Exploring Business Valuations in a Property Division

Exploring Business Valuations in a Property Division

One of the most contentious issues in divorce proceedings is dividing property and assets. This can be especially challenging when a couple owns a business together. In such cases, business valuations are an integral part of the property division process. CA Certified Family Law Specialist Judy L. Burger understands the intricacies of business valuations in a property division.

She has numerous long-term working relationships with area Forensic Accountants and Actuaries, Ligation Real Estate Appraisers, Real Estate Attorneys, Business and Corporate Attorneys, Title Companies, and Real Estate Professionals who assist her when business valuations are needed for a divorce case.

Let’s explore this topic a bit further.

What Are Business Valuations?

Business valuations are the process of determining the economic value of a business or company. It is a complex process that involves analyzing the financial records of the company, its assets, liabilities, market competition, and other relevant factors. The value of a business includes various factors, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Profitability
  • Growth potential
  • Future earnings prospects
  • Market competition
  • Industry trends
  • Capital structure
  • Market value of assets
  • Company management

A jointly-owned business is considered to be an asset in divorce cases and is subject to division between the divorcing spouses. This can often be challenging because each spouse may have differing options about the value of the business, and some of these may be difficult to quantify objectively. As a result, disputes and conflicts are common.

Attorney Judy Burger works with respected professionals who are experienced business valuation experts to help overcome these challenges. They partner together to thoroughly analyze the financial records, assess assets and liabilities, and consider other relevant factors that impact the company’s value.

Methods of Business Valuations

Selecting the correct valuation method is one of the most critical factors in business valuations. Several valuation methods are available. Choosing the best method depends on the type of business, its size, and other relevant factors. Judy Burger and her team of experts choose the most appropriate method for valuing the business.

There are over a dozen different business valuation methods, but these are the most common:

Asset-based Approach

Also called the book value method, this valuation method is based on the value of the company’s assets, including its tangible and intangible assets. The expert will consider the value of the company’s assets, such as its inventory, property, and equipment, and subtract its liabilities to arrive at the net asset value of the business.

Income-based Approach

This valuation method is based on the income generated by the business. The expert will assess the company’s historical and projected earnings and apply an appropriate capitalization rate or discount rate to arrive at the present value of the business.

Market-based Approach

This valuation method is based on the market value of similar businesses. The expert will analyze the sales of comparable businesses and arrive at a fair market value for the business being valued.

Times Revenue Method

The times revenue valuation method uses a multiplier dependent on the industry and economic environment of the business. It is applied to a stream of revenues generated over a certain period of time.

Get Help with Business Valuations and Property Division in a CA Divorce

Establishing the correct value of a business in a divorce case can be a challenging process, so it requires skills and expertise. Certified Family Law Specialist Judy Burger works with experienced valuation experts to ensure a fair and accurate valuation of your business. She is tenacious regarding fairness and preserving your rights throughout the divorce and property division journey.

Contact The Law Offices of Judy L. Burger for more information and to schedule a consultation.

Valuing Business Assets

Valuing Business Assets

Dana and Michael owned a successful dentist practice with three locations. When their marriage foundered, the practice was in jeopardy. Dana was the dentist, with Michael serving as office administrator. Dana wanted the entire practice and, since that was her expertise, it made sense. Michael wanted other community property that equaled his half of the value of the practice. As is true with many divorces, valuing business assets became a contentious part of their divorce proceeding.

In any divorce, community assets are determined and then split. The divorcing couple may be able to iron out a divorce settlement that suits them both. However, when agreement cannot be reached, the courts decide who gets what. The final divorce settlement or judgment will take into account the value of the business.

What Courts Consider

The parties need to know what kind of information the court will be reviewing to come up with that final valuation:

  • The fixed assets of the business,
  • The accounts receivable and intangible assets,
  • Goodwill customers and vendors have toward the business, and
  • Debts and liabilities.

In most cases, courts may want answers to questions like:

  • What type of business is involved?
  • How did the business start?
  • What is the current financial condition of the business?
  • What is the book value of the business?
  • How much can the business expect to earn?
  • Does the business pay dividends or not?
  • How much is the company’s goodwill worth?
  • Have any other ownership interests been sold?
  • If the company is publicly traded, what is the stock worth?

So, it’s a given that if the business is community property, some type of value must be assigned. Otherwise, how will the court know how to divide the community property estate?

Methods of Valuation

The ways used in business valuation may depend on the type of business being valued. A real estate agency may be valued differently than a convenience store or car dealership.

For example, some types of business may best be valued by looking at comparables. Looking at comparable businesses may be useful when coming up with an average value of that type of business. For Dana and Michael, an appraiser may look at the value of dental practices of a similar size in the same area.

The liquidation value tells you how much the company is worth if it is sold. If Dana and Michael are unable to reach an agreement, they may consider selling the practice and splitting the proceeds.

Determining capitalized earnings is a common way of evaluating businesses in California divorces. This method uses the current cash flow, annual rate of return, and expected value of the business to come up with a final figure.

It’s Complicated

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger are experienced at all phases of divorce proceedings, including business valuation. Call us at 415-293-8314 to schedule a private appointment or visit our website. We maintain offices in San Francisco, Marin County, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, San Jose, Gold River (Sacramento), and surrounding communities. Our new Beverly Hills office will open soon.