How to value a business

How to value a business

How to Value a Business

Business valuation is a complex process, and many factors come into the analysis of the true value of a business, or business interest, How to value a business involves comparing several different approaches and selecting the best method based on the analyst's knowledge and experience. Expert, specialist advice is needed.

There are three broad approaches used by Business Valuers :


The asset-based approach utilises the Company’s adjusted balance sheet as the primary focus of fair market value. This approach is important where the fair market value of a company’s assets is significantly greater than its book value. The asset-based approach      may be considered when valuing a controlling interest with significantly appreciated  assets such as real estate.


The theory of the income approach is that the value of the business is the present value   of the future economic benefits (income stream) it’s expected to provide. The economic  benefits can be determined from historical results or future projections. When using the   discounted future cash flow method, forecasts are typically prepared for five years and then these economic benefits are converted to the present value using a discount rate.



The market approach draws comparisons to publicly traded companies or private companies that are similar to the subject company. The market approach uses empirical  evidence of value using databases for private businesses and companies. A major disadvantage with the market method is that it ends up comparing general information     in the market, it is unable to consider specific factors leading to a specific transaction.


Any single valuation approach may be used. Professional practices, Real Estate Agents, and Medical and Veterinary Practices may utilise a different approach. Family Court Valuations sometimes also necessitate the use of another approach. What is most appropriately used now in valuing  is  the Income Approach, which generally doesn't distinguish between goodwill value and asset value. Its primary focus is with regard to the return available from the business. One thing is paramount in Busness Valuation, and that is that the valuer has the experience and qualifications to provide a valuation that is accepted for both merger and acquisition or litigation purposes.

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