One of the most famous lines from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet questions the meaningfulness of names, and given definitions, as follows:
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
Now, Romeo says this while trying to romantically court Juliet, but reflecting on this did spark some thoughts about how a name or word may not always indicate the full meaning. So, before you ask why a Chartered Business Valuator is quoting Shakespeare, consider this question first:
What is a Chartered Business Valuator? (“CBV”, for short)
At first glance, the name seems self-explanatory. Someone who is “Chartered” (i.e. accredited) in the professional service of “valuing businesses”. Easy does it. However, if you limited the scope of services that a CBV provides to only business valuations, you would be missing the full picture.
Thus, the inspiration for this piece is to briefly outline some of the services that a CBV can provide, and how we create value for our clients.
The following are common situations that may warrant the services of a CBV:
A business valuation is often a critical piece of estate or succession planning, including transferring a business to the next generation of the family, or selling it to third-parties. This may seem simple, but if you have ever watched HBO’s hit television series, Succession, you may have gotten a hint at how complicated this can get with wealth and family dynamics at play.
2. Acquisition or Sale
A business valuation can also assist in facilitating purchase or sale transactions by establishing the fair market value of the subject business. A valuation is useful for a purchaser who is considering buying a business, but wants to minimize the risk of overpaying, or for a seller who wants an indication of what their business may be worth on the open market.
3. Stock Based Compensation
A growing business may require the introduction of new talent, such as a new executive incentivized with ownership interest. A valuation may be required to assist in determining the price of an “equity buy-in” or prior to the issuance of stock options or Restricted Stock Units (RSUs).
4. Shareholders and Disputes
A situation may call for an amicable exit of an existing shareholder or partner. In other cases, the exit may be necessary to resolve a dispute. In either scenario, a buy-out will likely call for a reliable indication of business value.
5. Estate Litigation
CBVs can be integral advisors to assist with the equitable distribution of the assets of an Estate, particularly in scenarios where there is dispute regarding the fair market value of certain business assets, or issues related to the treatment or use of said assets.
6. Matrimonial Matters
A valuation may be necessary to settle the financial differences in a divorce, and determine an equalization payment. Furthermore, CBVs are often tasked with preparing calculations of income pursuant to the Federal Child Support Guidelines to establish child and spousal support payments.
7. Business Loss Quantification
When events occur that result in a business suffering economic and financial losses (i.e. breach of contract, patent infringement), or having its operations interrupted (i.e. a fire or natural disaster), a CBV may be engaged to assist in quantifying the damages suffered.
8. Forensic Accounting
In the instance where a business or individual suffers losses due to fraud or misappropriation of financial assets, a CBV will quantify the potential losses. A forensic analysis of relevant financial and accounting records is often a key piece of the underlying analysis that informs a CBV’s calculations. Think CSI Miami, but swap the blood spatter and DNA for bank statements and general ledgers.
9. Personal Injury
When an individual is involved in an incident where they suffer an injury that inhibits their ability to earn income – consider motor vehicle or other accidents – a CBV can prepare a report detailing the potential past and future lost income or earning capacity, amongst other heads of damage.
10. Valuation for Financial Reporting
When a business is acquired, it is necessary under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to distinguish the value of identifiable tangible and intangible assets, as well as establish the value of the acquired goodwill. This is called a Purchase Price Allocation. Consider if Rogers were to close on its potential acquisition of Shaw Communications (“Shaw”). There may be specific value for the recurring customers that Shaw has, as well as its brand name, technology and other intangible (i.e. non-physical) assets.
CBV’s are more than just business valuators. They can fulfill a number of roles and provide many services, which include those described above.
If you or your client require the services of a CBV, please feel free to reach out to Grewal Guyatt LLP. Our team of business valuators and litigation support experts are ready to assist with any of the services outlined above, and more.