Did you know that a business' assets are an important piece to a business valuation? Most people involved in selling their business underestimate the importance of the fair market value of their assets. Relying solely on book value or your best estimate will cost you a lot of money left on the table. In order to perform an accurate valuation for your business, you have to examine the value of its assets.
When discussing hard assets, there are various categories such as:
- Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment;
- Vehicles or rolling stock;
- Inventory (both for resale and parts for everyday repairs);
- Leasehold improvements; and
- Licenses, Patents and Trademarks.
Each category of assets has to be analyzed individually, and some research is required. In addition to the fair market value of each item, you may have to arrive at a "Value in Use" of the equipment.
"Value in Use" is defined as:
The value of an economic good to its owner/user is based on the production (privacies in income; utility or amenity form) of the economic good to a specific individual.
When valuing Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment, several things can happen when trying to research the values. For instance, you will usually encounter two scenarios that stand out when calling used equipment dealers, sometimes auctioneers and trade association magazine classified ads as well as the owners own estimate and owners of similar businesses:
- Everyone seems to know the value of the various pieces of equipment; or
No one can give you a straight answer until they see the equipment and its condition.
You can adjust the equipment on the Balance Sheet by adding to or deducting from depreciation to reflect the fair market value of the assets. This gives you an economic adjustment that is based on fair market value rather than a taxed based value as set forth by IRS schedules, which are usually only for tax purposes and probably do not reflect the true value of the equipment.