Atlanta Georgia Business Transfer Specialist  

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  BUSINESS TRANSFER SPECIALIST     
             
               MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS         
                       
                         BUSINESS VALUATIONS  
   

We Simplify The Process of

   

Buying or Selling a Business

     
     
     
     
     
     
   

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Business Transfer Specialist

Q & A   Questions and Answers       ( Free Business Valuation Tool )


 

Q:  I am thinking about selling my business.

A:  Thinking about selling your business? We can help with that.

Consider the valued added by a professional business broker. Brokers are the EXPERTS in the confidential business marketing and transfer process, just as YOU are the expert in your industry. Why not let the experts help you:

* Determine the market value, possible strategic value and appropriate listing price
* Advise you as to terms and deal structures to help you keep more profit on the sale
* Execute the marketing and advertising plan designed for your particular business
* Avoid the disruptive impact of your plans becoming common knowledge
* Find, Screen and Qualify prospective buyers
* Work with professional advisors on your team
* Assist the buyer in obtaining financing
* Negotiate profitable sale terms and deal structure
* Assist with all the complex details of a business closing?


Ask An Expert Section:

On Appraisals:

1.    Q--What is a formal business appraisal? 

       A--Every year, billions of dollars worth of decisions are made on the  "values" of businesses or business interests as determined by the owners, buyers, financial intermediaries, regulatory agencies such as the IRS, and the courts.  Up until the 1980's, business appraisal was in most respects a neglected discipline until the establishment of The Appraisal Foundation (founded 1986), a non-for-profit organization authorized by the US Congress to establish formal appraisal ethical standards and standards of practice, or the Universal Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) for all appraisal disciplines (i.e., real estate and personal property, as well as, for business).  This was followed, or in some cases, preceded by the establishment of professional associations devoted specifically for the business appraisal discipline such as The Institute of Business Appraisers (IBA-established 1978), the American Society of Appraisers (ASA-established separate business valuation discipline in 1981) and others including the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA-1991), and the AICPA in more recent years. 

2.    Q--When is a formal business appraisal needed?

       A--Typically, a formal business appraisal is needed when there is a statutory requirement for a "qualified" appraisal by an independent third party, as in the case of an IRS action for estate and gift tax purposes. Qualified typically means the appraiser has met specific educational and Professional accreditation requirements as established by one or more of the above Professional associations.  Other such statutory requirements include when a business establishes an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) as per the Federal Employment Retirement and Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Department of Labor regulations.  Additionally, certain litigation actions under State law such as dissident shareholder suits, divorce, eminent domain and other legal procedures will typically require a business appraisal by an independent, qualified appraiser.  Other non-statutory requirements for a business appraisal may involve the sale of the business to an outside party, the acquisition of another business (or part thereof), financing, or to meet other strategic planning needs of the owner (s).   

3.    Q--How can a Business Broker or other Affiliated professionals work
            together? 

       A--Specifically, if a Business Broker, or an Affiliate such as an attorney or a CPA, who has a client who is in need of a statutory business appraisal in order to meet estate and/or gift tax needs, or  for an ESOP, or for some litigation purpose such as a divorce or eminent domain, a qualified, certified business appraiser can assist in these matters.

Additionally, a business appraiser can provide support in the case of a business sale if there is a need for an independent third party to verify or confirm the transaction.  However, it is emphasized that a business appraiser is NOT intended to be a  replacement for the Business Broker - only to provide support if needed.  Furthermore, the fundamental value of a business or a business interest is very different for statutory purposes as the definition or standard of value is usually specified by some government regulation, law or by the courts, as opposed to the case of a business sale at arms-length between two specific parties as negotiated through a financial intermediary.  Finally, a business appraiser can be of assistance to lenders who are seeking an opinion of value from an independent third party qualified business appraiser to document the value of a business with regard to lending requirements.  

On Pricing  VS  Value 

QWhy is the Asking/Listing Price above what would appear to be a "fair
      market value" using general pricing methodologies, such as Comps, and
      Rules of Thumb? 

A:  Fair market value is not indicative of a real world sale price because it is based upon a theoretical buyer and seller operating with full knowledge, not under compulsion to make a deal, and negotiating for their own best self-interest to arrive at a cash (cash equivalent) price.  Sellers know the true value of the cash flow, which may not be disclosed on financial statements or tax returns, and almost always add a "going concern" premium to their price expectations.  Also, if the seller does not receive all cash, then the actual selling price tends to be higher to reward the added risk for the seller by holding a note.  Finally, a seller always asks for more than is expected to provide room for negotiation, since the seller knows the buyer is unlikely to make a best offer first. 

QA seller wants the business appraised to establish a range of value before
     agreeing to the listed price.  What standard of value should the appraiser
     be asked to find?

A:  If the seller wants to know what the business is worth to him/her, then the appraiser must consider any synergistic contributions by the seller that a theoretical seller might not have and the "going concern" value of the future income reasonably expected, so the standard of value would be "investment" rather than "fair market value".  If the seller wants to know what a potential buyer might pay for the business on a cash basis and a buyer could be expected to operate the business in the same manner as the seller, then "fair market value" might be appropriate, EXCEPT in today's financing market the lenders are almost always requiring the seller to participate in financing and are reluctant to loan money to people without industry experience, so if the appraiser must consider a sale price not based upon cash or cash equivalents at close and possible synergies from an industry experience buyer, then "investment" value is more correct.

 

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