Business Valuation Blog | Understanding Buying / Selling a Company

What Factors into a Business Appraisal of a Software Company?

Posted by Business Valuation Specialists LLC on Nov 23, 2020 8:00:00 AM

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When you want to sell your software company or need a better understanding of the value for business you have worked so hard to build, you need to consider an appraisal. The software industry differs from most others, so how does this factor into a business valuation? Understanding the methodologies involved with the appraisal of your software business can help you make sense of the current market and your place within it.

There are two main approaches to value within the business appraisal world: the income approach and the market approach. Both can be used to value a software company, and a business appraiser will select the best method depending on the reasons for appraisal and the data available for analysis.

For the income approach, an appraiser focuses on the current and future benefits of your business in terms of revenue and expenses. They will utilize this information and discount it in present terms. This is referred to as a discounted cash flow (DCF) of your business.

This approach is appropriate for companies that bring in an unstable amount of earnings from one year to the next, or companies that are not growing at a consistent rate. Since many software companies do not grow at a steady pace, and commonly see material fluctuations for revenue and expenses, an income approach makes sense.

A market approach can also be used for taking the valuation of a company in the software industry. This is more specifically referred to as the multiples of revenues and earnings market approach. In this method, an appraiser looks at the software company's historic financial statements to determine values. The appraiser then compares the software company's values to its peers.

Factors That Affect the Value of a Software Company

Factors that may affect the value of the software company include among others, tangible assets owned, the replacement cost of the software itself, the value of similar businesses (possibly competitors), customer acquisition cost, and measurable advantages to your products

Since there are many factors that affect the value of your software company, you should know what method an appraiser will use, the factors they consider, and how they put this data together to arrive at your company's overall value. Talk with the appraiser during the valuation engagement to better understand what the appraised value really means.

Topics: business valuations, business appraisal services, valuing a software company