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Business Appraisers – Finding the Right One

top business appraiserMost if not all business owners will need business appraisals to find the value of their business at some point or another. They will be charged with the task of finding someone to perform a business appraisal usually without much experience with the appraisal business. Typically this results in said business owners not knowing where to start. The following is a general guideline to help find the right business appraiser for you.

Types of Business Appraisers

They are a number of professions that offer appraisal services. In most areas there is no specific regulation limiting who can and can’t appraise, although there are plenty of appraisal associations that being part of says good things about an appraiser. Locating the right appraiser can be difficult. Here are some types of professionals that commonly offer business appraisal services:

1. CPAs. Many CPAs offer services in addition to their normal accounting, auditing, and tax work. CPAs often have a combination of business, accounting, finance, and tax knowledge that is well suited for valuing businesses.

2. Business Brokers. Brokers normally stick to valuing the businesses they have listed for sale. They tend to rely on “quick and dirty” methods that work well for determining asking prices, and are not intended to be formal valuations.

3. Commercial Real Estate Brokers/Agents. Commercial real estate professionals sometimes value businesses they list for sale. They are good at appraising real estate, but typically lack the skills and experience to properly value intangible assets like goodwill.

Business Appraisal Experience

The first question many business owners ask a professional business appraiser is whether they ever valued a business like their own. That’s an honest and obvious question, but it misses the point. Regular and recent business appraisal experience is much more important than specific industry experience. Appraising procedures are generally the same regardless of the industry or type of appraisal. Professional business appraisers are good at research and utilize many excellent resources to learn the particulars of your industry.

Request to see their reports. You may not understand some of the technical jargon, but you should be able to make sense of what was done and why. Their conclusion should also make sense to you. The best appraisers in the world are worthless if they can’t write a report that can be understood by the average person.

Making the Choice

Hopefully you have found more than one qualified appraiser to choose from. Each professional should be personally interviewed and questioned about fees and the time it takes them to provide an appraisal. After the interview select the most qualified in accordance to your criteria. A simple checklist that lists each important factor and rates each professional can help ease the process and make the decision be more logical.

Looking for a qualified professional to do a business appraisal is not easy. However if you take the time, do the research and approach it diligently, you will find a qualified business appraiser that’s the perfect fit for you.


Ivan Widjaya is a webpreneur and an owner of a site network. He actively runs Noobpreneur.com, a small business tips blog, and CBRdigital.com, a cloud business blog .

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