How to Find the Value of Your Washington, District of Columbia Business

Do you know how much your Washington business is worth? Assessing the value of your Washington 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, IRC 409A Valuation, Purchase Price Allocation in Washington, DC

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

Why Get Your Washington 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. 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 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. It might be surprising to learn that a business with a very high value in Washington is perhaps not as highly valued in a different city. By the same token, hidden value may lurk in a business that doesn’t seem as impressive at first glance. 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. The advantages of doing a business valuation correctly include understanding your selling price and stock compensation. Ultimately, the reason for a business valuation depends on your particular circumstances. A free consultation from Redwood may help you clarify the reasons for your valuation and the best approach for your particular business.

What Approaches Are There 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 approaches to business valuation are applicable whether your business is located in Washington or not. Each business has its own particulars that will ultimately determine the approach that is the most appropriate for it.

Determining Value Based on Assets

While it may sound obvious, there are actually a few approaches to looking at a business’s assets The overall goal is to add together all the investments in the 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.

Don’t be fooled by how simple this approach seems at first glance. This process gains complexity when the accountant has to decide which assets to include. A going concern asset-based approach or a liquidation asset-based approach will help you move forward with this appraisal.

A going concern asset-based approach is a little more straightforward. 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 a real liquidation, the business would receive cash; this now becomes the business’s value in a valuation.

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. 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, however, could find value in an assessment that is asset-based, as its assets are owned by the entire company and not one person.

Market-Based Approach

Sometimes it is important to take in the whole picture, meaning the entire market, and not just your one business. This includes looking at other businesses in Washington. 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. An accountant using this approach will try to determine the fair market value of your business and what a buyer is likely to pay for it in the current climate.

This approach encounters difficulties in that often other businesses are not eager to share their worth with competitors. Non-competition clauses and private information can hinder this approach, making it difficult or potentially even impossible to get the information necessary for this type of 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. By looking at the income of the business in the present day, it is possible to make a strong prediction about future value.

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. 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. 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.

Different Kinds of Business Valuations

Not all valuations are the same and not all valuations are confined strictly to businesses. There are other value assessments that serve difficult purposes. Others focus on things such as patents and intellectual property.

409A Valuations

A 409 a valuation looks at stock as it relates to the value of your business. Many businesses offer stock to their employees and contractors. 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 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. In addition to stock, a 409A valuation is required if your company issues bonus plans, salary deferral arrangements and other agreements involving deferred compensation for employees.

Often, you will know you need this type of valuation because it will be legally required of 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. Experience and expertise are key benefits that only an accountant can offer if you have to work through a 409A valuation.

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. Figuring out your tax liability is another common reason for seeking out a business valuation.

A practiced accountant can help navigate enterprise and equity valuations for businesses. As our clients have expanded, so has Redwood, increasing the size and expertise of our team. We years of experience and a comprehensive team, we are prepared to take on a host of business valuations needs. 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. While you’re concerned with your business running smoothly, let experts tackle the ins and outs of a getting a valuation done.

Valuations for IP and Patents

Finding the value of intellectual property and patents is a specialized field. Most businesses do have some sort of intangible property that want to protect and valuate, though. Some of our clients have concerns about trademarks and trade secrets, while others want to make sure they stay in compliance with taxes. Other reasons for IP and patent valuations include business planning, mergers and acquisitions and litigation support.

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. Despite the difficulty, IP and patents are extremely valuable assets that every business should seek to protect as well as they can.

Assessing Purchase Price Allocations for Business

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. Of course, the overall goal is to figure out the purchase price for an acquisition.

This type of business valuation looks at all the different parts of a business to determine its value. 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.

What’s the Bottom Line?

At Redwood Valuation Partners, we are experts in business valuation. Ensure that your Washington business meets the requirements of the tax code and applicable regulations while finding the value of the assets, liabilities and intellectual property you hold.

Often, you will need to know the fair market value of 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. Maybe you are seeking a business valuation for tax reasons or to assess the value of a patent. Assets and liabilities are complicated. 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.

We understand the ins and outs of venture capital and auditing and take a teamwork-focused approach. 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. We let you get to the important work of running your business while we take care of the intricacies of business valuation.

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 will even help you get started if you aren’t sure. 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. Don’t try to tackle this task alone when Redwood is ready and able to help you with the process. Begin your process with a free consultation.

Client-Focus

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 Washington, DC.

Services

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.

Experience

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.

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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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