FAIR MARKET VALUE AND INTANGIBLE ASSETS ARE ENTRENCHED IN UNITED KINGDOM LAW


Fair market value and intangible assets are integral components of UK law, shaping financial reporting, taxation, M&A transactions, intellectual property rights, and litigation. This exploration highlights key areas where these concepts are deeply entrenched.

Financial Reporting:

  • Companies Act 2006: Mandates financial statements to reflect a "true and fair view," encompassing intangible assets like goodwill, intellectual property, and brand value.
  • Financial Reporting Standard (FRS) 102: Provides guidance on valuing and accounting for intangible assets, ensuring transparency in financial reporting.

Taxation:

  • Corporation Tax Act 2009: Defines "fair market value" for tax purposes, impacting capital gains, deductions, and other tax liabilities.
  • Intangible Fixed Assets (IFAs) regime: Allows tax relief for specific intangible assets, encouraging innovation and investment in intellectual property.

Mergers & Acquisitions:

  • City Code on Takeovers and Mergers: Regulates M&A transactions, emphasizing fair valuations, including intangible assets, in determining offer prices.
  • Financial Services and Markets Act 2000: Empowers the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to act against misleading valuations in M&A, safeguarding investor interests.

Intellectual Property Law:

  • Patents Act 1977: Grants exclusive rights to inventors, recognizing the economic value of patented ideas and innovations.
  • Trade Marks Act 1994: Protects distinctive logos, symbols, and brand names, acknowledging the intangible value associated with established trademarks.

Litigation:

  • Misrepresentation Act 1967: Allows claims for damages if misled about the value of intangible assets, emphasizing the legal significance of accurate valuation.
  • Passing off: Protects businesses from competitors mimicking distinctive branding, underscoring the legal importance of intangible brand value.

These examples showcase the profound impact of fair market value and intangible assets across legal and financial frameworks in the UK. Legal interpretations and regulations surrounding intangible assets may evolve, emphasizing the importance of consulting professionals for compliance.


ADDITIONAL EXAMPLES OF FAIR MARKET VALUE AND INTANGIBLE ASSETS IN LAW AND VALUATION

Expanding on the theme of fair market value and intangible assets in law, here are more examples, particularly focusing on valuation, spanning divorce settlements, contract disputes, competition law, and insurance scenarios.

Divorce Settlements:

  • Valuation of Professional Practices: In divorce cases involving professionals, determining the fair market value of their practices, including intangible assets like client relationships, is crucial for equitable asset distribution.
  • Valuation of Business Interests: Fair market valuation of businesses owned by spouses, considering intangible assets, is vital for fair division in divorce settlements.

Contract Disputes:

  • Breach of Contract Involving Intangible Assets: Contracts related to intellectual property rights, brand assets, or other intangibles may lead to damages claims, requiring accurate valuation of the intangible asset.
  • Valuation of Goodwill in Franchise Disputes: Franchise agreements often involve goodwill payments, and disputes may necessitate fair market valuation for compensation determination.

Competition Law:

  • Valuation of Market Dominance: Competition authorities assessing a company's market position consider intangible assets like brand reputation and customer loyalty, influencing market dominance.
  • Valuation of Mergers for Competition Clearance: In certain mergers, competition authorities may assess the impact on intangible market power, requiring divestitures for fair competition.

Insurance:

  • Valuation for Business Interruption Insurance: Business interruption insurance may cover losses due to disruptions; intangible assets like customer relationships are vital for estimating financial impact.
  • Valuation of Intellectual Property for Cyber Insurance: Cyber insurance policies covering losses from intellectual property damage require accurate valuation of affected intangible assets.

These examples underscore the diverse scenarios where fair market value and intangible assets intersect, influencing legal outcomes and business decisions.


THE RISE OF INTANGIBLE ASSETS: A FOUR-DECADE JOURNEY

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.


Significance:

  • 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.

EXPERIENCE

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.

Defensibility:

  • 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.

IN CONCLUSION

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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