Top 5 Third Party Valuation Companies & How to Choose

Hi, I’m Chris Walton, author of this guide and CEO of Eton Venture Services.

I’ve spent much of my career working as a corporate transactional lawyer at Gunderson Dettmer, becoming an expert in tax law & venture financing. Since starting Eton, I’ve completed thousands of business valuations for companies of all sizes.

A short bio of Chris Walton, CEO of Eton

Read my full bio here.

A business valuation can impact everything—from compliance to strategy and major transactions, like selling or bringing in new partners.  

I’ve been doing business valuations for 15+ years and I know that having the right partner in your business valuation is critical to your peace of mind and ultimate success. 

In this article, I’ll share the top 5 third-party valuation firms to choose from. I’ll also provide some guidance to help you narrow that list down to the one that’s right for your valuation needs. 

Full transparency: We’ll talk a lot about my business valuation firm, Eton. We do fast, defensible valuations at good prices with the care of a family business. Our valuations stand up to scrutiny—and we’ll always support you as a witness in court if your valuation is challenged.

What to Look For in a Third Party Valuation Company

For a business valuation to be accurate and audit-defensible, your third-party provider must have four characteristics:

Factor #1: Experience & Expertise

One of the most crucial factors to consider is the expertise and experience of the valuation firm.

The firm you choose should have experience completing the valuation type you need (whether for an M&A, 409A, or something else entirely). They should ideally also specialize in your industry or have experience working with companies similar to yours. 

You should also consider the firm’s experience in handling valuation projects of varying complexities. 

A firm that has successfully completed valuations for companies at different stages of growth, from startups to established enterprises, are more likely to be able to adapt their methodologies and provide reliable valuations across different business scenarios.

A reliable valuation firm should have a track record of producing defensible valuations that withstand scrutiny from auditors, regulators, and other stakeholders. 

To choose a firm like such, research their accreditations, certifications, professional memberships, and any awards they’ve received.

It’s also important to check if the firm’s professionals are members of reputable valuation associations or hold relevant certifications, such as the Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) or Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) designations.

It can also be valuable to reach out to other professionals in your industry and ask about their experiences with different valuation firms. Their insights and recommendations can help you gauge the firm’s reputation and credibility from a firsthand perspective.

While cost shouldn’t be the sole determining factor, it’s important to consider the pricing structure of the valuation firm.

Compare pricing models, understand what is included in the package, and evaluate the overall value for money. 

But keep in mind that choosing a valuation firm solely based on the lowest price may compromise the quality and accuracy of the valuation. You want to ensure the valuation services are reasonably priced and provide good value for the fees charged. 

Also, make sure you ask about any additional fees or charges ahead of the valuation. Some firms may have hidden costs, such as charges for additional research or consultations. Understanding the full cost structure upfront will help you make an informed decision and avoid any unexpected financial surprises.

During a complex (and often overwhelming) process like a business valuation, you want to be working with a responsive, friendly, and empathetic business partner. 

When you’re researching a valuation firm, look for reviews or recommendations by past clients that attest to this quality. 

If all other things are equal (like accreditations and cost), choose a firm that is committed to providing excellent customer service throughout the engagement.

A reputable third-party valuation company that excels in these four areas is more likely to deliver an accurate, audit-defensible valuation that can withstand scrutiny from various stakeholders, such as the IRS, potential partners, buyers, or investors.

5 Top Third-Party Valuation Companies

Here are the top 5 third-party valuation firms I recommend from my decades of experience in the industry:

  1. Eton – A fast, reliable, & customer obsessed boutique valuation firm with Big 4 talent
  2. Researchvaluation.com – A global valuation service giant since 1975
  3. Teknos – A tech focused valuation provider
  4. Aranca – An overseas valuation provider
  5. Kroll – A large firm with decades of valuation experience

Below, I’ll explain why I recommend them.

1. Eton Venture Services – Best Independent Business Valuation Firm

At Eton, our valuators bring a unique blend of Big 4 experience and boutique-level attention to detail to create a service our clients trust and valuations that are thorough and accurate.

We give our undivided attention to each valuation to ensure it’s completed quickly without compromising on quality. And we pride ourselves on the support we offer clients throughout the entire process.

Eton - the most trusted independent business valuation consultant

Let me walk you through how we stack up against the key factors to consider:

Experience & Expertise: 

With over 3,000 valuations completed across our 15 years in business, we’ve honed our expertise in a wide range of valuation types, from 409A valuations to M&A transactions. 

Our valuators have cut their teeth at prestigious firms like Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PwC, giving them a deep understanding of industry best practices.

Reputation & Credibility: 

Our team boasts an impressive array of professional accreditations, including ASAs, CFAs, CVAs, and CPAs. 

This expertise, combined with our proven track record of delivering valuations that withstand scrutiny from auditors, regulators, and stakeholders, speaks volumes about our credibility in the industry.

Pricing & Value for Money: 

We understand that cost is a significant consideration, which is why we strive to provide exceptional value for our services at a competitive price. 

Every valuation receives a custom quote. You can get in touch here to receive yours. 

Customer Service & Support: 

At Eton, we believe in building lasting relationships with our clients. From initial valuation consultation to final delivery, our team is dedicated to providing prompt, clear communication and unwavering support. 

