Business valuations of private companies are critical for estate planning, gifting, estate settlement, and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reporting of estate or gift transfers. The objective of estate tax planning is to provide liquidity and continuity for private or family businesses.
Plan for Your Business Future Starting with a Certified Business Appraisal
Estate Planning Starts with Knowing Your Company’s Value
If you are a business owner, you have considered obtaining a business appraisal of your enterprise. A business appraisal, or business valuation, reflects the current economic value of a business. Business owners conduct such valuations for various reasons. And usually at the onset of a financing event within the business lifecycle.
Business valuations of private companies are critical for many reasons. These reasons can be estate planning, gifting, estate settlement, and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reporting of estate or gift transfers. Estate tax planning aims to provide liquidity and continuity for private or family businesses. It does this by determining your business’s fair market value in the eyes of taxing authorities.
The appraisal approach may vary among evaluators and industries. However, the factors included in such analysis tend to be the same. Overall, we calculate the financial health of a business by assessing its team, assets, earnings, growth, and losses within the context of its specific industry.
What many individuals fail to realize, however, is that obtaining a business valuation is also beneficial beyond ensuring the success of the enterprise. One situation in which business appraisals are helpful, for example, is for individuals executing estate planning for gift and estate tax.
You can also read the important role of business valuation in exit planning.
Why is a business valuation needed in estate planning?
In and of itself, estate planning involves establishing who will eventually receive one’s assets in the event of death or incapacitation.
Whether you realize it or not, you possess various assets that you will seek to transfer to family or employees. These assets often include cash, property, investments, and savings. But ownership interest in a business is often the most vital asset that may comprise a family’s estate.
Please read the business appraisal for estate planning.
Because your business will be at stake when considering one’s estate, it is crucial to obtain an expert valuation. Doing so will enable you to understand the true economic value of the asset. This is important when planning your estate. Why? Because it effectively divides ownership interests. Also, it ensures that no individual gets less than their fair share according to a proper assessment.
Additionally, you will need a business valuation when planning your estate. This is to understand better the tax liabilities that would apply to the transfer. Keeping tax liabilities in mind when considering the totality of your estate is helpful. How so? It will enable you to understand which portion of your business assets your family will receive after taxes.
You can also read What You Need to Know about the IRS Business Valuation Guidelines.
Taxes and Your Business Valuation
If taxes are imposed, those taxes would include a gift tax or estate tax. This tends to apply toward a certain dollar amount given away in large asset transfers. Understanding these tax responsibilities and how they apply to a particular estate tends to be difficult. For this reason, obtaining an expert valuation while planning your estate is especially vital.
While conducting an appraisal, analysts like those at BA FL|GA consider various factors. These include your business’s marketability, liquidity, and growth potential to assess its value accurately. Doing so might subject your business’s value to a few discounts. These could then lower the total value of the estate transfer. Additionally, it could potentially exempt it from being subjected to certain tax responsibilities.
Two of the most common valuation discounts or tax discounts that may apply to estates include Marketability Discounts and Minority Discounts.
- Marketability Discounts – These discounts reduce the business’s value if the market exists at a reduced size or no longer exists. This especially applies to private companies that you cannot quickly sell or trade through publicly traded stocks in a marketplace like public companies. One has to apply the discount for lack of marketability or DLOM carefully and with good documentation and reasoning for closely held businesses. If you have restricted shares, you must also take that into account.
- Minority Discounts – These discounts tend to apply when a small percentage of a company is being transferred to another individual. This is because, theoretically, a minority owner cannot impose significant decisions over majority owners to dictate the direction of the business. The discount for minority interest or discount for lack of control (DLOC) should be well-researched with backup documentation meeting IRS standards.
Why should I obtain a business valuation sooner rather than later?
Because assets are at stake when considering one’s estate, it is crucial to obtain an expert valuation promptly. This is important to ensure that transfers do not burden recipients or heirs excessively.
Additionally, planning for estate and gift transfers should be done in a proactive manner. This is because current tax laws may treat individuals and planners more favorably today than in the future. For example, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 still stands but expires after 2025. As a result, once the law expires, the estate and gift tax annual exemption will drop to less favorable levels from its present-day standing for estate and gift taxes.
When Should You Transfer Your Company?
It may also make the most sense for some individuals to transfer some, if not all, ownership of their business while still alive to children or family members or family limited partnerships. This form of gifting involves the transfer of ownership from one generation to another. It enables business owners to reduce or bypass certain estate taxes that would have otherwise been imposed.
Regardless, if you fail to take the proper and necessary steps needed to protect your gifts and estate with real-world valuations in the present day, it may cost your heirs lots of money in the future. For these reasons, it is especially important to seek a business appraisal from experts like BA FL|GA. This ensures that your estate retains as much of its value in the future.
Estate Planning Business Valuation Conclusion
Planning an estate is a complicated but important process. Expert qualifiers at BA FL|GA are eager and ready to help you determine the true worth of your most valuable assets.
We will fairly value your business based on the precepts of a willing buyer and a willing seller, both with reasonable knowledge of relevant facts, change hands in the eyes of the IRS for estate tax purposes.
Reach out to BA FL|GA today to discuss your situation. Find out how our services will help set you, and your heirs, up for the most success for gift tax purposes.
As a business owner, do you need help with your business valuation steps or what makes up business valuations? Please call or contact BA FL|GA.