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Selling a Business? 3 Common Valuation Methods to Determine Worth Thumbnail

Selling a Business? 3 Common Valuation Methods to Determine Worth

Whether you are thinking of selling your business in the near future or are interested in taking on outside investors, it is crucial that you have an accurate valuation of your business. To value your business, you’ll need to apply standard valuation methods as well as take into consideration the circumstances of different buyers. While there are no fixed rules or formulas, there are common practices, and the value of your business will always be what you are willing to sell it for in addition to what the potential buyer is willing to pay.

There are a few methods that are used by industry practitioners to value the worth of a company, which will ultimately consider several details to help you understand the worth of your business.

Valuation Method #1: Comparable Analysis

One of the more common valuation methods is to take a look at a comparable company that was recently sold or other similar businesses that have known purchasing values. You’ll find a multitude of resources at annual industry conferences or other events to help you discover the selling price of similar companies within your industry. 

A common problem with this method is that it often leads to an uneven comparison between companies. Keep in mind that you need to be realistic when comparing your company to others; you can't compare your small local business, for instance, to a Fortune 500 counterpart. 

Valuation Method #2: Asset-Based Valuation

This approach considers your business’s total net asset value minus the value of its liabilities. There are two ways to approach this method: 

Going Concern

For a business that does not have plans to sell its assets in the near future, the going-concern approach should be used when developing an asset-based valuation. The formula involved utilizes your business’s current total equity, or assets minus liabilities.1,2

Liquidation Value

This approach is based on the assumption that your business is coming to an end and the assets are going to be liquidated. The value of your company’s assets will likely be lower than usual, considering that the liquidation value usually amounts to much less than fair market value. 

A sort of urgency is utilized with the liquidation value method that other valuation methods may not take into account. 

Valuation Method #3: Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) Analysis

This analysis is an approach in which an analyst will forecast the cash flow of the business and discount it at the firm’s weighted average cost of capital (WACC).3 A DCF analysis is performed by creating a financial model and requires an extensive amount of detail. Of the three approaches, this method requires the most assumptions and often produces the highest value. The effort required to prepare a DCF model often results in the most accurate valuation. 

For larger companies, the DCF value is commonly an overarching analysis in which different business units are presented individually and ultimately added together. 

Consider a Variety of Methods

Ultimately, the value of your business will involve what you are willing to sell it for combined with the current demand for a business like yours in the market. While there are a number of valuation methods to consider, it’s important to keep in mind that there may not be only one solution. Instead, you may want to consider utilizing a combination of business valuation methods in order to set a selling price. By working with a financial professional who specializes in business valuation, you'll be much more likely to sell your business for the best price. 

  1. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/comparable-company-analysis-cca.asp
  2. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/goingconcern.asp
  3. https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/modeling/valuation-modeling-in-excel/

This content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information, and provided by Twenty Over Ten. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security.