A business valuation is one of the most important elements of a comprehensive exit plan.

Business valuation is a process where you determine the value of your business to get an estimate of the economic value of your company.

The Importance of Business Valuation

Business valuation is the process of determining the economic value of a whole business. The two main types of business valuation are financial valuation and corporate valuation:

  • Financial valuation estimates the future cash flows of a company and focuses on the company's financial statements, such as the balance sheet and income statement.
  • Corporate valuation estimates the value of all the assets of a company, including intangible assets such as customer relationships and brand equity.

A business valuation provides a snapshot of how much the company is worth at a given point in time. This information can be used by shareholders to make informed and crucial decisions about the company's future. Additionally, business valuations can be used by financial institutions to assess loan collateral and by investors to determine whether or not to invest in a company.

Yearly Financial Valuation of Your Company

Plan on selling your business or just curious about what it is worth? Get a yearly business valuation with help from a business advisor.

Depending on your business, a yearly financial valuation of your company can be helpful because you will know whether you are losing or gaining ground in the long run. And if you find out you are losing ground? Have no fear! Sometimes businesses need some outside help when it comes to dealing with growing pains and business valuation companies should be able to provide just that.

Business owners often feel vulnerable after they have lost significant amounts of money due to difficult times or because they made poor investments. But hiring a professional valuation advisor, such as a broker or an accountant, helps alleviate those fears by providing facts instead of rumors, and will also prevent you from making hasty or bad decisions. Getting an in-depth business valuation from a valuation advisor is also crucial if you are planning on selling your business.

The Different Financial Valuation Methods 

There are many financial valuation methods used by business valuation companies. The most common are the market approach, the income approach, and the asset-based approach:

  1. The market approach uses comparable companies to estimate the value of the business being valued. 
  2. The income approach estimates the value of the business based on its future economic outcome. 
  3. The asset-based approach values the business based on its net assets. 

Each method has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it is important to choose a method that is appropriate for the business being valued. 

Typically you use several methods at the same time to get the best result and, most importantly, to get an accurate business valuation. Below, you can read more about some of the different valuation methods that are most commonly used.

Valuation Multiples

There are many different types of valuation multiples, but the most common ones are price-to-earnings (P/E), price-to-sales (P/S), and enterprise value-to-EBITDA (EV/EBITDA). Each multiple tells you something different about the company being valued, so it's important to understand what each one means.

Free Cash Flow Valuation Model

The free cash flow valuation model is a method of business valuation that estimates the value of a company by looking at its free cash flow. This model can be used to value companies of all sizes and industries. To calculate the value of a company using this model, you will need to forecast the company's future free cash flows and discount them back to the present. The discount rate should reflect the riskiness of the company's cash flows. The resulting number is the estimated value of the company.

Business Valuation Based on Revenue

A common valuation method is business valuation based on revenue. This method simply takes into account the total revenue that a company generates. While this may not be the most accurate way to value a business, it can give you a good starting point. When considering this method, it's important to keep in mind the company's growth potential. A company that is growing rapidly may be worth more than one that is generating the same amount of revenue but has reached its peak. 

Marked Based Valuation

Another valuation method is market based valuation, which looks at comparable companies in the same industry and region to determine the value of a business. This method can be useful when there are not many comparable companies, or when the company being valued is new or unique. Several financial valuation methods may also be used, which look at the company's financial statements to determine value. However, market based valuation is often considered more accurate because it takes into account more factors than just the financials.

Which Type of Business Analysis and Valuation Should You Use?

If you are looking to get an accurate estimate of your business's value, it is important to choose the right type of business analysis and valuation. As mentioned earlier, there are several types of business valuation methods, e.g.: multiple valuation, free cash flow valuation, market based valuation, asset based valuation and company valuation based on revenue.

The best method for your business will depend on a number of factors, including the size and structure of your business, the industry you are in, and your goals for the business analysis and valuation. For example, if you are calculating the valuation of a startup company, the appropriate methods may be:

  1. The market approach because this relies primarily on what other companies in similar circumstances have sold for or have been bought for. 
  2. Free cash flow because it gives an estimate of the future cash flow of the startup.

