I. Fair Market Value is Defined as:

Highest Price Obtainable: The maximum value that could be reasonably expected.
Open and Unrestricted Market: Both the buyer and seller should have reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts about the asset or property.
Prudent Parties: The parties involved are acting in their own best interests.
Acting at Arm's Length: The parties should not have a relationship with each other.
Expressed in Terms of Money or Money’s Worth: The value should be quantifiable in monetary terms.
Under No Compulsion to Act: Neither party should be under any undue pressure or obligation to complete the transaction.

Under No Compulsion to Act
This is where most business valuations go off the rails and become non-compliant as the sale price data they use is unreliable. It is never recorded anywhere if there was complusion to sell on the part of the seller. (Death, Disease, Divorce or Debt)
Without this vital information the market approach to business valuation is totally non-compliant.

This is where we find Fair Market Value entrenched in Canadian Law.

A. Income Tax Act (ITA):
Section 248(1) defines FMV as the "amount that a willing purchaser would pay and a willing vendor would accept, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell and both having reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts."

B. Excise Tax Act (ETA):
Section 69 defines FMV as the "amount that would be paid in the open market by knowledgeable and independent persons dealing at arm's length."

C. Special Taxes Act (STA):
Section 17 aligns with the definitions in both ITA and ETA, emphasizing an "open market" and "knowledgeable parties" as key factors.

D. Canada Revenue Agency (CRA):
Interpretation Bulletin IT-497R provides guidance on FMV determination for various property types, including both tangible and intangible assets.

E. Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) Handbook:
Chapter 12 offers FMV guidance for financial reporting, encompassing both tangible and intangible assets.

II. This is where Intangible Assets are defined in Canadian Law:

Canadian law recognizes and addresses intangible assets as essential components of economic value. Here are key points:

A. Income Tax Act (ITA):
Section 248(1) implicitly includes intangible assets as legal property, with Section 167 allowing for their depreciation.

B. Excise Tax Act (ETA):
Section 69 mirrors ITA, recognizing intangible assets in property valuation.

C. Special Taxes Act (STA):
Section 17 aligns with both ITA and ETA, implying intangible assets in FMV determinations.

D. CRA Interpretation Bulletin IT-497R:
Guidance extends to intangible assets, assisting in their valuation.

E. CICA Handbook of Accounting:
Chapter 12 explicitly states that intangible assets fall within the scope of FMV determination for financial reporting, with Section 3060 defining them as assets lacking physical substance.

F. Corporations Act:
Section 2 includes intangible assets in the definition of "property," reinforcing their role in FMV determinations.

III. Recent Developments:

Recent legislative changes have further emphasized the importance of intangible assets:

A. Personal Property Security Act (PPSA):
The inclusion of intangible assets under the PPSA in provinces like British Columbia and Ontario marks a significant advancement.

Key Implications:
These developments bring several benefits:

A. Increased Access to Credit:
Intangible assets can now serve as collateral for financing, facilitating access to capital for startups and smaller companies.

B. Improved Risk Management:
Lenders can consider intangible assets in loan assessments, leading to informed decisions and potentially lower borrowing costs.

C. Enhanced Asset Protection:
Filing under the PPSA provides lenders with a legal claim on intangible assets, offering greater security in case of default.

D. Streamlined Transactions:
The PPSA framework establishes a standardized process for managing security interests in intangible assets, simplifying financing transactions.


This timeline traces the remarkable ascent of intangible assets over four decades, from constituting 17% of the market value of US non-financial corporations in 1975 to a staggering 90% by 2020. Key studies and reports have contributed to understanding this transformation, reflecting the dynamic forces of technological advancements, globalization, and the knowledge-based economy.

1975: Intangible assets comprise around 17% of the market value of US non-financial corporations, marking the initial phase of a shift towards intangible-driven value creation.
2001: The Intellectual Asset Valuation Study estimates that intangible assets account for 70% of the market value of US non-financial corporations, providing early evidence of their increasing importance.
2005: The Corrado et al. study estimates that 80% of the market value of US non-financial corporations is attributed to intangible capital, laying the groundwork for future research and discussions about the growing importance of intangibles.
2009: Sveiby's "The Intangible Economy" argues that intangible assets already constitute over 80% of the value of S&P 500 companies, emphasizing the shift towards intangibles as a primary value driver.
2010s: National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) working papers and Brookings Institution reports contribute significantly to the growing body of evidence and academic discourse surrounding intangible assets.
2018: The Ocean Tomo study estimates that intangible assets comprise 78% of the total value of publicly traded companies in the US and UK, signaling the continued ascent of intangibles.
2020: The Ocean Tomo "Intangible Asset Market Value Study - Interim Results" delivers groundbreaking findings, revealing that intangible assets account for 90% of the market value of S&P 500 companies. This report serves as a watershed moment, solidifying the dominance of intangible assets in the modern economy.
2022: Recent studies indicate that intangible assets now account for over 90% of the market value of publicly traded companies in the US and Canada, reinforcing the centrality of intangibles in driving business success.


