Valuation & Transition Planning

Having the right information at hand.

Boss working with staff on an exit strategy plan

Knowledge is power when it comes to understanding the value of a business or property. Whether it is for a business acquisition, an exit strategy for retirement, or a property settlement, having the right information on hand can mean a world of difference when it comes to planning your future. Porte Brown LLC has highly qualified CPAs who can assist you when making one of the most critical and complex decisions of your life. We help our clients take a proactive approach, so they have all of the relevant information on hand before a decision needs to be made.

How Can a Business Valuation Help My Company?

If you’re in the process of having a professional by your side to guide you through the process is absolutely essential – you need to have a clear understanding of the value of your company because otherwise, you could make costly mistakes when making your decision. Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, you need to be able to accurately estimate your business value, and the only way to do that is to look for business evaluation services that can provide you reliable answers. Getting an accurate company evaluation is essential because it’s required for obtaining adequate insurance coverage, when selling the company, or when considering how much you should reinvest.

Business appraisal can also be important for potential investors, especially if you need to attract funding to save the company, as most investors will need to see business valuation resources and reports, and will need to be shown how their investment could help to save and revitalize the company, increasing its worth in the process. Even if you don’t plan on selling, getting your business appraised each year can help to measure your performance and identify the areas that need work.

But even though there are numerous benefits of corporate valuation, finding reliable Chicago business valuation services can be challenging, as most valuation services providers make big promises, even though not all of them have the results to back it up. Which is why you need to find a reliable Chicago business valuation provider with a proven track record such as Porte Brown.

Our Valuation & Transition Planning Practice Group Offers the Following Services:

Chicago business valuation services experts

Understanding Worth

As a business owner, you may be concerned about preserving the value of your closely held business, whether for the next generation or for a potential future sale. Understanding what your company is worth, through a business valuation, is the first step toward accomplishing that task.

Porte Brown LLC has highly qualified CPAs and CVAs that can assist you when making one of the most critical and complex decisions in the life of your company. Our CPAs have the extensive experience with accounting, financial statement analysis and tax issues related to valuation. Whether you need a small business valuation or need a large corporate valuation, Porte Brown has the business valuation resources, knowledge and expertise to properly assist you with your valuation needs no matter the size or industry.

Services include:

  • Estate and Gift Tax Planning
  • Buying and Selling Businesses
  • Exit & Succession Planning
  • Company Valuation & Business Appraisal
  • Shareholder Disputes
  • Buy/Sell Agreements
  • Strategic Planning
  • Marital Dissolutions
  • Obtaining Third Party Financing

CVA Spotlight: Certified Valuation Analyst

"The National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts® (NACVA®) trains and certifies CVAs to perform business valuations as a service to both the consulting community and the users of their services. Through training and rigorous testing, CVAs demonstrate they are qualified to provide capable and professionally executed valuation services. NACVA recommends specific training as a prerequisite to certification to assure that practitioners have the knowledge and understanding necessary to perform competent services, and to assure a level of consistency and continuity in their work product. Users of valuation services benefit by having greater confidence that the service they receive is professional in quality, adheres to industry standards of practice, and meets a level of expertise the Association deems credible and worthy of one of its designees." To learn more about the CVA designation, visit

Businessman crafting an exit strategy business plan

Planning the Next Stages in the Process

If you are considering transitioning your business, whether for growth or eventual retirement, Porte Brown can help you achieve your long-term goals. We have a CEPA (Certified Exit Planning Advisor) that leads our experienced team in complex partnerships, including those involving family relationships.

Our business transition services include advising clients on mergers and acquisitions, conducting due diligence and developing and executing estate, trust, and exit planning strategies.

The transition planning process can include several components, from identifying your personal, business and financial goals to optimizing tax strategies and developing a plan of action to ensure that your business is transferred according to your terms.

Services include:

3 Elements of a Successful Exit

  1. A Road Map - Exit Planning is a process that helps owners decide where they want to go as well as how to get there.
  2. Experienced Guides - Owners must assemble a team of trained and experienced advisors to guide them through the many choices and decisions they face as they work toward their exit goals.
  3. Implementation - Success depends upon a disciplined implementation timetable keyed to an owner's Exit Plan strategy.

Without experienced advisors, an Exit Plan and an implementation timetable, the chances for a successful exit are very slim.

Navigating to a successful business exit

Are You Ready to Make a Successful Exit?

Good Exit Planning requires a coordinated effort from a number of experienced advisors, and Porte Brown’s are among the best. Our Exit Planning Advisors are part of an inter-disciplinary team, who specialize in all areas of exit planning, which includes everything from succession planning strategies to business valuations for mergers and acquisitions to gift & estate planning, and everything in between!

Porte Brown’s team of advisors take a personalized approach for each of our clients. This ensures that your plan is specific to your business’ unique circumstances and is tied to your exact goals, objectives, and concerns. Only after listening to your answers do we begin to create your unique business Exit Plan.

How We Work

To help you create your Business Owner Road Map, we coordinate with you and implement your exit strategy Plan based on your timetable. As members of the BEI Network of Exit Planning Advisors™ we know how to guide you to your successful exit. Using a systematic Exit Planning process developed over the last 25 years, you decide:

  • When you wish to leave your business
  • What amount of cash you need when you exit
  • To whom you want to transfer the business

Our Exit Planning system is a process, not a product. We aren’t vested in promoting a particular goal. Instead, we work to identify and to accomplish your goals. Our system works because it's a customizable process that takes you to the successful exit you desire with fees based on the design, creation, & implementation of your Business Owner Road Map.

