Business Valuation: The Income Approach

business valuation formula

Consider additional factors, such as geographic location and the impact it might have on a potential buyer. A business valuation is the process of determining the economic value of a business, giving owners an objective estimate of the value of their company. Typically, a business valuation happens when an owner is looking to sell all or a part of their business, or merge with another company.

business valuation formula

To find an accurate multiple for your industry, search online and use the advice of a site like Valuation Academy. You can also speak with a qualified business appraiser, which may lead to a more thorough examination of which multiple makes sense for your business. SDE refers to a business’s net income prior to deducting the owner’s salary.

Capitalization of Earnings Valuation Method

Notably, with this method, the business value is usually lower than with other methods. As the name suggests, according to the asset-based method, the present value of a company is the difference Accounting vs Law: Whats the Difference? between a fair market value (FMV) of the net assets of a company and its liabilities. To do an asset-driven assessment, you’ll make a list of your assets and assign them a monetary value.

You can use a few formulas and create estimates for your value, or you can speak to a business appraiser. Comparing your business to others in your industry is another way to get an accurate idea of its worth. Generally, SDE is used to calculate the value of small businesses, while EBITDA is used for larger businesses. Some sources use gross annual sales of $1 million as the benchmark for the difference between a small business and larger business, but there’s no set rule for when you should use SDE or EBITDA. Your business’s value depends on various factors, including its size, your team, your expected growth and a plethora of other elements. If your valuation reveals that your brand recognition isn’t worth much, focus on your future marketing campaigns to design and build a powerful business brand.

Bluevine Business Checking

Last year, you bought materials, rented a space for manufacturing, ran an online store, and paid a part-time employee who took care of packaging and shipping and ran your social media accounts. All of these are essential expenses—without them, Fizz Off wouldn’t be the successful business it is. To find an ABV who can help, look for someone registered with the American Society of Appraisers (ASA). It is currently the perfect storm to value and sell your business in California. With the great resignation that started during the pandemic and the trend to continue till 2023, there are no shortages of experienced and well-financed buyers looking for the next opportunity to grab.

The market-based approach provides a relative value for a company, and when combined with other approaches, it can give a more accurate picture of the business value. As we mentioned earlier, a business’s SDE multiple — and the method of valuation — varies according to a few factors, including the strength of the industry. So, sellers should find out as much as they can about companies that are similar in size, business model, and revenue, if that information is available. If you’re familiar with EBITDA, you’re probably already familiar with SDE, or seller’s discretionary earnings, too, even if you’ve never heard the term. As a reminder, EBITDA stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization — essentially, it’s the pure net profit of a business. Business valuations are important for a number of reasons, not the least of which is selling the business so you can use the proceeds to finance your retirement or move on to another venture.


Imagine a stipend for retirement that needs to grow every year to match inflation. The growing perpetuity equation enables you to find out today’s value for that sort of financial instrument. Let’s take a look at enterprise values—a more accurate measure of company value that takes these differing capital structures into account. One of the most straightforward methods of valuing a company is to calculate its book value using information from its balance sheet. Due to the simplicity of this method, however, it’s notably unreliable.

Products and services referenced in this website are provided through multiple companies. Each company has financial responsibility only for its own products and services, and is not responsible for the products and services provided by the other companies. This site is intended to provide a general overview of our products and services. Please review the details of each product with your financial representative to determine which options may best fit your needs.