  • The timeline demonstrates the rapid and sustained rise of intangible assets, highlighting their growth from 17% in 1975 to 90% in 2020.
  • It emphasizes key studies and reports that contributed to the recognition of intangibles' importance.
  • The timeline underscores the dynamic forces, including technological advancements, globalization, and the knowledge-based economy, driving this remarkable growth.
  • The culminating 2020 Ocean Tomo report is pivotal, solidifying the centrality of intangible assets and prompting widespread discussions about their transformative impact.
  • The trajectory of intangible assets reflects the evolving nature of the modern economy, where knowledge, innovation, and brand value increasingly determine a company's worth. Moving forward, it will be intriguing to observe how intangibles continue to reshape the business landscape and the global economy.


When practitioners with 10 to 20 years of experience as business owner-operators employ the Eric Jordan "25 Factors Affecting Business Valuation" methodology, positive results ensue.

Comprehensive Analysis:

  • Considers 25 factors, ensuring a thorough examination of both tangible and intangible assets.
  • Provides a structured and transparent framework for valuation.

Reduction of Bias:

  • Mitigates subjective judgments through a systematic approach.
  • Promotes consistency in valuation outcomes.


  • Transparent methodology offers a clear basis for valuation, facilitating communication with stakeholders.

The Strengths of Business Ownership Experience:
Intuition and Insight:

  • Developed through years of navigating the business landscape.
  • Offers an intuitive understanding of market dynamics and customer needs.

Identifying Hidden Value:

  • Practical experience helps recognize intangible assets often overlooked in a purely data-driven approach.

Skin in the Game:

  • Personal accountability fosters a deep understanding of the financial implications of valuation decisions.

The Synergy: Combining Methodology and Experience:

Structured Foundation:

  • Eric Jordan methodology provides a solid and structured foundation for valuation.

Interpreting Data:

  • Experience aids in interpreting data, identifying hidden value, and making informed judgments.

Advantages in Unique Situations:

  • Particularly advantageous when intangible assets dominate the business's value.
  • Effective in situations with limited historical data or when stakeholders have diverse perspectives.

The contemporary business environment witnesses a paradigm shift, with intangible assets frequently representing a substantial portion, averaging around 90%, of a company's market value. In navigating this intricate terrain, the Eric Jordan "25 Factors Affecting Business Valuation" methodology emerges as a robust and comprehensive tool.

This methodology encompasses a diverse set of 25 factors, carefully curated to capture the nuances that influence business valuation. The evolving nature of business, marked by the ascendancy of intangible assets, necessitates an approach that goes beyond traditional metrics. The Eric Jordan methodology addresses this need by offering a holistic view that includes factors like brand equity, customer relationships, and intellectual property.

The distinctiveness of this methodology becomes more pronounced when wielded by individuals with 10 to 20 years of hands-on business ownership experience. The practical insights gained from actively managing and operating a business bring a unique perspective to the valuation process. Business owner operators possess an intimate understanding of how various factors impact day-to-day operations and contribute to the overall value of a business.

In the context of intangible assets, which have become predominant in modern business, the Eric Jordan methodology excels. The 25 factors encapsulate the intricacies of intangibles, acknowledging their evolution over time. This dynamic perspective is crucial in an era where the value of brands, patents, and customer goodwill often surpasses that of tangible assets.

The critical role of business owner operator experience cannot be overstated. Individuals with a decade or two of hands-on involvement bring a depth of understanding that transcends theoretical assessments. Their familiarity with the challenges and opportunities of running a business adds a layer of practicality to the valuation process, ensuring that the methodology aligns seamlessly with the real-world dynamics of private enterprises.


The Eric Jordan "25 Factors Affecting Business Valuation" methodology, when coupled with the experience of business owner operators, brings venture capital thinking down to street level.This is firmly embedded in the legal system of the western world and beyond. This stands out as the optimal path for valuing private businesses in today's landscape dominated by intangible assets. This approach not only acknowledges the shift in valuation dynamics but also leverages practical insights to deliver a nuanced and accurate assessment of business worth. This is what differentiates the “25 Factors”.

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