Exit Strategies Insights

Industry insights, knowledge base and announcements for business owners and professional advisors

Business Valuation Insights

Protect your Trade Name and Protect your Business Value

From my experience as an M&A Broker, I can tell you that your company’s trade name will be a valuable asset to most prospective buyers of your business.  Your trade name, which identifies your company’s brand and distinguishes its reputation with customers and suppliers, is worth strengthening and protecting if you plan to sell your company some day. It may surprise you that the name of your business, even if it’s not officially registered, receives some …

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What are the current expectations for interest rates?

One of the important factors that effect business value is macroeconomic conditions which include interest rates and the cost of capital. Business owners who want to know what is going to happen to interest rates should be aware of new leadership at the Federal Reserve. On February 5, 2018, Jerome “Jay” H. Powell took the oath of office as the new Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, succeeding Janet Yellen. …

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Does My Buy-Sell Agreement Establish Value for Estate Purposes?

Buy-sell agreements that contain a clause that values stock at less than fair market value can be disregarded for tax purposes. It is important to consider the requirements of Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 2703 when developing an estate plan involving business interests in which 50% or more of the stock is family owned. Section 2703(a) states that a shareholder agreement (entered into after October 8, 1990) that allows for the acquisition or transfer of …

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How Would Your Company Survive Without You?

If you are like many business owners, you tend to get caught up in the daily demands of your business: managing sales and production, costs, and the bottom line. What about preservation and protection? Perish the thought, but what would happen to your company if it was unable to carry on due to your death or disability? These concerns may seem like, and may in fact be, remote possibilities. However, by putting them off, you …

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EBITDA – What’s it all about?

EBITDA may seem to be the holy grail of business assessment in the M&A world. Almost every potential buyer starts by asking what is the selling company’s EBITDA; and almost every seller wants to know at what multiple of EBITDA his or her business will sell for. From an accounting standpoint, EBITDA is a simple concept: Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization. However, it has also been referred to as “Earnings Before I Trick …

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Proposed IRC Section 2704 Regulations – What’s all the fuss about?

Long-awaited proposed regulations under section 2704 of the Internal Revenue Code, released on August 2, 2016, would make sweeping and very significant changes to the valuation of interests in many family-controlled entities for estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax purposes. For decades, the IRS definition of Fair Market Value (FMV), which is based on the concept of the hypothetical financial buyer, are typically completed on a control basis (more than 50%, but usually 100%), as …

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Which Business Valuation Will Facilitate Negotiation?

You are getting ready to sell your business so you must ask yourself some questions:  When do I want to exit?  Who are the most likely buyers?  Is my business adequately prepared to sell?  How does it compare to other like businesses?  And of course, what’s my business worth? All business valuation relies on some prediction of the future. Business appraisers apply a variety of adjustments to financial statements, theoretical constructs and historical data to …

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Hidden Problems with the Price Formula in Your Buy-Sell Agreement, and Solutions

It is tempting to select a formula approach to pricing shares when business partners come and go. After all, a formula is easy for everyone to understand, and in theory at least, inexpensive to apply. If you’re satisfied with getting to a price, any price, then congratulations – job done. But the goal is to arrive at a price that is fair to all concerned. This article discusses some of the unforeseen problems with buy-sell …

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Make No Mistake: The IRS is Serious About Qualified Appraisals and Appraisers

The IRS and the Tax Courts are serious about requiring taxpayers to properly determine the value of non-cash estate assets, gifts and charitable contributions. To avoid having the value of an inherited, gifted or donated privately-held business interest challenged or rejected by the IRS, obtain a qualified business appraisal (valuation) from a qualified business appraiser. The IRS defines a qualified appraisal as one that: is performed in accordance with generally accepted appraisal standards; meets the relevant requirements of …

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Case Study: How One Entrepreneur’s Advisors Enabled a Successful Estate Transfer

I recently had a client who wanted to transfer his medical distribution company to his son and retire with peace of mind — a common occurrence these days. Dad and his CPA requested an opinion of Fair Market Value to set the price for a transfer of stock. After I appraised the company (S corp.) stock at $2.0 million, Dad and Son asked me how to finance the transaction. Dad was reluctant to carry a long-term loan for …

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