April 11, 2017
Launch valuation tool: how much is your company worth?
Antwerp Management School and the Knowledge Community Family Business have developed a unique online valuation tool in collaboration with UNIZO and with the support of the Agency of Innovation and Entrepreneurship: a simulator to determine the value of your company.
Around 45,000 SMEs in Flanders have a manager aged over 55. “Because of this aging demographic, there will be many managers searching for someone to take over their company in the near future,” says the CEO of Unizo, Karel Van Eetvelt.
According to Unizo, too few entrepreneurs are concerned with the process of takeover. “One in three company leaders over the age of 55 have no concerns about it at all. It is, however, a complex process which demands a fair amount of preparation.”
This process could have a potentially positive outcome, as those 45,000 SMEs almost have 300,000 employees. “Looking purely at the employment issue, there will be a huge impact if the managers don’t find someone to take over the company,” pronounces Van Eetvelt.
Half rely on family
Almost half of those aged over 55 with an SME are counting on someone in the family to take over the business. 39 percent are considering an external buyer, 8 percent are willing to shut down the company altogether.
The search for a suitable buyer outside the family seems to be difficult. Seven out of ten company leaders say they cannot immediately find someone. Via the site overnamemarkt.be, Unizo tries to link sellers and potential buyers.
Once a candidate pops up, it is not always easy to agree on a price. “For emotional reasons, the seller often estimates the prices too high, while the buyer offers too little,” Van Eetvelt states.
To help keep price negotiations objective, Unizo launched a valuation tool together with Antwerp Management School. Based on previous years’ financial statements and some other figures, a simulation is made of the company’s price. You can use the tool for free here: http://www.unizo.be/waardering... the simulation, company leaders can get a realistic idea of their company’s value,” says professor Eddy Laveren of Antwerp Management School. “With the simulation, they can go to their accountant or another expert to start up discussions about the sale.”
No gift taxes
According to Flemish minister of Economics, Philippe Muyters (N-VA), the Flemish government has taken numerous measures to facilitate company transferral. For example, Flemish entrepreneurs can leave their shares to family members without paying taxes.
Above that, Flanders makes it possible to acquire premises or loans to buy a company. Those who want to do that, should go to Private Equity Firm Flanders (Participatiemaatschappij Vlaanderen: PMV). “The measures are in place, but it is now the entrepreneurs’ job to make an effort and focus on the importance of the transfer process,” Muyters concludes.
For more information about this tool and company transfers, you can contact:
Eddy Laveren, PhD
Academic Director Knowledge Community Family Business