As well as considering all these variables, some people might find that working with a professional valuation advisor can provide valuable insights into their company's financial situation.

Why You Have to Know about Business Appraisal and Valuation Services

It is vital to understand what kind of value your business has before trying to sell it. Without an accurate business valuation grounded in reality, you are bound to end up overpaying or underselling your company. That’s why it is good to know about business valuation services and how valuation advisors can assist you. This is particularly important if you want to coordinate and execute some sort of business appraisal on your own or need the knowledge and insight that comes with an outside valuation of your company.

The Process of Company Valuation

There are many factors involved in the process of company valuation. First of all, a company valuation is based on an examination of all these factors, both quantitative and qualitative. This process takes time, because there are so many details, circumstances and facts that need to be reviewed and considered. Even the smallest detail can impact the value of a business, so it is crucial that every parameter is thoroughly investigated.

Throughout the years, we’ve valued and helped sell many businesses and our approach is based on years of experience.

Here Is How Exitplanner Values a Business

As part of an exit plan, we offer a business valuation of your company. At Exitplanner we are experts in executing in-depth exit strategies including a complete valuation of your company. As part of your exit strategy and exiting plan, you will get a detailed overview of how much each task is estimated to affect your valuation so you can prioritize tasks with the highest value. Progressing on the exit plan will therefore have an effect on your valuation, and in fact getting a valuation is the first step in making a good exit plan.

AI-driven business valuation

Quickly discover the current value of your company and get a future forecast on how the value will increase in step with the company's development. The business valuation is made on the basis of your financial key figures and is completed in 10 minutes. It is easy to validate the valuation afterwards at a certified valuation professional. The AI is trained on a benchmark dataset of more than 10.000 company valuations worldwide.

GAP-analysis: Comparing the result with your closest competitors or the market

An accurate valuation is based on more than just the financials from the bookkeeping system. It is important to take the state of the business into account. Exitplanner conducts a 136 questions gap assessment that results in a complete gap analysis. The valuation professional (business broker or accountant) will use the gap analysis as a guideline for a further analysis, which will ensure a precise and realistic valuation.

Forecast of your company’s future value based on historical data

Follow the development in your company's value and—if you are planning on selling your business—make new assessments in conjunction with the execution of your exit plan. Exitplanners algorithms will continuously forecast your company's current and future valuation. You will be able to track when your valuation channels overlay your sell zone and adjust your plans to meet your goals.

Easy validation

Connect your accounting system (Quickbooks) or invite your accountant to adjust and validate your budget figures. With our services it is easy to involve your current trusted advisors and collaborate. In addition, you will get access to a quality certified network of finance professionals. 

Exitplanner can help and assist you and your business if you need a certified business valuation. Through our large partner network we offer assistance, guidance and knowledge from accountants and brokers.

Animated GIF showing the valuation page in Exitplanner

Choosing Between Business Valuation Companies

Business valuation companies offer a variety of services, including financial valuation and corporate valuation of a company. But how do you choose the right company and valuation advisor?

It all depends on the specific needs of the client. A good company valuation service will provide a realistic, accurate and objective valuations that meet the client's needs. When teaming up with Exitplanner, we will connect you with a professional valuation advisor, such as a broker or an accountant, who are specialized in company valuation. 

How To Get a Proper Company Valuation Service

As you probably know by now, business valuation companies can help you if you are interested in knowing how much your company is worth. Along with that, a valuation advisor should be able to provide a wide range of company valuation services, including financial analysis, market research, and asset management

A company valuation often includes all these services in a combined business valuation report which is an in-depth business appraisal of a company's worth. It is often provided by a valuation advisor and used by shareholders to make informed decisions about buying, selling, or before significant investments. 

