How to Find the Value of Your Honolulu, Hawaii Business

Do you know how much your Honolulu business is worth? Assessing the value of your Honolulu business can be more complicated than just working out the value of its assets. The value of a business means different things to different people, but there are some core principles of business valuation that can help you get the right valuation done for your Honolulu business. If this sounds technical, don’t worry. Our experts at Redwood Valuation Partners have years of experience in business valuation and are eager to help you through the process from start to finish.

409A Valuation in Honolulu, HI plus IRC 409A Valuation, and Purchase Price Allocation

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

Top Reasons to Seek a Business Valuation

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. Don’t try to go into business negotiations about selling a business before you’ve gotten a valuation from a skilled accountant who’s an expert in the field.

A business valuation shows not just overall worth, but also where that value originates 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 Honolulu, 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.

It’s imperative, then, that your business valuation is handled by professionals. In addition to understanding your business, an accountant doing a valuation should know the ins and outs of finance, venture capital, tax law and other fields. The advantages of doing a business valuation correctly include understanding your selling price and stock compensation. However, any advantages of doing a valuation are up to you and your business. If you need help determining if a business valuation is right for your circumstances, get a free consultation from Redwood.

What Approaches Are There to Business Valuation?

There are three main approaches to business valuation that an accountant or business valuator will use. There could be other approaches to business valuation, but the three described here encompass the most common methods. These methods apply to an array of businesses, whether they’re in Honolulu or elsewhere. Each business has its own particulars that will ultimately determine the approach that is the most appropriate for it.

Determining Value Based on Assets

Finding the value of a business based on its assets isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. In this approach, a business’s investments are added up to determine value. An accountant going forward with an asset-based mindset is theoretically attempting to imagine what it would cost to set up another, identical business. Assets and liabilities are much easier to see through this theoretical new business. The next step involves balancing the assets and liabilities in order to calculate how much value the business holds.

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. A going concern asset-based approach or a liquidation asset-based approach will help you move forward with this appraisal.

One method is to look at assets with a going concern. The accountant looks at the company’s net balance sheet to find the value of its assets and then deducts the value of its liabilities. A liquidation approach to determining worth is concerned with paying off liabilities before figuring out the value of a business. After liquidation, the accountant can see clearly the value of the business.

The specifics of your business may reveal whether this sort of approach is right for you. There are other approaches if focusing on assets is not right for your situation and goals. There are certainly some businesses, such as those that are in a sole proprietorship, that would be well-advised to take a different approach. By contrast, corporations spread out the ownership of assets throughout the company and could benefit more greatly from a valuation based on assets.

Market-Based Approach

A market-based approach looks at the market as a whole and not solely at your business. This includes looking at other businesses in Honolulu. A method that uses comparison to determine value take into account other factors impacting the market as a whole.

This approach has the benefit of viewing overall market conditions rather than having a more narrow focus. 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.

This approach encounters difficulties in that often other businesses are not eager to share their worth with competitors. Some of the difficulty with a market focused approach arises when you encounter non-competition clauses and other information a business has decided to make private.

Income- or Earning-Based Approach

The difference between an income or earnings focused approach and other approaches is that this means of valuation is concerned with the future. By looking at the income of the business in the present day, it is possible to make a strong prediction about future value.

Of course, assessing value this way comes along with the risk of assumptions and predictions that invite uncertainty. Some of this uncertainty is offset by the ability to use concrete data to calculate this valuation. One method to smooth the bumps in the road in this method is to “normalize” a business’s earnings so there are no remarkable costs or windfalls that could skew figures. Sometimes, these predictions are divided by capitalization factors that fluctuate based on the market.

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.

Types of 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. Business valuations are just one type of valuation that is possible. Others focus on things such as patents and intellectual property.

409A Valuations

This type of valuation is concerned with the stocks connected to your business. Many businesses offer stock to their employees and contractors. 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.

It’s not as confusing as it seems. It simply means those stocks have to be accounted for. Businesses who need this form of valuation need it in order to determine the fair market value of their business. Fair market value is especially important here because employees with stock need to be able to sell it at or above that mark. Other deferred compensation that requires a 409A valuation includes salary deferral arrangements and bonus plans the company issues.

Sometimes it is a matter of compliance with the law to get a 409A valuation for 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. A Redwood valuator will know the ins and outs of this type of valuation, as well as the best approach for you and your business as you undergo this process.

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. You may be hoping to see how much you could make by selling your company. Figuring out your tax liability is another common reason for seeking out a business valuation.

Whatever the reason, a skilled valuator can help you get equity and enterprise valuations. At Redwood, we’ve seen our clients’ needs expand as our own business has expanded. We have experienced accountants prepared for whatever your business’ specific valuation needs entail. Whether you want to find your fair market value or do tax or financial reporting on your business, we are prepared to help you through the process.

It takes an experienced team to understand the intricacies of business and finance, as well as IRS regulations. You know your business, but evaluating your business against all applicable laws, regulations and financial considerations takes an expert in the field of business valuation.

IP and Patent Valuations

Intellectual property and patents have separate valuation concerns. However, this type of valuation can impact a wide range of businesses. Taxes are complex when it comes to IP and patents, but it is also important to make sure trade secrets and trademarks can be protected. Other reasons for IP and patent valuations include business planning, mergers and acquisitions and litigation support.

Make sure your patent or intellectual property is protected by understanding what it’s worth on the market. It is sometimes complicated to find the value of these intangible assets. Despite the difficulty, IP and patents are extremely valuable assets that every business should seek to protect as well as they can.

Purchase Price Allocations (ASC 805)

Another requirement businesses encounter is ASC 805. During a purchase or acquisition, businesses seek to find their fair market value, including their intangible assets and liabilities, to bring to the transaction. Purchase price is the crucial outcome of such an evaluation of a business.

A purchase price allocation ultimately comes down to determining what various parts of a purchased business are worth, including assets and liabilities. Sometimes a business is sold in pieces and in such cases it’s important to find the value of those pieces before any transaction takes place.

Getting a Business Valuation Done Right

Here at Redwood Valuation Partners you will find the expertise you need for your valuation. Ensure that your Honolulu business meets the requirements of the tax code and applicable regulations while finding the value of the assets, liabilities and intellectual property you hold.

Fair market value is a crucial piece of information you should have about your business. Business valuations help in situations where you want to sell, sort out your taxes or simply determine the value of your various assets. You also could seek a business valuation in order to protect a patent. Don’t get overwhelmed by the details. A helping hand through the process of business valuation can make the process easier. Our team has worked for years in business, finance and tax issues, allowing us to meet the needs of a wide range of businesses.

One of our core values is teamwork, which we believe can help even in the complex world of venture capital and auditing. Our valuation associates and analysts have worked in their field for years, becoming respected experts. Many of the people we work with come from high-pressure environments with tough 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. We go beyond the standard valuation to offer a free consultation, as well as audit defense and customized reports. We can assist you from the very beginning if you don’t know where to start. And our customized reports will include all the detail you need to make business decisions based on your valuation. The comprehensive valuation report will include subjective and objective factors relevant to your particular business. And if an audit should come up, you can rest easy knowing our audit defense has your back at any time.

The bottom line is that a business valuation, for any reason, is best approached with help. 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 Honolulu, HI.


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.

Honolulu Hawaii business valuation services

409A Valuation Honolulu

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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409A Valuation