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DIFFICULTIES IN VALUING A BUSINESS

Valuing a business can be one of the most challenging issues faced by business owners and analysts alike. Valuing is a difficult and incredibly complex task, but one that is utterly essential. On occasion, traditional modes of valuation simply do not suit the business type. These techniques often assume a certain level of stability and an imagined risk profile which may not be applicable, and without being adapted, this can result in critical errors in valuation.

In the early stages of your business it can often be a struggle to value the business in an accurate way. This is also often a stage in which it can be difficult to predict the risks associated with the business. In this instance three things must be predicted which can be challenging to do in changing financial times: how will the market you are entering grow and change? What is the likelihood of your business surviving and what risks will be associated with the venture in the longer term?

Analysts can often be more concerned with the general economic growth, rather than the growth of the individual company and this may be something you will have to take into account in your own calculations. For ease: we have collected some of the most common forgotten issues that may become a problem in your valuation and risk assessment, in the hope that you may be able to avoid these pitfalls.

Originality/Diversity: A good thing to bear in mind when valuing your business is that businesses which offer an original/single product or service are subject to a higher risk level than those which offer a well-known or a great many products and services.

Clientele: It is important to take into account your current and projected clientele when valuing and assessing your business. For example, if your business is one which has relatively few clients, then your risk factors will be much higher as the results of losing one of your clients will be much more detrimental to your business than one which has a wide range of clients.

Projected Lifespan: Your Company’s projected lifespan is often difficult to assess but it is important to take into account the changing business world you are entering and whether or not it is likely that your product or service may soon become outdated.

Location: Location is not only a factor in setting up your business, but also in valuing it and assessing its growth capabilities for the future.

Assets/Liabilities: When valuing your business it can be easy to forget to factor in current and projected assets and liabilities. When included, these can paint a more in depth picture of the current and projected value of your company.

Expectations: It is vital to remember that valuations are essentially expectations by nature, and they can be used as a blueprint for the planning and maintenance of your business.

There are always unforeseen circumstances both negative and positive that will affect your business and these cannot be predicted. As such, your valuation is a blueprint for you to build upon rather than a strict prediction.

If there is any way at all we can be of benefit to you in the start-up, maintenance or valuation of your business please don’t hesitate to contact us at DCA Accountants.

TAX RELIEF FOR FIRST TIME ENTREPRENEURS

It was announced this month that there will be a revamp of a previously existing entrepreneurial scheme. This newly revamped scheme will mean that first time entrepreneurs will be able to claim back thousands of euro in tax relief in order to offset their start-up costs.

 

The SURE scheme (Start-Up Relief for Entrepreneurs) was recently launched by Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Jobs Minister Richard Bruton. The scheme comes as a response to the latest employment figures, which suggest that two thirds of all new jobs are created by new start-up companies. Minister Bruton has stated that this new tax relief is important because many start-up companies have “fallen into pitfalls where cash runs out before their potential is fulfilled.” This new scheme could mean increasing longevity for these companies who may need an extra push in today’s difficult marketplace.

 

Some of you may remember that a similar scheme had previously been in place as well as the capital gains tax incentive for new entrepreneurs. Mr Bruton has suggested that this previous scheme received a relatively small amount of interest, as there was a lack of understanding about what was involved in the process. It is hoped that the SURE scheme will offset these difficulties as it essentially involves directly offering assistance to those considering starting their own business. The funds will be offered up to a value of 41% of the total capital invested. Depending on the size of your investment you may be entitled to a refund of income tax paid over the 6 years prior to year in which you invest.

 

So, how do you know if you qualify for this scheme? The following are the basic guidelines:

 

You must:

  • Establish a new company carrying on a qualifying trading activity.
  • Have mainly PAYE income in the previous 4 years.
  • Take up full-time employment in the new company and not be employed elsewhere.
  • Make an investment by purchasing new eligible shares.
  • Hold at least 15% of the issued share capital of the company for 12 months.
  • Ensure that the company is a qualifying new venture.
  • Ensure that the company is incorporated in this or another EEA State.
  • Ensure that the company is between a micro or medium-sized enterprise.
  • Ensure that the company does not have any trading arrangements with your former employers.
  • Ensure that the company is not controlled by any other company.

 

These are, of course, just the basic guidelines to give you an idea of how to qualify for this exciting new scheme. If you should be interested in assessing your own eligibility for the SURE scheme, we at DCA Accountantsare here

KEEPING IT IN THE FAMILY

When going into business with anyone it is important to make sure that you are acting in your own best interests. But is it harder to secure your position when your business partners are your family?

 

 

There are benefits to going into business with your family. You have a certain amount of trust built up and it’s hard to double cross someone who you’ll see at Christmas dinners and family barbecues. However, if that trust gets broken during your business dealings then it can affect both your personal and professional lives and therefore be doubly difficult to deal with.

 

In order for any business to be successful it needs to be run professionally. All family members must conduct themselves in a professional manner. That means trying to keep a firm distinction between your business lives and your professional lives, and it also means that when you’re in work you need to act like you’re with any group of colleagues. This creates a better impression to clients and non-familial employees.

 

Part of acting professionally is making sure that you are protected legally in case the business fails, or goes in a direction that you’re not comfortable with. For some people this seems counter-intuitive. Surely the biggest plus to going into business with your family is not having to worry about being treated shoddily. But families can fall out, and if yours does its best that you walk away from this business with what you’re legally entitled to.

 

While it might make sense to you to cover yourself, you might find it difficult to broach the subject with your loved ones. It might feel like you’re accusing them of not having your best interests at heart, or that you suspect that they may not be honest in their dealings further down the line.

 

However, the reasons for families needing to cover themselves legally aren’t necessarily malicious. Most of the time it’s not because of acrimonious fallings out, it’s because their life is in flux. If a member of the family committed money to the business, and then needs to withdraw capital or sell their share due to an ill child, it may be difficult to agree what the person is entitled to. This failure to agree may cause bad feeling, whereas if there is a legal agreement written up prior it’s clearer what is supposed to happen if circumstances change. Therefore it acts as a firewall, separating your business and professional lives.

 

Eamonn Garvey

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