You’ve done well. Your business has grown due to your diligence and hard work. Now it’s time to move on to other endeavors and life pursuits.

But what now? How do you sell a business? How do you value a business?

Besides the obvious requirement of finding a buyer to sell to, you want to determine what that price should be. You deserve to get what’s fair for your capital investment and sweat equity. Not everyone can do what you’ve done and you should be fairly compensated before beginning the next chapter.

Valuing your business for sale is a crucial step in the selling process. Accurately determining the value of your business helps you set a fair asking price, attracts potential buyers, and ensures a successful sale. There are several methods for valuing a business, and you may choose one or a combination of these methods:

  1. Asset-Based Valuation: This method calculates the value of your business based on its tangible and intangible assets. It involves assessing the total value of your company’s assets, including real estate, equipment, inventory, and intellectual property. Subtract any liabilities, such as loans and outstanding bills. This method is commonly used for asset-heavy businesses.
  2. Market-Based Valuation: The market-based approach determines your business’s value by comparing it to similar businesses that have been sold recently. This is often called “comparable sales” or “comps.” To use this method, you need access to data on similar businesses and transactions in your industry. You can then adjust the valuation based on differences in size, location, growth potential, and other factors.
  3. Income-Based Valuation: The income-based approach evaluates your business’s value by considering its ability to generate income or profit. There are two primary methods within this approach:
    • Capitalization of Earnings: This method calculates the value based on the expected future income your business will generate. It involves determining a capitalization rate and applying it to the business’s earnings.
    • Discounted Cash Flow (DCF): DCF involves estimating the future cash flows your business is expected to generate and discounting them to present value. This method is often used for businesses with high growth potential.
  4. Multiple of Revenue or Earnings: This approach is commonly used for businesses in certain industries, such as technology startups or online businesses. It involves using a specific multiple (e.g., 2x revenue or 5x EBITDA) to determine the business’s value based on its revenue or earnings.
  5. Intangible Assets Valuation: For businesses with significant intangible assets, such as patents, trademarks, or brand value, it may be necessary to separately value these assets and add their value to the business’s overall valuation.
  6. Industry-Specific Methods: Some industries have unique methods for valuing businesses. For example, a restaurant’s value may be based on a multiple of its annual sales, while a law firm’s value might be determined by billable hours.
  7. Consult a Business Appraiser: To get an accurate and objective valuation of your business, consider hiring a professional business appraiser. They have the expertise and experience to apply the appropriate valuation methods and provide a well-documented assessment.
  8. Consider Market Conditions: Market conditions, such as supply and demand for businesses in your industry, the economy, and the state of your business when you’re ready to sell, can also influence the final selling price.

Remember that the valuation of a business is not a one-size-fits-all process, and it often requires a combination of methods to arrive at a reasonable and fair value. It’s also important to keep your emotions in check and remain objective during the valuation process to ensure a successful sale.


Have more questions? Are you looking to sell your corporation, LLC, or partnership? Let us help.