4Thought Blog

4thought graphic - blog 2020

Buy-Sell Agreements: A Necessity for Business Owners to Protect their Interests

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Dec 1, 2020

When a business is owned by more than one person, it's generally advisable for the owners to enter into a contractual agreement that prescribes what will happen if an owner dies, becomes disabled, retires or otherwise leaves the company.

Some market analysts predict that the COVID-19 crisis may trigger an increase in buyouts. For example, some struggling owners may decide to throw in the towel after months of teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. Or squabbling partners may disagree about the future of the business and decide to part ways.

So, now is a good time for owners to draft or update a buy-sell agreement. Here's a look at common valuation issues and potential pitfalls to avoid.

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Topics: Business Valuation

Business Valuation: Forecasting Cash Flow in the COVID-19 Era

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Sep 8, 2020

Business valuation is a prophecy of the future. That is, investors typically value a business based on its ability to generate future cash flow.

However, with so many uncertainties in the current marketplace, forecasting expected cash flow can be challenging.

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Topics: Business Valuation

4 Value Drivers for Boosting Business Sale Price

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Sep 26, 2019

In today's environment, it's important for business owners to focus on the value of their company and what drives it. The objective of this article is to look at value drivers for operating businesses, as opposed to businesses that are asset-based, such as real estate or securities holding companies.

Under the market and income approaches, operating businesses are valued based on how much cash flow they're expected to generate in the future. In other words, cash flow drives value.

If you want to increase value, you need to increase sustainable cash flow.  Notice, we said the sustainable cash flow. While it might look good to have a short-term increase, an educated buyer will see through any non-sustainable increases and adjust those in determining the purchase price.

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Topics: Succession planning, Business Valuation

Own a Family Business? Value it Internally & Externally

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Jun 27, 2019

While preparing your succession or estate plan, it can be helpful to value your family business both internally and externally.

You might wonder what that means — because you think your company has just one value. In fact, it can have multiple values depending on the valuation standard used. The different results can help you determine whether to keep the family business, pass it on to the next generation or sell it to an outsider.

Two common standards used in valuing a family business are:

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Topics: Succession planning, Business Valuation

Mergers and Acquisitions: Post Tax Reform Business Buying Strategies

Posted by Concannon Miller on Thu, Mar 14, 2019

Many businesses will pay less federal income taxes in 2018 and beyond, thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. And some will spend their tax savings on merging with or acquiring another business.

Before you jump on the M&A bandwagon, it's important to understand how your transaction will be taxed under current tax law.

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Topics: Business consulting, Business Valuation, 2017 Federal Tax Reform

Divorcing Business Owners: Don’t Forget to Weigh the Tax Consequences

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Feb 19, 2019

Let's say divorcing spouses own part of the stock in a closely-held corporation. This may be one of their biggest marital assets, and often one spouse decides to buy out the other party's shares by transferring some assets in exchange for the stock. Before jumping headfirst into these transfers, it's important to consider the expected tax consequences.

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Topics: Individual tax planning, Business Valuation

Your Business: The Value Will Depend on the Reason for Valuation

Posted by Concannon Miller on Tue, Jan 22, 2019

What is the value of my business? That's the question every business owner wonders from time to time. But the correct answer varies depending on the purpose of the appraisal. Different rules and "standards of value" may apply in different circumstances.

There are a number of reasons you might want to determine the value of a business, including:

  • Business planning,
  • Potential sale or purchase of a business,
  • Gift, estate and other tax purposes,
  • Buy-sell agreements,
  • Business litigation, including shareholder disputes and oppression cases,
  • Marital dissolutions, and
  • Financial reporting.


Here's a closer look at some of the common reasons to value your business.

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Topics: Business Valuation

Calculation or Valuation Engagements – Which is Best for Your Business?

Posted by Michael Bilby on Thu, Nov 29, 2018

When it comes to business valuations, not all valuation reports are created equal.

In fact, the professional standards for both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and National Association Of Certified Valuation Analysts specify two distinct types of valuation engagements: a calculation engagement and a valuation engagement.

While the reports produced by both engagements share many common characteristics, it is important for business owners to understand the key differences and appropriate uses with each engagement.

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Topics: Business Valuation

Buy-Sell Agreements are a Must for Closely-Held Business Owners

Posted by Michael Bilby on Tue, Oct 2, 2018

For closely-held businesses with multiple owners, it’s certainly a best practice to have a buy-sell agreement signed and in place.

A buy-sell agreement is a contract between the co-owners of a business which stipulates the terms and conditions for the buyout of an interest in the company should one of the owners need to leave. Simply put, the agreement acts as a sort of “pre-nup” between the owners that addresses the exit conditions in the event of an owner’s death, divorce, disability, personal bankruptcy or violation of a company contract or policy.

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Topics: Business Valuation

How Much is My Brewery Worth? A Valuation Primer

Posted by Andrew Desiderio on Tue, Sep 25, 2018

Whether you’re looking to buy a brewery, sell a brewery, gift some ownership to a partner or successor, or are just plain curious, the question of value is of primary concern. Ask any valuator worth their salt and he or she will tell you, valuation is an art, not a science.

There is no black and white formula for determining what a brewery is worth. However, there are time tested and generally accepted methods within which one can work to derive a fair value.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Business Valuation, Brewers

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