Small Business Appraisals

 Professional market value business appraisals for small businesses of all types.

  • Selling a Business
  • Buying a Business
  • Partnership Buy-out
  • Partnership Buy-in 
  • Sale Preparation
  • Buy/Sell Agreement
  • Succession or Exit Planning
  • Retirement Planning

Types of Businesses Appraised

Search Step By Step...

...or Search By Keyword or NAICS (natural search)

Retail Businesses

Medical Practices

Transportation & Warehousing

Publishing & Media Businesses

Travel Agencies

Repair & Maintenance



Restaurants & Bars

Professional & Technical Firms

Health & Wellness Businesses

Recreation & Entertainment

Wholesale & Distribution

Legal & Accounting Practices

Internet/Online Businesses

Specialty Services

Consulting Firms

Cleaning Services


The Basics

There are two basic types of business appraisals:
Compliance Appraisals and Market Appraisals.

Compliance Appraisals

Compliance appraisals are performed to comply with the law. Typically tax law. Compliance appraisals are required to calculate federal (and state) gift and estate taxes. IRS Revenue Ruling 59-60, established the concept of “fair market value”. In practice, however, decades of court rulings and precedent have reduced the concept of fair market value to a series of “calculations” based on flawed assumptions, and consequently, have little to do with true market value.

Most certified public accountants and tax attorneys that provide business “valuation” services for their clients, are performing compliance appraisals. While compliance appraisals are certainly necessary to comply with tax law, they are not to be confused with market appraisals.

Market Appraisals

Market appraisals determine the market value of a particular business to a hypothetical buyer, under an assumed set of circumstances.

As mentioned above, the term “fair market value” has nothing to do with actual market value. The only way to determine market value is to evaluate the current market for similar businesses. Similar to the way real property is valued, a market value appraisal of a business must look at comparable sales data, either individually or in aggregate, to properly estimate the market value of a subject company.

So if you need to comply with the law, get a compliance appraisal. If you want to know the value of your business, get a market appraisal…and by all means…hire a professional who knows the difference between the two.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost?
  • Above is a pricing chart that provides this information.  A 50% retainer is required to begin.  Please contact us if you have additional questions about pricing.

​What types of businesses do you appraise?

  • We have extensive experience appraising a wide array of businesses. In the businesses appraised section, you can search for your business type, either Step-by-Step or by a keyword search.  Below it is a sampling of the types of businesses we appraise. It is much easier to list the types of businesses we don’t appraise. We don’t appraise asset holding companies, or businesses that are inextricably tied to real property, such as farms, mines, utilities, hotels, residential care facilities, housing developments, golf courses, marinas, and resorts. If you still have questions about whether or not we can appraise your business, please contact us, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

​How do you appraise my business?
  • We use real-world, market data and market-based methods to appraise small and lower middle market businesses. First, we assess the true financial condition of the business by making appropriate normalizing adjustments. Then we compare your business to other similar businesses that have sold in the marketplace to estimate a real-world market value. It sounds simple, but the vast majority of business appraisers do not do this, and therefore do not come close to estimating market value.

What are “normalizing adjustments” and how does they affect the value of the business?
  • The vast majority of small business owners run their businesses with an eye to minimizing their tax liability (i.e. the income taxes they will have to pay to their state and the federal government). This is only natural. Some owners (and sometimes their accountants) are more creative than others. These actions often mask the true profitability (and value) of the business. Therefore we “undo” these actions to show the true profitability of the business, and to compare the business to others where these same normalizing adjustments have been made. This allows for a proper apples-to-apples comparison among similar businesses. For more information, check out one of our articles on the subject here.

How much experience do you have appraising businesses?
  • Lots. We have been appraising businesses professionally since 2002.

I have a very unique business. Can you appraise it?
  • In most cases, the answer is yes. However, you can contact us if you need reassurance.

I have a special situation. My financials don’t show the true nature of the business. Can you help?
  • We have had extensive experience dealing with “special situations” such as cash businesses, and businesses where the books are not kept up to CPA standards. While we can’t make any promises before seeing the financial statements and discussing the situation with you, we are confident that we can help in the vast majority of cases. You can always contact us to discuss your particular situation.

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