Buy-sell agreements protect business owners from unexpected events. They can also be important when owners disagree and want to sell their interests — or buy out a difficult partner. Too often valuation issues take the backseat to legal issues, leading to irreconcilable differences when the agreement comes into play. Whether owners are deciding on a current buyout price, purchasing insurance coverage for key shareholders or planning future buyout terms, an accurate valuation is imperative. This article provides a definition of value and looks at the three valuation methods used. It also notes the importance of updating the agreement over time.
Valuators use a variety of analytical techniques and possess different qualifications. But a common denominator is the process that everyone uses to value a business. This article describes the five steps a valuator undergoes: 1) agreeing on engagement parameters, 2) requesting documents, 3) undertaking fieldwork, 4) preparing the report, and 5) providing expert testimony.
Revenue Ruling 59-60 of the Internal Revenue Code has been around for nearly 60 years. The IRS originally created this landmark publication for gift and estate tax purposes. Today, it’s often referenced in valuations prepared for other reasons, including divorce cases and shareholder disputes. This article highlights its definition of fair market value and lists various factors to consider when valuing a closely held business interest. A sidebar discusses what this guidance says about the use of weights and averages in business valuation.