Understanding Business Valuation and Business Appraisals

Business valuation should be considered a starting point for buyers and sellers. The more informed the parties in a transaction are, the better the likelihood of a good deal. Of course, each party has different motivations, but fair market value is the price a seller will accept and a buyer will pay. Only the right buyer will pay the right price.

Selling a business is far different from selling a house or other tangible asset where there exists comparable sales information sufficient to support a value. Unlike real estate, it is not unusual for 50% or more of an operating business’s value to be based on intangible assets such as goodwill, intellectual property, licenses, location, etc. Business valuation is a complex process. Part art and part science, it relies on elaborate business metrics and intangible factors that only come with experience. At George & Company we have that experience – and we can put it to work for you.

Business Valuation and Appraisal Standards

USPAP is an abbreviation for the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. The Appraisal Institute of Washington, DC along with most all professional appraisal organizations have set forth these standards as what MUST be done when performing an appraisal of a business entity. Beware of “business appraisers” who claim to do “evaluations” that do not adhere to the standards promulgated by USPAP. The staff at George & Company regularly attends continuing education on the proper standards and procedures for business appraisals.

A Team of Experienced Appraiser and Business Valuation Experts

George & Company’s appraisal department is comprised of seasoned business appraisers who are continuously watching for new case law, new valuation metrics and ways to present reports in ways a trier of fact will understand how we arrived at our conclusion of value. Our continuing education and in house training assures that every report conforms with the latest standards in the industry.

Each member of our appraisal staff has various credentials from appraisal organizations across the globe. Mr. George was one of the first certified business appraisers in New England by achieving the CBOA designation in 1986 and was issued Life Membership in the Institute of Business Appraisers, Inc. in 2001. Jeffrey M. Lefebvre, the company Vice President of 30 years has achieved the Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) designation from the International Business Brokers Association. Ronald Kirwood is an MBA graduate of Harvard University’s Business School. Ralph W. Emerson is a member of the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts with advanced accreditation pending and R.W. Chip Emerson is a member of the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts with advanced accreditation pending.

Curriculum vitae (CV) to aid you in accessing their credentials.

Unmatched Market Data 

Christopher R. George is a multi-year winner of the Pratts Stats® Hall of Fame award issued for the high number of sold comparables submitted to Pratts’ data base. George & Co. has also been providing statistical market data to BizComps©, The IBA and BizBuySell.com for decades. Access to these empirical databases allows us to employ the market approach as promulgated by IRS Revenue Ruling 59-60 and can also be used as a sanity check against mathematical appraisal metrics.  Few business appraisers have this database to draw from.

Litigation Support & Expert Testimony

Our valuation experts are well versed in writing reports designed to allow the trier of fact to understand how we arrived at our conclusion(s) of value. In addition, we are well trained and experienced in giving expert testimony to assist the court in understanding our report. From direct examination to re-direct and cross examination, our appraisers are well organized, thorough and well versed in rules of evidence and courtroom procedure. Learn more about our litigation support and expert testimony services here.

Business Valuation And Appraisal Reporting

In addition to the basic oral & letter, limited summary and full narrative USPAP reports, George & Company has a proprietary BROKER’S OPINION REPORT  (BOR) that combines the asset, income and market approaches for persons needing a report for non-litigious uses. BOR reports are significantly less expensive than USPAP reports and can be turned around quickly.


Because of our extensive staff of expert appraisers, most appraisal reports are delivered within 2 weeks of receipt of all documentation required to complete the assignment.

Business Appraisal Fees

Expertise isn’t always expensive. Despite the fact that George & Company utilizes grey matter to prepare their reports instead of computerized appraisal reports containing 100 questions rated on a scale of 1-10, our expertise allows us to stay competitive with the marketplace.