How Do You Value the Goodwill When You Purchase a Business?

Strangely, when you buy a business, you may not be interested in the amount of profit that the seller is going to make when you purchase the business. When you buy a business in Minnesota, you will wish to pay as little as possible for the business and even less for the goodwill associated to the current customers. You will assess the seller’s discretionary cash flow carefully, because this will identify the money they move in and out of the business during the purchase process.

The Pricing Process

Identifying the tangible assets of a going concern may be relatively straightforward, but you may never know how many customers are likely to remain with your company when you purchase a business in Minnesota. There may be no reason for customers to leave the business. This will create goodwill that exists and is extremely valuable.

Any purchaser will ask how much of the purchase price includes a value for goodwill. When you buy a business in Minnesota, you always have the option of starting an identical business from new, but will begin trading without any goodwill. The difference in value between starting your own business and purchasing an ongoing organization with the goodwill, may be the deciding point between your final decisions.

Sellers often don’t realize that a business investor has the opportunity of beginning identical business and price the goodwill without that information in mind. There is a risk associated to buying a business with goodwill, so most purchasers will not choose to overpay for the goodwill element of the business unless it is most likely guaranteed when, for example, it may be the only business of its type within the city.

New business owners must assess the difference in risk between purchasing an ongoing operation and the difficulties associated with building up new customer lists, with a new operation. Where a business has been dropping in value in recent years, there may be negligible goodwill will associated to the final price offered or paid.


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