Points to consider when valuing goodwill
06/01/2022

Valuing goodwill is a complex process and there are many different methods which can be used and that vary from industry to industry. Goodwill is a way of placing a monetary value on the business's reputation and customer relationships. Or as HMRC say in their guidance, in accounting terms, purchased goodwill is the balancing figure between the purchase price of a business and the net value of the assets acquired.

HMRC’s approach to valuation of goodwill suggests that there should be no expectation of a synergy-based value on an open market value basis unless synergy in a particular market is common place.

HMRC’s manuals state that when valuing the goodwill of a business the valuer should have regard to the following:

  • the full sale and purchase documentation relating to the transfer of both tangible and intangible assets
  • succession arrangements
  • the valuation approach used – e.g., capitalisation of profits, super profits or a trade specific method
  • the activities of the business and role of the owners within it
  • the financial statements/accounts (including the detailed trading and profit and loss account) for the 3 years before valuation
  • any other relevant financial information
  • appropriate yield and multiples of comparable companies and sectors
  • the commercial and economic background at valuation date
  • how the personal goodwill of the owner has been reflected in the valuation
  • any other relevant factors.