Questions to Ask a Potential Business Appraisal Firm

Updated: September 09, 2009

  1. Does the firm require its appraisers to be active members of the American
    Society of Appraisers (ASA) Business Valuation Discipline?


    (The ASA is the only recognized national appraisal association that tests
    and accredits business appraisers and is a member of the Appraisal Foundation.
    The Foundation is the quasi-governmental governing body that determines acceptable appraisal standards and appraiser qualifications.)

  2. Do the senior appraisers have one or more advanced professional credentials,
    such as: Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA); Masters of Business
    Administration (MBA); Fellow of the American Socitey of Appraisers (FASA);
    Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA); Accredited Member (AM);
    Certified Business Appraiser (CBA)?

  3. Are the firm's appraisers experienced as business appraisal expert
    witnesses in Federal and State court systems?

  4. Does the appraisal firm, its reputation and its valuation methodology
    meet both legal and perceptual independence standards?

  5. Has the firm performed business valuations for a broad cross section of
    industries?

  6. Does the appraisal firm have experience in performing business
    valuations for a variety of purposes, such as:

    Allocation of Value
    Business Dissolutions
    Buy/Sell Agreements
    Charitable Contribution
    Damages
    Dissenting Shareholders
    Divorces
    Due Diligence
    ESOPs
    Estate Tax and Tax Planning
    Fairness Opinions
    Financing Opinions
    Financing
    Gift Tax
    Going Private
    Leveraged ESOPs
    Recapitalization
    Financial Reporting
    Stock Options

  7. Does the appraisal firm work exclusively in the area of appraisals?
    (Some firms may be more interested in non-appraisal seminars, investment
    banking, administration of ESOPs or pensions, ESOP promotion, or
    insurance sales.)

  8. Does the firm have enough full-time appraisers to provide for a balanced
    work environment and support for unique appraisal situations?

  9. Does the firm complete projects in 30 to 60 days from the receipt of all
    data and authorization to begin work?

  10. Does the firm require annual continuing education in business valuation
    for all its appraisers?

  11. Does the firm staff teach courses, seminars and continuing education
    classes for recognized professional associations?

  12. Does the appraisal firm prepare all full valuation reports in conformity
    with the "Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice" as set
    forth by the Appraisal Foundation?

    (The Appraisal Foundation, has been recognized by the United States
    Congress in legislation as the standards and qualification setting
    organization for the appraisal profession.)



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