There are plenty of websites out there that reduce valuing a business down to a few easy sums.
But the truth is, it’s not that simple. There’s much more involved to give you the all-important number. The main element that sets you on the right path is using someone who understands your business, inside and out. A more useful question is what affects the value of the business? Turnover, profit, debt levels, customer base and demand all play an important role in the value of a business. But there’s also plenty of external factors that are less concrete such as market conditions and the state of the industry you’re in. In essence, valuing a business takes lots of consideration and there are tonnes of variables which influence it. A lot of businesses will need a valuation at some point – whether it’s to seek investment, to prepare for sale or to even work out how a business will be split if one of the owners decides to part ways. With our legal and corporate finance team, we’re able to assess your business, take a look behind the curtain and dig into the numbers so we can give you a realistic value for your business.
This entirely depends on the type of business, it’s structure and its goals.
However, here are some of the most common share structures for limited companies:
- Ordinary shares – these are the most common type of share which provide equal voting rights to any shareholders and are typically used as a way of raising capital and providing options in terms of dividends and other shareholders rights.
- Preference Shares – used to attract investors who’d like a slightly safer investment, preference shares allow you to offer priorities to certain shareholders such as the right to receive dividends before ordinary shareholders.
- Non-Voting Shares – A classic ‘does what it says on the tin’ kind of share option, non-voting shares mean there’s no voting rights for shareholders, but they’re still able to participate in the companies’ profits. They’re great for raising funds without reducing the voting rights of any existing shareholders.
- Redeemable shares – these shares allow the company to buy shares back at a specific time or price in the future, giving a level of flexibility over the company’s structure.
- Alphabet shares – these shares have all different kinds of classes, each with its own voting and dividend entitlement which allows different levels of control for shareholders. Choosing which structure is right for your business is a minefield, which is where we come in. Speak to our experts to work out what structure is most appropriate for you.
You wouldn’t start driving on the motorway without a seatbelt would you?
Think of shareholders agreements as a similar kind of insurance. It might not seem like a problem when your driving at 20mph on the quiet roads, but as soon as you hit a bump in the road, you’ll be wishing you buckled up. If that humorous analogy wasn’t clear enough for you, here’s what could actually happen:
- Disputes – without a shareholder’s agreement, any disputes will be very difficult to resolve and may lead to time-consuming, money-sapping legal battles that could also cause detriment to your business’s reputation.
- No clarity – without a shareholder’s agreement, it’s difficult to know the expectations of shareholders and the general direction of the business.
- Transfer of shares – without a shareholder’s agreement there’s no defined process when it comes to selling or transferring shares – which could pose an expensive problem later down the line.
- Protection of minority shareholders – without a shareholder’s agreement, minority shareholders may be at a disadvantage, which could be off-putting to investors as they may not have the same rights and protection as majority shareholders.
- Dissolution risk – if something terrible happens, like a shareholder passing away, without a shareholder’s agreement the business risks falling into dissolution without a defined process of what happens to the transfer of shares. In a nutshell, a shareholders agreement is key to making sure all shareholders are on the same page and that the company is able to operate effectively. Getting them in place from the offset is vital to ensuring a business can run successfully without any expensive legal hiccups.
Speak to an expert
Rachel DuncanLegal Director
Speak to Rachel Duncan
Rachel DuncanLegal Director
Meet Rachel Duncan, our Legal Director.
Rachel singlehandedly launched the legal part of our offering back in 2019, and since then has worked with businesses of all shapes and sizes.
With over 20 years of experience, Rachel is a specialist in all the things your business will need: from business sales and purchases, due diligence, company restructuring, commercial contracts and commercial leases (the list just keeps going).
To keep things simple, Rachel likes to be known as a ‘Business Lawyer’.
Her experience and commercial know-how mean she goes on the journey with our clients, supporting them with all the various legal ups and downs along the way.
When she’s not keeping everyone at A+L in check, Rachel is a skier, runner and theatre fan.
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