How to Find the Value of Your Harpers Ferry, West Virginia Business

Have you ever wondered how much your business is actually worth? Assessing the value of your Harpers Ferry business can be more complicated than just working out the value of its assets. While the precise “value” of a business is a somewhat nebulous concept, there are consistent methods of assessment that can set you on the right track if you’re trying to find the value of your business. If this sounds technical, don’t worry. The accountants and valuators at Redwood Valuation have the expertise and knowledge necessary to make a business valuation a smooth and seamless process for you.

409A Valuation in Harpers Ferry, WV plus IRC 409A Valuation, and Purchase Price Allocation

Call Redwood Valuation Partners for your next business valuation (206) 660-1295

Why Do Businesses Get Valuations?

A business valuation could be conducted for several reasons, but often it is done because a business’s owner wants to know how much the company is worth. Anyone hoping to sell a business will be better positioned during negotiations if they have gotten a thorough business valuation before any talks began.

A business valuation can also help show you where your business’ value comes from. There are as many factors involved in the value of a business as there are businesses themselves. A business that is important for a particular city, such as Harpers Ferry, may have high value there, but not elsewhere. In contrast, a business that seems modest and small may actually hold a lot of value for a buyer. It all depends on your perspective.

That’s why expertise is crucial in a business valuation. Getting your business valued requires knowledge of finance, tax law, venture capital and the audit process, as well as of your business. But the benefits of a business valuation come in many forms, from stock compensation to expenses to selling prices. But the reasons and advantages of a valuation are different for every circumstance. If you need help determining if a business valuation is right for your circumstances, get a free consultation from Redwood.

Approaches to Business Valuation

There are three main approaches to business valuation that an accountant or business valuator will use. These three approaches are not the only possible ways of looking at a business’s value, however. These methods apply to an array of businesses, whether they’re in Harpers Ferry or elsewhere. The best approach for your business depends on your reason for getting a valuation and your long-term goals for your company.

Looking at Assets

Finding the value of a business based on its assets isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. The overall goal is to add together all the investments in the business. An accountant going forward with an asset-based mindset is theoretically attempting to imagine what it would cost to set up another, identical business. This exercise can reveal a lot of information about a business, including its liabilities and assets. Then, the valuator can simply subtract the liabilities from the assets to figure out the worth of the business.

Don’t be fooled by how simple this approach seems at first glance. In practice, determining which assets and liabilities to include, and how, is a tricky process. Typically, one of two methods will be chosen for proceeding: either a going concern asset-based approach or a liquidation asset-based approach.

A going concern asset-based approach is a little more straightforward. Simply put, the accountant can subtract the value of any liabilities from the assets that the business has. In a liquidiation focused approach to valuation, it is important to imagine the business is liquidated before determining its value. After liquidation, the accountant can see clearly the value of the business.

The type of asset-based approach you choose depends on your business. There are other approaches if focusing on assets is not right for your situation and goals. For example, a sole proprietorship in which assets are in the name of the business’ owner are not good candidates for this approach. A corporation, however, could find value in an assessment that is asset-based, as its assets are owned by the entire company and not one person.

Looking at the Market

A market-based approach looks at the market as a whole and not solely at your business. This includes looking at other businesses in Harpers Ferry. The goal is to see what your business would be worth by comparing it to other similar businesses.

The advantage to this approach is that it looks more comprehensively at the overall business climate for your particular field. In this approach, it is also very important to consider what a buyer in the market would currently pay for your business and what the fair market value would be.

Unfortunately, it is not always easy to get competitors with your business to reveal the sort of information needed for a market-based valuation. Private and protected information such as non-competition clauses can prove a barrier to obtaining some of the information needed to make a valuation.

Looking at Income or Earnings

The difference between an income or earnings focused approach and other approaches is that this means of valuation is concerned with the future. However, this method starts in the present, looking at the earnings of the business today to try to predict its future earnings.

It is not an exact science to predict the future of a business and therefore an earning focused approach can invite an element of risk. Some of this uncertainty is offset by the ability to use concrete data to calculate this valuation. The accountant doing the valuation can even “normalize” figures to remove unusual spikes or dips that could make the assessment less precise. The market itself can produce spikes and dips that require an additional capitalization factor to be figured into the assessment.

There are, as with other methods, additional considerations here, such as the type of business you run. Sole proprietorship could mean that a business’s identity is so closely linked to its owner that selling it incurs particular risks that can not be predicted based on earnings alone.

Different Kinds of Business Valuations

A valuation has benefits beyond just figuring out what a business is worth and there is therefore a lot of variety in types of valuations. There are other value assessments that serve difficult purposes. A different reason for a valuation could include something such as intellectual property.

Getting a 409A Valuation

A 409A valuation looks at stock as it relates to the value of your business. It is common for employees in many fields to receive stocks as compensation. Such businesses need a 409A valuation because that stock is considered a form of income offered in one year but paid out in a different year.

This sounds complicated. It simply means those stocks have to be accounted for. A benefit of this form of business valuation is that it can determine a company’s fair market value. The fair market value determined by this valuation is a benchmark at or above which employees given stock must be able to sell. Other deferred compensation that requires a 409A valuation includes salary deferral arrangements and bonus plans the company issues.

