How are Portland, OR Businesses Valued?

Have you ever assessed the value of your Portland business? There are a number of intricate details that you have to evaluate in order to find your business’ fair market value. The value of a business might change depending on who you ask, but luckily there are certain consistent principles applied to any business valuation that is performed. This seems like it could be overwhelming, but it shouldn’t be. 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, IRC 409A Valuation, Purchase Price Allocation in Portland, OR

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

Why Get Your Portland Business Valued?

There are a myriad of reasons to get your business valued, but perhaps the most obvious one is in order to see how much it will sell for. If you are considering selling your business, it’s critical to get a valuation first so that you can go into negotiations with potential buyers armed with knowledge and data.

In addition to how much a business is worth, a valuation can show which parts of a business are valuable. Teasing out all the reasons a business is valuable is complicated, though. A local business that is important to the community in Portland may have a high value for that particular community, but not for a potential buyer. Likewise, a business that seems like a tiny startup could have a ton of hidden value for the right buyer. The particulars of a business will determine the outcome.

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. But the benefits of a business valuation come in many forms, from stock compensation to expenses to selling prices. However, any advantages of doing a valuation are up to you and your business. We at Redwood offer a free consultation for clients who need advice getting started with a business valuation.

Approaches to Business Valuation

An accounting doing a business valuation will likely take one of three main approaches to assessing the value of a business. While there may be other approaches, these three encompass the main methods of assessing a business’ value. These methods apply to an array of businesses, whether they’re in Portland or elsewhere. The best approach for your business depends on your reason for getting a valuation and your long-term goals for your company.

Asset-Based Approach

While it may sound obvious, there are actually a few approaches to looking at a business’s assets The aim of an asset-based approach is to total the investments of a business. The business valuator tries to determine with this method what it would cost to set up anther business exactly like the one that already exists. This exercise can reveal a lot of information about a business, including its liabilities and assets. The difference between the assets and the liabilities of the company is the business’ value.

It sounds straightforward, but there are hidden complexities. The difficulty lies in the details, where figuring out the worth of a business and sorting through assets and liabilities becomes more complicated. Typically, one of two methods will be chosen for proceeding: either a going concern asset-based approach or a liquidation asset-based approach.

One method is to look at assets with a going concern. Simply put, the accountant can subtract the value of any liabilities from the assets that the business has. In the other approach, a liquidation asset-based approach, the accountant first imagines that all the assets and liabilities were paid off, as though the business was liquidated. After liquidation, the accountant can see clearly the value of the business.

Choosing an asset focused method of business valuation maybe right for your business. It is possible that a different method is more suitable for your particular business. There are certainly some businesses, such as those that are in a sole proprietorship, that would be well-advised to take a different approach. A corporation, in which all assets are owned by the company as a whole, is a much better candidate for an asset-based approach.

Looking at the Market

A market-based approach looks at the market as a whole and not solely at your business. For example, you could compare your business to others located in Portland. Viewing your business side-by-side with other, similar ventures can provide crucial information for figuring out the value of a business.

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. 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

An income- or earning-based approach is different from the other two in that it is concerned with future potential. An income-based approach tries to use current income and earnings to predict how much a business will be worth in the future.

Obviously, this invites an element of risk in that the accountant or valuator is attempting to determine value based on a predication. 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.

Again, sole proprietorship and the exact style of business can impact the ultimate valuation here. How customers view a business is a factor that is not captured in income figures or market values but that can impact a business’s value.

What Kinds of Valuations Exist?

The types of valuations possible go beyond those meant strictly for businesses trying to sell. 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

This type of valuation is concerned with the stocks connected to your business. Stocks are frequently given to employees and contractors as part of their earnings from working. Stocks given to employees are regarded by the IRS as deferred income �” income given to someone in one year but actually paid in a different year.

This may seem overwhelming. Ultimately, it is a matter of reporting stock earnings. 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. And if you’ve already gotten a 409A valuation, ensure you are getting re-evaluated once a year and/or any time your company closes a new funding round, in accordance with the law.

It is advised that you don’t try to do a 409A valuation yourself, even though you can, and instead let an accountant deal with unforeseen difficulties that you aren’t prepared to handle. They can also help you choose the best approach to this valuation for your circumstances and business needs.

Valuations for Businesses

Some of the reasons for a business valuation include things such as entity discussions and business negotiations, but they are also useful while planning a business or estate. Maybe you are wondering how much your business can sell for right now. Others desire a business valuation when researching things such as tax liability.

Equity and enterprise valuations are best handled by a talented accountant. As our clients have expanded, so has Redwood, increasing the size and expertise of our team. Regardless of your specific reasons for seeking out a business valuation, we can work with you to reach your goals. 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. While you’re concerned with your business running smoothly, let experts tackle the ins and outs of a getting a valuation done.

How to Assess IP and Patents

Intellectual property and patents have separate valuation concerns. However, this type of valuation can impact a wide range of businesses. Some of our clients have concerns about trademarks and trade secrets, while others want to make sure they stay in compliance with taxes. But you might also seek an IP and patent valuation in order to plan, secure a merger or acquisition, or during litigation.

Don’t neglect to protect your valuable intellectual property or patent by getting a valuation of it. 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.

Assessing Purchase Price Allocations for Business

You may be required to do a purchase price allocation. In the course of negotiations for a business acquisition, things such as liabilities, assets and fair market value need to be assessed objectively. 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. 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.

What’s the Bottom Line?

At Redwood Valuation Partners, we are experts in business valuation. Ensure that your Portland 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. Whether you are looking to assess your value for the sake of selling or have yearly tax considerations, a business valuation will help. Maybe you are seeking a business valuation for tax reasons or to assess the value of a patent. Don’t get overwhelmed by the details. A helping hand through the process of business valuation can make the process easier. Whether it’s finance, tax issues or business, our accountants are prepared to navigate the technicalities with you.

One of our core values is teamwork, which we believe can help even in the complex world of venture capital and auditing. 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.

Whatever your reason for getting a business valuation, we can offer client focus, experience and expertise that can make the process as easy as possible for 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. 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. Plus, you can take one less burden off your plate with audit defense that guarantees audit defense at any time without high additional costs.

The bottom line is that a business valuation, for any reason, is best approached with help. Don’t try to tackle this task alone when Redwood is ready and able to help you with the process. Find out how to get started with a consultation.


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 Portland, OR.


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.

Portland Oregon business valuation services

409A Valuation Portland

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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