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  • Robert Hulet, CBA, CVA

Unlocking Value: A Guide to Getting a Small Business Appraisal for Your Restaurant


Guide to Getting a Small Business Appraisal for Your Restaurant

Getting a small business appraisal for your restaurant is a crucial step if you are looking to sell, secure financing, buyout a business partner, or simply understand the value of your business. Here is a general guide to help you get started:


1.      Find a Certified Business Appraiser:


Look for a certified business appraiser with experience in valuing restaurants. They should have credentials such as Certified Business Appraiser (CBA), Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA), or Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA). You can find such professionals through online directories, referrals from other business owners, or industry associations such as the NACVA.


2.      Gather Financial Information:


Collect all relevant financial documents for your restaurant, including profit and loss statements, balance sheets, tax returns, and any other financial records from the past few years. The more detailed and accurate your financial information, the more precise your appraisal will be. Typically, five years of financials will be required unless the restaurant has not been in business that long.


3.      Prepare Operational Details:


Provide information about your restaurant's operations, including its location, size, concept, menu, customer base, competition, and any unique selling points. Also, include details about your staff, lease agreements, equipment, and any outstanding debts or liabilities. Many appraisers will have questionnaire for you to complete that will ask you these questions.


4.      Understand the Valuation Methods:


Business appraisers typically use multiple methods to determine the value of a restaurant, such as the income approach, market approach, and asset-based approach. The income approach considers the restaurant's future earning potential, the market approach compares it to similar restaurants that have been sold recently, and the asset-based approach evaluates the value of its assets minus liabilities.


5.      Schedule a Valuation:


Contact the chosen business appraiser to schedule a valuation. They will typically conduct an initial consultation to understand your specific needs and gather additional information about your restaurant before starting the appraisal process.


6.      Review the Appraisal Report:


Once the appraisal is complete, the appraiser will provide you with a detailed report outlining their findings and the rationale behind the valuation. Review the report carefully and ask questions if anything is unclear.


7.      Consider Your Options:


Depending on the appraisal results, you can use the valuation to make informed decisions about selling your restaurant, seeking financing, negotiating leases, or making strategic business decisions.


Remember, getting a business appraisal for your restaurant is an investment that can provide valuable insights into the value of your business and help you plan for its future.

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