Business Valuation Blog | Understanding Buying / Selling a Company

Valuation Purposes: Divorce

Posted by Business Valuation Specialists LLC on May 20, 2024 7:30:00 AM

Business Valuation Appraisal for a divorce or dispute

Many of us know how difficult it is when you are going through a divorce, and as a business owner, the stakes are even higher. On top of the anguish and mental toll, a divorce can take on you personally, if you own a company or your soon-to-be ex-spouse owns one, and you need to consider this asset as part of the settlement, the first thing you will need to do is obtain a current valuation. This will provide a professional, unbiased assessment of value for the business so you have one less thing to try and negotiate a fair compromise on.

Your first reaction as a business owner might be reluctance toward opening your financial records to your attorney or your spouse and their attorney. That type of mindset could also bleed over to the appraiser, making it very difficult to properly complete the valuation. Consider taking the high road in this circumstance, which is always recommended when dealing with any type of messy situation that needs to eventually be resolved before the parties can move on.

It's ok to have disagreements on the value of your personal and business assets with other interested parties in any kind of situation, however, the only way to work through them to a reasonable end is through cooperation and full disclosure. Otherwise, the resolution process will take much longer without any guarantee that the outcome will be more favorable to you.

When it comes to working with outside third parties, such as an appraiser, the more information they have that is accurate and well-detailed, the more supportable and accurate the valuation will be. Also, consider the additional benefits of having a third-party valuation of your company completed. For example, you can rely on it as a basis of negotiations for future investment or financing purposes. Or down the road, you may want to sell the business or buy out a partner. It is much easier for a valuation professional to update the appraisal after having recently completed it, which will save you time and money going forward.

Having a long-term perspective when it comes to personal and business decisions usually pays off and provides additional unforeseen benefits down the line. Creating an efficient and effective plan now, even if it pertains to a divorce or other difficult situation, will allow you and the other parties involved to see the “light at the end of the tunnel”. This sense of optimism in the face of conflict will most likely result in the best possible outcome.

A business appraiser can work with you and assist in the valuation process, ultimately providing you with a detailed defendable report that you can work with to help resolve any type of dispute, including divorce. Be proactive in engaging with a certified professional so you have one less thing to worry about as you work through the settlement process.

Tags: business apppraisal, divorce

Valuations for Divorce Purposes-Avoid Getting in the Middle

Posted by Business Valuation Specialists LLC on Dec 18, 2023 7:30:00 AM

Divorce case Business Valuation Appraiser

As certified, professional business appraisers, we engage with quite a few clients and their attorneys who are going through a marriage dissolution/divorce and need to value a business owned by one or by both parties involved. The workflow process should not be much unlike any other type of valuation; however, the potential “drama” that often occurs during divorce proceedings can sometimes bleed into the ongoing communication.

If this happens, it is important to take a step back and reaffirm how the appraisal agreement is structured, and who your client is. As a rule of thumb, never allow yourself to be dragged into any disputes between the two parties that play out during your involvement with the case. Remember that you have been hired to act as an independent service provider who is there to facilitate part of the divorce settlement by providing an unbiased opinion. You have no personal or professional investment beyond this scope of work.

If your client is one of the ex-spouses and/or their attorney, all communications should be with these parties only. If representatives from the other side contact you looking for information, you should advise them that all comments or inquiries be made to your client directly, and kindly request they not to contact you further. Immediately notify your client of the situation and ask them to intervene and gain control over it.

Even if your client does not own the business, they are the ones who will need to obtain the necessary documentation required to complete the appraisal from the party that does. Even in rare cases where the divorce is amicable and both sides cooperate fully, you should ensure all communication and data come from your client only.

Another scenario would be a co-client agreement, where you now have to deal with both sides agreeing to the valuation, signing, and paying their share of the fee. This may be a court-mandated arrangement, and working through this process will likely be even more delicate. You will have to carefully manage communications with both parties and possibly their attornies without getting caught up in the residual emotions and disagreements.

You may want to avoid these types of engagements altogether given the amount of management they will likely require; however, if you do find yourself in this scenario, consider organizing a joint call or email with clear instructions on how you plan to handle the process flow. There is added responsibility on your part, and you will need to develop a streamlined way of getting the requisite information to complete the appraisal.

Either way, working through a business appraisal for divorce purposes will always have the potential of being a uniquely challenging project.

Tags: Business Valuation, Business Appraiser, divorce

Business Appraisals for Divorce Mediation and Litigation Support

Posted by Business Valuation Specialists LLC on Sep 11, 2023 7:30:00 AM

Business Valuation in Divorce Dispute

One of the more common requests we receive to complete a business valuation pertains to divorce cases. Whether it is for cooperative mediation or a more complex dispute involving litigation, independent appraisal work is often required when one or more of the parties owns a company that is deemed part of the shared property.

Any type of dispute, whether personal or professional, can be difficult to settle when differing opinions are held by each side. An independent professional appraiser can assist by taking an objective and unbiased view of the business and its underlying assets to estimate Fair Market Value.