Exit in Style

If you have thought about transitioning out of your business but aren’t sure how to begin, you are in good company. Nearly 50% of successful business owners hope to exit their companies within the next five years. In fact, the SBA observes that “At any given time, 40% of U.S. businesses are facing the transfer of ownership issue” and “the primary cause for failure... is lack of planning.”

The transfer of your business may be the biggest financial transaction of your life. At Porte Brown, we utilize The ExitMap® to help clients understand their current level of preparedness so that they can begin their succession planning process.

An Introduction to The ExitMap® Assessment - The First Step to Understanding the Complexities of Preparing a Company for Transition

The ExitMap® is your first step in planning for what is probably the most important financial event of your lifetime… the sale of your business. The Assessment is a great place to start whether you plan to sell the business on the open market, have your employees buy it or pass it on to family.

The ExitMap - Free 15-Minute Assessment

This questionnaire consists of 22 questions which will produce a 12-page summary report that will be emailed to you and your Porte Brown Advisor. The report ranks the overall preparedness of a company for transition and provides a breakdown of the four major categories of readiness; Finance, Planning, Profit/Revenue and Operations.

  • It only takes 15 minutes.
  • It’s easy to decide which of the multiple-choice responses best fit your company.
  • It requires no financial or other confidential information.
  • It takes a broader view of your business than just the numbers.

This quick video introduction provides business owners with a simple overview of the ExitMap® reports and the planning process:

Do I Need a Business Valuation?

While most business owners only think about the value of their business as they reach the time to transition out of their business, there are reasons to get professional business valuations throughout the lifecycle of your business. Porte Brown provides professional business valuations for the following business situations:

  • Purchase of a Business
  • Benchmarking
  • Value Driver Analysis
  • Loan Procurement
  • Buy-Sell Agreements
  • Gift & Estate Tax Filings
  • Selling a Business

Following the valuation process, our team can help identify what factors may be holding your business back and then provide several options you can take to get your business to its next level.

Group of employees smiling

It's all About the Details

Successful acquisitions depend on the guidance of experts in order to fully uncover the values, risks, and liabilities involved in a potential transaction. Porte Brown professionals provide a full range of acquisition assistance services, including rigorous due diligence that goes above and beyond just verifying data. We take pride in looking at the business case in its entirety and analyze the strategic synergies that predict value creation. Our pro-active, highly disciplined, and objective approach keeps the process moving toward a swift and successful closing.

Services include:

Providing support to divorcing spouses

Getting Good Advice Is Essential

Determining the equitable division of marital assets is typically one of the most complex parts of a divorce and often requires the valuation of property, businesses, and other tangible or intangible assets.

Porte Brown has a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) on staff with financial expertise and specialized training in this field and provides valuable support to divorcing spouses and their attorneys.

Our support doesn’t end after the divorce. We will be available to help you with long-term planning issues, including: financial planning, tax planning, retirement savings, and investment management of your portfolio.

Services include:

QDRO's: Tax-Free Distributions of Retirement Assets Incident to a Divorce

Here a QDRO, there a QDRO, everywhere a QDRO. Walking off the green golfers announce their scores – one guy says “bogey,” one guy says “birdie” and another says “QDRO.” What the heck is a “QDRO?” It is not is a golfing term. A QDRO is a “qualified domestic relations order.” It is designed to divide retirement assets incident to a divorce.

Divorcing couples face a myriad of challenges when attempting to attain an equitable settlement. They have decided on who gets custody of the children, who gets the marital home, who gets the wedding album and they finally agree on the division of the rest of their marital estate. Then a light bulb goes on “what about the retirement accounts?” How are we to divide these assets? This is where a QDRO comes into play. Read More

ExitMap Assessment Widget

What Makes Porte Brown a Chicago Valuation Expert?

There are countless reasons why you may want to perform a company valuation for your business, not the least of which is the fact that it’s sensible from a business perspective to have that information on hand. And at Porte Brown, we understand that your top priority when getting your company appraised is to receive an accurate business evaluation, which is what our 70 years of experience and an impeccable track record can ensure. Over the decades that we have offered Chicago business valuation services, we have helped businesses in various industries and from all kinds of backgrounds, so there isn’t a situation that we wouldn’t be familiar with or wouldn’t know how to handle. At the same time, we understand that each business and its owner are unique, so we will work with you to accommodate your individual needs and exceed all of your expectations.

The Porte Brown accounting team has wide-ranging experience and the knowledge you need regarding financial statement analysis and various tax issues that may arise during an appraisal. This allows us to offer effective business valuation services no matter the size of your business or the industry that you operate in. An accurate small business valuation is an integral part of growing your company, attracting new investors, and selling it, so let Porte Brown help you come up with an accurate and extensive evaluation report that will enable you to make the best decisions for your business.

Next step:

For more information, please contact Porte Brown’s Valuation and Transition Practice Group leader, Jeffrey Smiejek, CPA, CVA, CEPA, at 847-956-1040.

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