Goodwill When Buying or Selling a Business

Goodwill When Buying or Selling a Business

Goodwill When Buying or Selling a Business A business's true worth is often far more than the value of its individual parts. When buying or selling a business, goodwill represents the value of the business that is above and beyond the worth of separately identifiable tangible business assets. Unlike physical assets, like buildings or equipment, goodwill is an intangible asset.

What Are the Factors that Contribute to the Creation of Business's Goodwill?

Business goodwill reflects the synergy among the various assets in a well-run business that are used to generate revenue. Although it can be difficult to price, determining the value of goodwill can make a company more valuable. However, since the components that make up goodwill have subjective values, there is also a risk that a business could over or undervalue goodwill during a business valuation. Business owners may believe that the business has additional value because they see it as being able to create new products and services, attract new customers, and acquire or merge with other businesses. You may find that they have undervalued the business creating a buying opportunity.

What Intangible Assets Compose Goodwill?

Just as the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, goodwill is a crucial asset when determining a company's overall valuation. When calculating goodwill for your company, it's important to take into account the various factors that affect a company's goodwill. Some of the assets that can be categorized as goodwill include:
  • Company's brand name and recognition
  • Solid customer base and supplier lists
  • Good customer relationships
  • Company website and domain name
  • Copyrights, trademarks, and patents
  • Licenses and permits
  • Good employee relations
  • Expectation of future economic benefits
  • Managerial and executive talent and innovation
  • Processes and training systems
  • Reputation among customers and vendors
  • Proprietary technology
  • Trade secrets

How is Goodwill Established and then Evaluated?

Business goodwill may be intangible, but that doesn't mean its calculation is unimportant or impossible to ascertain. By assessing goodwill accurately, you can ensure you don't overpay on a business purchase or sell company for less than it's really worth. From the accounting perspective, business goodwill is generally recorded only if it is acquired as part of a business purchase. The typical way the accountants handle business goodwill is by subtracting the fair market value of the business's tangible assets from the total business value. A company should list the value of goodwill on a balance sheet in cases when it purchases another business for a price higher than the recorded value of assets. Under generally accepted accounting principles, goodwill is never amortized (reduced, paid off). Instead, management is responsible for valuing goodwill every year and determining if an adjustment is needed. If the fair market value goes below historical cost (what goodwill was purchased for), an impairment must be recorded to bring the goodwill value down to its fair market value. However, an increase in the fair market value would not be accounted for in the financial statements. It's important to note that businesses cannot have negative goodwill, though, it can be equal to zero. For over 35 years, Transworld has specialized in the purchase and sale of businesses and commercial real estate. If you are interested in increasing the goodwill value of your business, call the professionals at Transworld Business Advisors today at (800) 205-7605.