Selling A Business And Its Intangible Assets

Michael D. Moberly    December 15, 2009

Quality, relevant, and transferrable intangible assets favorably affect a company’s value and can be legitmately exploited to elevate its attractivity to prospective buyers.  Owners contemplating selling their business would be well served by, at minimum, having a conversation with an ‘intangible asset business specialist’ at the earliest stages of their often times, private deliberations. 

The business owner contemplating selling their company would find it useful to literally shop around to find a professional ‘intangible asset business specialist’, not solely an accountant, tax specialist, attorney, or general business consultant, as those specialties are necessary and can be converged at subsequent stages of the process.  

A key discriminator in selecting an intangible asset business specialist is one with not merely experience, but one who possesses a deep knowledge-understanding of a cross section of intangible assets in current contexts and will offer respectful insights and strategies to business owners to aid them in two key areas:

1. Bring clarity to their specific company’s intangible assets, i.e., what they are, how they’re produced, how and where they deliver-contribute to a company’s value, revenue, brand, reputation, image, goodwill, etc., and how they can be effectively leveraged in the selling action.

2.  Explain the principles for identifying, unraveling, assessing, bundling, and focusing prospective buyers’ attention on their company’s most attractive, valuable, and transferrable intangible assets.

It’s an economic fact – business reality that intangible assets now comprise as much as 65+% of most company’s overall value, sources of revenue, and foundations for future wealth creation, as well as the increasingly critical sustainability and durability dimensions (of a company).   This means, for most businesses today, intangible assets (irrespective of the type of business, sector, company maturity, or the products and/or services offered) are key ingredients – contributors to a company’s standing.  That is to say, they’re embedded, sometimes unbeknownst or overlooked by a business owners in various various processes, practices, or procedures that can and should be showcased – leveraged in ‘sell circumstances’.  


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