Often, you will know you need this type of valuation because it will be legally required of your business. Even if you have gotten a 409A valuation in the past for your business, the law could require that you get another one each year or every time a new round of funding closes.

While you can do a 409A valuation yourself, a skilled accountant can guide you through the process with expertise to make sure you don’t hit any bumps along the way. Experience and expertise are key benefits that only an accountant can offer if you have to work through a 409A valuation.

Business Valuations/Looking at Business Valuations

A business valuation is a general term and can be suitable for a myriad of situations, including during negotiations, while planning a business or during entity conversations. Maybe you are wondering how much your business can sell for right now. Or you might be hoping to assess your tax liability by looking at your business’ value.

Whatever the reason, a skilled valuator can help you get equity and enterprise valuations. As our clients have expanded, so has Redwood, increasing the size and expertise of our team. We have experienced accountants prepared for whatever your business’ specific valuation needs entail. Business valuation could include tax or financial reporting, assessment of fair market value or for purchase price allocations.

It takes an experienced team to understand the intricacies of business and finance, as well as IRS regulations. A valuation is an added complexity on top of keeping your business running, so allow our accountants to handle valuations for you.

Valuations for IP and Patents

Intellectual property and patents have separate valuation concerns. Patent and IP valuations come from many different industries in the business world. IP and patents are always under threat from competing trademarks and leaked trade secrets, as well as tax concerns. But you might also seek an IP and patent valuation in order to plan, secure a merger or acquisition, or during litigation.

Once you have a patent or intellectual property that has value, you need to make sure it is protected. Defining assets that are not necessarily tangible can be complex, though. But the value of IP and patents cannot be understated, especially in recent times when so much of a business’s value comes from these assets in particular.

Purchase Price Allocations (ASC 805)

Another requirement businesses encounter is ASC 805. In the course of negotiations for a business acquisition, things such as liabilities, assets and fair market value need to be assessed objectively. This is particularly important for assessing purchase prices in an acquisition.

The goal of a purchase price allocation is to tease apart the pieces of a business, such as liabilities and assets, to find its fair market value. In a transaction, a lot of smaller pieces of a company can be traded and purchased and it’s important to understand the value of all of these.

Getting a Business Valuation Done Right

At Redwood Valuation Partners, we are experts in business valuation. Whether your business is in Harpers Ferry or somewhere else entirely, we can help you find the value of your business or intellectual property and stay in compliance with the tax code and other laws and regulations.

Fair market value is a crucial piece of information you should have about your business. This may be because you intend to sell your company or because you want to stay in compliance with 409A. You also could seek a business valuation in order to protect a patent. The intricacies can seem overwhelming. That’s where experienced accountants come in to help inform and guide you. Our team has worked for years in business, finance and tax issues, allowing us to meet the needs of a wide range of businesses.

While venture capital and auditing can be complicated, we believe teamwork and expertise can help manage the process of a valuation. Our team consists of experts who have worked in their specialties for years. We understand that many of our clients come from high-pressure startups and growth-focused companies with tight deadlines. That’s why we won’t waste your time; we’ll handle the details while you keep running your business.

Whether you want a valuation for selling, taxes or any other reason, we can promise client focus and years of experience when working alongside you. Along with the obvious, our valuations include customized reports, audit defense and free consultations. We can assist you from the very beginning if you don’t know where to start. Take a deeper look at your business with the customized report we provide as part of our valuations. Get a deeper look at your business that includes objective factors as well as subjective ones during the assessment. Plus, you can take one less burden off your plate with audit defense that guarantees audit defense at any time without high additional costs.

If you do want to find the value of your business or assets, having skilled assistance can be a boon. Get Redwood’s experienced team to assist you as you work through a business valuation for any reason. A free consultation may be the perfect starting point.


Our clients have direct access to Redwood’s managing partners and directors. You know your business better than anyone, and the valuation process includes subjective assessments that require your input. We guide you through this process, save your time, and allow you to focus on what matters – growing your business. Get a quality company appraisal in Harpers Ferry, WV.


The Redwood team has performed many IRC 409A Valuation Seattle engagements, and we offer a wide variety of business appraisals to Seattle. Other services include ASC 805 valuation (purchase price allocations), IP valuation, patent valuation, impairment valuation, carried interest valuation, portfolio valuations, IRC 382 valuations, and many other types of stock valuations and business valuations.


With over 50 years of combined valuation experience, we provide top-tier expertise and client service at a reasonable price. Our experience as CFOs and Controllers of venture firms and startups separates us from our competitors who lack the boots-on-the-ground experience that our clients have, which we also share.

Contact Us

If you plan to issue stock options in the next twelve months or have any questions about potential valuations, give us a call for a free consultation and we will give you candid advice about whether a valuation may be needed and how we might help. Our goal is to help our clients achieve their desired goals with minimal burden.

Harpers Ferry West Virginia business valuation services

409A Valuation Harpers Ferry

Redwood Valuation Partners was formed behind an idea of service positioning us as one of the most well respected companies in the industry. Our expert knowledge of finance, tax, venture capital and the audit process helps us understand the difficulties of start-ups. We speak your language! Give us a call and learn how we can help. For information on Business Valuations follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook and find us on Google+ too! (206) 660-1295

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