounting, an objective valuation that heavily excludes bankruptcy scenarios is known as Fair Market Value (FMV). While determining the value of a company for acquisition purposes, FMV is often included in an overall valuation.

Speak to your local Sunbelt office to speak with an experienced business intermediary.

The process of determining the economic value of a business or business is known as business valuation. Business valuation can be used to estimate a company's value for various reasons, including for legal purposes such as determining the value of a partner's ownership or for purposes of divorce proceedings. A business valuator may be called in to give an objective estimate of the business's worth.

Business valuations and appraisals (and evaluations) are rendered by proven and licensed professionals affiliated with one or more nationally recognized associations (see our Valuation Links for information about associations).

Sunbelt brokerages either hold these credentials or maintain partnerships with business valuation businesses to meet this demand of their customers and clients. A Sunbelt small business broker will inform you about the kinds of valuation services on offer and the related prices (if any) and will provide you with his professional opinion on the necessity of such reports.

While business appraisals cover various elements, two critical aspects of appraising a business are cash flow and risk.

Generally, the buyer of a business intends to derive future profit from it. Cash Flow can be represented in many forms, typically as Cash Flow Free Income, E-BIT, EBITDA, or Seller Discretionary Earnings (SDE). In small business transactions, SDE or EBITDA is the most typical method for establishing a selling price.

The bottom line is that the more cash flow there is, the more a customer will probably pay.

There has always been a degree of uncertainty in the cash flow of any business. The risk may be in customer concentration, reliance on vendor relationships, macroeconomic trends, competitive forces, key employees, legal exposures, etc. To be calculated on a large scale, a business valuation will identify risk factors and quantify the degrees of those risks in terms like the Discount Rate or Capitalization Rate.

Goodwill is not a random amount. It's calculated by adding the assets of fixed value to the worth of the final goods or services they are selling. The amount of residual goodwill is considered either a taxable gain or a loss depending on whether s there or it s not. Business sellers regularly overshoot the value of their goodwill, and the assumption that items like technology and a brand can compensate for the goodwill value does not necessarily live up to their cash flow forecasts.

In addition, don't forget to visit our Broker Opinion of Value summary to compare it with a business valuation.

It is necessary to recognize a formal valuation from business pricing, a broker's opinion of worth (BOV).

A professional trade broker may be able to supply a Best Price-Before-Offer (BOV) that expresses their evaluation of what a specific business may sell for, based on their particular expertise, awareness of local markets and financing, and past sales. It is not a traditional company value, but an experienced business broker should be able to present a BOV and supply a probable Most probable selling value (MPSP).

An economic buyer's guide may be provided to a business seller, highlighting the anticipated selling price of the goods or services the business may sell to intended consumers for a specific time. Some entrepreneurs use the BOV to help set and coordinate the asking price they intend to use. More giant corporations typically do not keep public asking prices.

As a broker, the advisor will also provide information on the tax considerations associated with particular deal structures. Ideally, the broker that will comprehensively understand the contract's potential impacts will function as part of your overall broker team.

Contact your local Sunbelt office to speak with an experienced business intermediary.