The professional valuation advisors have knowledge of all aspects related to businesses. They will use their expertise to create an accurate appraisal of your company. Though you have found a competent and experienced valuation advisor, it might not be a bad idea to get a second opinion from another business appraisal company when making big decisions concerning your business. The world we live in today is in constant change, and you will never know who has insider information about something new going on in the industry. 

Consider Getting a Second Opinion From Another Valuation Advisor

As mentioned previously, when valuing a business, valuation advisors will look at things like your company’s financial statements, its assets, and its liability. In addition to that, they will also consider the company's market value and its growth potential. Getting help through several business valuation services, all of these important factors will be weighed and in conclusion come up with a fair and accurate valuation of the company

Both when selling and buying a business it is crucial to have professionals helping you with the needed information and knowledge. 

Four Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Valuation Advisor Before Selling a Business

In the next paragraph we have listed four crucial––yet simple––things to keep in mind if you are planning on selling your business.

Selling a business can be very stressful—but it doesn’t have to be. There is often a lot of frustration, setbacks etc. involved in the process and a great amount of money at stake. Therefore it is essential to be very well prepared and organized. If you haven’t been involved in the process of selling a business before, we always recommend getting help from a valuation advisor. 

1. A valuation advisor helps you determine the economic value of your business as well as an exit strategy

They take into account things like your company's financial statements, market trends, and the overall economy. What you decide and how you act afterwards with their valuation is completely up to you, your company, shareholders etc.

2. Find the right match

With just one online search for business valuation, you will see that there are many business valuation companies that offer this service. It is important to research these firms and valuation advisors before deciding which one will best meet your needs.

3. A valuation advisor can also help you negotiate with potential buyers or investors 

Without a valuation advisor, you may not get the full value of your business. For example, if you are trying to sell your business but don't know what it is worth, then you might have to lower the price. Or if you are trying to raise money from investors by issuing shares in your company but don't know how much those shares are worth, then again you will need a valuation advisor. 

4. Make sure the valuation advisor has actual experience selling businesses

When finding a valuation advisor to help you sell your business, it is important to make sure the valuation advisor has actual experience selling businesses. A valuation advisor with a lot of appraisal experience but no real-world experience in selling businesses will often use a lot of irrelevant methods and not have the necessary expertise to help you and get a buyer to strike. 

Which Businesses Can Be Valued?

There are no businesses that can’t be valued. But a business valuation is often made for startups and for business owners who plan to sell. Read more below about the different types of businesses and what you should keep in mind when getting a business valuation of that exact type of business. 


Startups are often valued using a methodology called the venture capital method. This approach calculates the present value of all future cash flows that the business will generate. Another essential aspect of valuing a startup is to look at the market and get an estimate of what similar companies have been sold or bought for. However, there are many different ways to value a startup, and the chosen method should be appropriate for the stage of development that the company is in.

SaaS Businesses

When executing a business valuation of a SaaS company, you need to understand how the business makes money. The three primary ways are:

  1. Subscription revenue 
  2. Transaction revenue
  3. Advertising revenue

To calculate the value of the business, you need to estimate the future cash flows of a SaaS business. This includes estimating the number of customers, churn rate, lifetime value of a customer, and other factors. To estimate the riskiness of the cash flows, the discount rate is used. A higher discount rate results in a lower valuation. Finally, you need to decide on a multiple to apply to the cash flows. A higher multiple results in a higher valuation. 

Private Businesses

When valuing a private business, the first thing you need to consider is what the business is worth to a potential buyer. When valuing a private business, it is important to use both qualitative and quantitative analysis, and the business valuation should be based on a number of factors, such as: 

  • The size and profitability of the business (be sure to use a credible valuation method that is appropriate for the size and type of the business being valued)
  • The industry and market in which the business operates
  • Its growth potential
  • Its ability to generate future cash flow
  • Its intangible assets (such as brand equity)

Amongst other things you also need to consider the historic performance of the business as well as its potential future performance. Be sure to adjust for any non-operating assets or liabilities that the business may have.  

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