The most important component from the valuation perspective is access to complete and accurate information. Without cooperation from all parties involved, the appraisal effort cannot move forward. It is imperative that the requested financial data and background summary of the business be disclosed in a timely manner to avoid delaying the process indefinitely. Once the valuation professional has all the necessary details behind the company, the appraisal can be finalized efficiently and effectively.

Even though the appraiser is typically engaged by one of the ex-spouses involved in the divorce, they have an ethical obligation to not take sides, and their work product is meant to be a tool to facilitate the decision-making required by the judges and arbitrators involved with the overall mediation. There are a number of other issues at stake in a divorce case, and the appraisal may be just one of these; however, differing opinions of value are quite often material in nature and can have a significant impact on the final result.

No one truly wants a divorce to drag out all the way to trial, including the independent experts assisting in the matter. As difficult as the situation may seem for those directly involved in divorces and related disputes, the only way to move towards a conclusion is to assist in the processes required to fairly disclose and measure the value of the assets. Speak with a certified professional appraiser with experience in these matters to learn more.

Tags: Business Appraiser, business appraisal, divorce

Independent Business Valuation for Divorce Purposes

Posted by Business Valuation Specialists LLC on Mar 13, 2023 7:30:00 AM

Business Valuation Appraisals Appraisals Divorce

Most everyone is familiar with the commonly cited statistic that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. Unfortunately, this estimate is essentially factual, with around 40% of first marriages and 60-70% of second and third marriages making up that average figure. Experts will also tell you that the last three years of hardships (we all know which ones I am referring to) have driven these numbers up further and will continue to rise in 2023.

If one or both of the partners in a divorce owns all or part of a business, the value of the enterprise and its underlying assets will likely become subject to the overall divorce settlement. A dispute as to the assessment of the fair market value of the business is commonly a factor in many divorce cases. The best way to resolve any dispute, ideally in an amicable fashion, is to engage with a certified business appraiser, who can provide an independent value based on reviewing the company history, analyzing financial data, researching the market, and understanding the assets associated with the operation.

Divorce attorneys will often be the representatives who suggest this approach during the proceedings and will work directly with the appraiser to facilitate the collection of data from either or both parties involved. This process can get bogged down for any number of reasons, and the judge or arbitration representatives involved should look to expedite the process with the legal means available to compel the availability of the information needed for the appraiser to complete the appraisal.

Without cooperation on both sides to work through the valuation issues together, the roadblocks to settling these cases can pile up, andthe divorce terms may ultimately be decided by the courts, who have no personal stake in the business or the overall case. The courts will look to rely on any experts involved in assessing value and if both parties engage separate appraisers, it could lead to deposition or trial testimony to ultimately determine value.

It's logical to assume it would be ideal for both parties if these decisions were made amicably and mutually however, the reality is that many divorce settlements become very difficult to settle due to significant differences of opinion, making the ability to work through the process unattainable without the assistance of independent third parties. When it comes to maximizing your chances of arriving at a fair settlement of business value involved in a divorce, seek out an unbiased experienced appraiser to work through the issues with you.

Tags: Business Valuation, divorce, business appraisers

Partnership Divorce: Using Business Valuation for a Fair Deal

Posted by Business Valuation Specialists LLC on Sep 7, 2016 2:00:00 PM

partnership_divorce_business_valuation.jpg

When you are considering a "divorce" from a partner, it can be very messy trying to figure out an equitable solution to dealing with your business, especially in community property states. Both sides want to benefit from the deal, and it can be hard to find a solution that everyone can live with, especially when one or both of the spouses want to continue working in the business and the parties are not willing to work amicably towards an agreement. But a divorce business valuation can provide a quality valuation of a company that uses standard practices by a qualified, impartial appraiser to determine a fair value and a fair deal for all concerned. Here's how getting a company valuation works in a divorce works and the specifics of which valuation methods are used in this situation.

Using a Business Valuation to Get a Fair Deal in a Partnership Divorce

  • It's important that you get your valuation of a company through a qualified, certified business valuation appraiser. Because a professional appraiser has gone through the training and nows the appropriate standards to use in your situation, doing so will help you avoid spending money on an appraisal from an untrained person that may not hold up.

  • One method often used in business valuation is the market approach when looking at comparable businesses. By taking into account different business attributes and investment risks, it's possible to develop a comprehensive valuation that is fair and equitable to all sides in the business.

  • Though it's common in non-adversarial situations to use a comparable transaction method under the market approach, the most common data source only go back a single year, but doesn't address prior years. Because a seller in non-adversarial situations is often actively trying to paint a good picture of the business income to get the most out of the sale, this approach doesn't work well in a partnership divorce business valuation.

  • When a qualified business valuation appraiser is used, it's easier to find an equitable solution to the problem. This is especially important in situations where there are allegations that one party has not been running the business honestly. Because a qualified valuation specialist can study the figures that play into the business' final valuation, it's easier to locate potential problems or mis-reported figures.

Though partnership divorces are, by nature, painful and emotional, coming to a fair and equitable valuation for your business doesn't have to be.

Tags: Business Valuation, divorce, partnership