- Kimberly Stone
Could a business appraisal be your best friend?
For many people their home is their largest investment, while for some it is their business. It is their creation – their baby! Not only have they be invested their money, but they also invested a lot of their time, especially in the beginning. If the business belongs to their spouse, what happens to the business if something happens to their spouse? What is the exit strategy?
For many business owners, business appraisals can provide vital planning information and help mitigate risk. Consider what it may be able to do for you:
Establish a verifiable value for your business. This can show whether assets have appreciated at a reasonable rate. If not, you may need to adjust your firm's strategy.
Create documentation to support new financing. Lenders need strong evidence that their loans are properly secured. A business appraisal can supply that evidence. An independent evaluation of business assets may also encourage lenders to offer favorable interest rates.
Set a reasonable selling price. Without a detailed and defensible appraisal, owners selling their businesses sometimes entertain unreasonably low offers. On the other hand, an appraisal can keep owners from overpricing the firm and thus discouraging potential buyers.
Avoid litigation after a death. What happens if one owner dies or otherwise leaves his or her share of the business to others? In some cases, litigation follows. To ensure that the remaining owners' interests are protected, the business needs to be appraised beforehand.
Support proper estate planning. If your estate is audited, the IRS is more likely to accept valuations that include a clear and reasoned appraisal. In fact, if discounts are adequately supported by an appraisal, estate taxes may be reduced.
Figure out capital gains. For example, if you inherit a business from your father and decide to sell it, the business can be valued as of the date of your father's death. A good appraisal can help establish a supportable value for the business and may result in lower capital gains taxes.
Contact our office if you have questions about selling your business.