Business Valuation Services

VonLehman's Business Valuation Services Group supports closely held businesses in the tri-state region through every stage in their life cycle – including the possible sale of the company. With multiple Certified Valuation Analysts on staff, and extensive valuation experience across all industries, our Business Valuation Group is uniquely equipped to place a realistic monetary value on clients' most valuable assets. We understand which factors can enhance or detract value. We often advise clients on ways to make their businesses more attractive to prospective buyers. We know which particular industry rules and tax laws to apply. And unlike firms that take a formulaic approach, we carefully consider the individual history and circumstances of each business. Our distinct approach gives clients confidence that our final valuation number reflects the true worth of their company.

Demand for Valuation Services

Demand for our business valuation services extends beyond owners contemplating a sale. Because valuations objectively analyze all factors affecting company performance and growth potential, many clients use them as a starting point in strategic planning. Others rely on them to measure performance on key metrics. Still others are compelled to do valuations for legal or tax reasons:

  • ESOP Valuation is required by the IRS and the Department of Labor since Employee Stock Ownership Plans must reflect Fair Market Value (FMV) as determined by and objective third party 
  • Estate, gift and trust planning requires that a value be placed on all assets, including the business, to determine estate or gift taxes
  • Buy/sell agreements between shareholders of closely held businesses use a valuation to specify the terms and price of a buyout
  • Divestiture of partner or shareholder business interests in closely held entities often requires a valuation.
  • Mergers and acquisitions achieved through the exchange of stock necessitate that both companies be valued to establish a fair exchange
  • Divorce proceedings typically require that a business be valued to determine the amount of the asset to be split between the spouses
  • Other types of litigation, such as eminent domain proceedings or insurance claims for lost business, also demand a business valuation

Expert Witness Testimony

When we perform valuations in conjunction with legal proceedings, we often provide litigation support and expert witness testimony. In all our work, we adhere to the high professional standards of the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Multi-Layered Valuation Process

In conducting a business valuation, our Certified Valuation Analysts consider every internal and external factor that impacts the performance of a particular business. Their process of gathering and interpreting data is exhaustive and complex – made more so by the interplay of various layers of information. To support their conclusions of value, our analyses employs sophisticated, state-of-the-art research tools that less specialized firms can't match. As skilled financial analysts, they start with a thorough assessment of clients’ financial history and future outlook. They also look at a broad range of operational, management and market issues, including:

  • Skill of the workforce and management team
  • Competitive business advantages
  • Opportunities for productivity gains or market expansions
  • Economic forecasts
  • Condition of plant, equipment and technology
  • Barriers to market entry
  • Intangibles such as goodwill, corporate culture and brand equity

Common Standards for Determining Value

While there is no reliable guidebook for assigning value, there are several standard approaches to valuation. Our Business Valuation Group routinely determines:

  • Fair market value: the price that a willing buyer pays a willing seller
  • Fair value: typically defined by state statute and referenced in dissenting shareholder legal actions
  • Investment value: it varies from investor to investor based on perceived differences in risk, earning power, growth and individual tax status
  • Liquidation value: the net amount that an owner could realize if the business is terminated and the individual assets are sold off

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