American Business Brokers
American Business Brokers specializes in the buying, selling and valuation of a business.  We are also consultants for both buyers and sellers

We Help Buyers Buy and Sellers Sell

American Business Brokers
American Business Brokers
valuation is based on two things

What a business  owns

What a business owns = tangible and intangible assets. The tangible assets are the furniture, fixtures, equipment, inventory, and real estate. The intangible assets can include the trade name, contracts, leases, client lists, licenses, recipes, and patents.

What it earns

What a business earns provides a certain financial benefit to the owner. The benefit generally comes in the form of business profits and a salary to the owner. It can also provide the owner with fringe benefits such as health insurance, a company car, or a retirement plan.

How value is calculated

Owner operated businesses with sales of $1 million or less generally sell for the value of the assets, plus one to three times the earnings. If the earnings are stable and growing, the value is on the higher end. If the earnings are variable or declining, the value is on the lower end.

Businesses with sales of $1 million to $10 million may sell for straight earnings multiples of three to six. A thorough investigation of the financial information is required to uncover the true earnings capability of the business. Again, if the earnings are stable and growing, a higher multiple is used. If the earnings are variable or declining, a lower multiple is used.

Businesses with sales of more than $10 million often have specific industry criteria, which may be applied to determine the value. At this level, Buyers may be paying for market share, rights to patents and processes, additions to product lines, or the benefits of strategic or administrative consolidation.

Rules of thumb - business

Most industries have one or more rules or thumb. However, they can vary widely and in most cases do not give an accurate value of a business. Since each business is unique, a particular rule of thumb can be off by as much as 100% or more. The business broker will be able to decide what is the most relevant information about a business and then make an informed decision about its value.

The value of a business valuator

Business valuation is as much an art as a science. While the business broker does employ standardized formulas and methods to calculate value, he works from assumptions that are based on his experience in the market place and his familiarity with the similar businesses. This process includes the selection of the most appropriate risk and return variables. In this way, his applied expertise leads to the best calculations of value for a specific business.


The question is asked quite often from a business owner as to whether they should get an appraisal for their business. Our position on this matter has normally been no. The reason for this is that an appraisal is a valid way to arrive at a value for a commercial building or a piece of real estate, but in the case of a business it is much more difficult to asses a value.

For example - when an appraisal is done on a building or piece of property the chances of the value of that item changing in the next 12 months is rare unless there is a vacancy or a big change in the local market. But, generally the property continues to follow the local appreciation level and grows accordingly. This however, is not so in a business. In a business we like to think of it as trying to get your hands around jello. It is hard to get a hold of and is constantly changing.

If the business loses one of its top customers then the value goes down regardless of whether it has been successful for the last several years and if the business picks up additional customers does that enhance the value of the business! I think you get the picture. So be sure to surround yourself with a business broker that is knowledgeable and understands how values can vary in business to business and market to market.

American Business Brokers

American Business Brokers

Business Brokers - Mergers & Acquisitions
Businesses for Sale - Business Consulting
Franchise Opportunities - Business Valuations

Phone: 888-800-6898 Fax: 305-574-0173


American Business Brokers

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American Business Brokers
  American Business Brokers  
American Business Brokers