A common method used to calculate business value involves applying a multiple to the company’s EBITDA. And while business owners who intend to sell their business have many options to increase the transaction multiple, one way to unlock value using this calculation is to identify other, non-customary “add-backs” to increase EBITDA.
At some point during a company’s existence, it’s very likely a business owner will need a business valuation. Regardless of the reason, it is very important to understand how business valuations are conducted.
When all other factors are equal, the presence of a significant concentration among customers, suppliers, and/or employees results in a lower business value than might otherwise be expected due to the underlying inherent risks associated with any or all of these concentrations.
Quite simply, a business valuation is a process and set of procedures used to determine what a business worth. Sounds unambiguous, right? But it takes more than just plugging numbers into a formula — a credible business valuation requires knowledge, preparation, and a thorough understanding of the business. The result is an objective assessment of the real value of the business. In addition to estimating the selling price of a business, a business valuation can be used for many legal purposes such as divorce litigation, shareholder disputes, and estate or gift taxation.
Depending on the circumstances and objective of the owner, the value of a business can vary considerably. For instance, upon sale to unrelated party, an owner would expect to receive the maximum purchase price for their business the unrelated party is willing to pay. However, that same sale to a family member or employee may need to be structured so the cash flow of the business can support the purchase price.
For a closely held business, owners generally have little idea about the value of their business, or whether their business is generating an adequate return on investment, and what drives its value.