Whether you need clarification on the valuation process or want to discuss the findings in depth, we’re here to ensure your complete satisfaction. We’ll even be on hand past delivery of the final valuation draft to support audits or to speak with stakeholders.

Types of Valuations We Specialize In

At Eton, our team has completed various types of valuations, including:

No matter what your circumstances or complexity, we’ve seen it before and are equipped to help.

Need one of the valuations we specialize in? Get in touch here

Our Valuation Process

Our valuation process takes no more than 10 days* from receipt of your documents. This applies no matter the complexity or type of valuation.  

Here’s what our 10-day valuation process looks like:

10-day business valuation process - Eton

* Need your valuation faster? No problem. We can expedite it for an additional fee. 

Day 1: Information Collection

Once we have your documents, we’ll get to work reviewing them to make sure we understand your business inside out. 

Day 2: Valuation Modelling & Analysis

Then we really put our expertise to work as we analyze your cap table, business stage and more. We’ll get started creating your valuation document and determining what methodologies are required to value your business.

Day 3-7: Valuation Prepared

At this stage, we apply the relevant methodologies. 

Day 8: Draft Report Delivered; Client Review & Return

Once we’ve finished, we’ll send the draft report to you. 

You’ll need to review it and let us know if there are any adjustments needed. This usually happens on a call where we can answer your questions in real-time and address concerns.

Day 10: Final Valuation Confirmed & Delivered

Finally, we’ll revise the draft and get you to sign-off on the outcome. 

Who We Work With

We work with business across industries and of all sizes from a scaling startup to established corporations. 

Here are some of our recent clients:

  • Substack
  • Definitive Intelligence, a Web3-focused company
  • Oklo
  • Apex Health Solutions
  • Guru Technologies

And this is the experience they have:

Review of Eton - Eton

You can read more testimonials from our clients here.

Our Valuation Costs

We put together custom quotes for every valuation we complete but to give you an idea of what you can expect here are some examples:

  • 409A valuation costs start at $2000 and go up to $8000 with most clients paying around $3000
  • Standard business valuations with minimal complexity (small cap table) cost between $5000 and $10,000
  • Standard business valuations with medium complexity cost between ____ and _____
  • Standard business valuations with high complexity cost between __ and ___

Want to know more about standard business valuation costs? Check out our article: Business Valuation Services Cost

At Eton, we’re not just another valuation firm; we’re trusted partners dedicated to helping you navigate the complexities of valuations with confidence and ease.

You can rely on us to deliver rigorous, in-depth assessments of your target company’s financial performance, enabling you to make better-informed decisions and meet state and federal requirements.

Need a fast, accurate, and reliable business valuation?

Our team of Big 4 Trained valuators can help. Please get in touch with us below.

Back-up 2. Researchvaluation.com

VRC Business Valuation Consultant - Eton

If Eton doesn’t quite fit the bill, my first recommendation would be Researchvaluation.com, or RVC. 

This independent global valuation firm has been solely focused on valuations and advisory services since way back in 1975, giving them more than adequate experience to handle your valuation needs. 

RVC operates across multiple locations, including major cities in the U.S., giving them a widespread presence. Their in-house valuation services cover a wide range of assets, from businesses and securities to real estate and intangible assets. 

However, one potential downside is that with their size and breadth, you may not receive the hyper-specialized attention or niche expertise your specific valuation requires.

Back-up 3. Kroll

Kroll Business Valuation Consultant - Eton

Kroll is a well-established global firm specializing in risk and financial advisory solutions, including valuations. 

With decades of industry experience, you can count on their expertise in areas like compliance, corporate finance, cyber risk management, investigations, and ESG advisory.

While their longevity and broad capabilities are impressive, it’s worth noting that as a large firm, working with Kroll may feel quite corporate and impersonal. 

If you’re looking for a more high-touch, client-focused experience where you’re more than just another name on their roster, a smaller boutique firm might be a better fit.

Back-up 4. Teknos

For businesses in emerging growth industries like information technology, life sciences, alternative energy, or blockchain/cryptocurrency, Teknos Associates could be an excellent option. 

This valuation firm specializes in serving those specific sectors and their venture capital backers.

Teknos offers a comprehensive suite of services, including corporate advisory, fairness opinions, M&A support, solvency assessments, tax compliance, financial reporting valuations, and litigation support. 

Their niche focus is a double-edged sword – if you fall within their target industries, you’ll likely receive highly specialized expertise.

However, if you operate outside of those realms, you’d be better served looking elsewhere.

Back-up 5. Aranca

Aranca Business Valuation Consultant - Eton

Aranca is a global research, analytics, and advisory firm that also provides business valuation services

One potential advantage for some clients is their international presence outside of the U.S., which could be beneficial for companies with a global footprint.

But, for U.S. based businesses, the time differences and misalignment in working hours could prove challenging, especially for a high-touch service like valuations that often requires prompt responses and real-time communication. 

If seamless accessibility and attentiveness are priorities for you, a domestically-based firm might be a more suitable choice.

A Comparison of Business Valuation Companies

ExperienceTime to completionCustomer serviceCost
1
Eton VCBig 4 trained financial analysts with experience across all business valuation types Extremely fast

(10 days or less)
10/10Affordable

(starting at $2000 depending on valuation type)
2VCROver 300 U.S.-based professionals and an international network of nearly 1,500 valuation expertsModerate timeline 7/10Unknown
3KrollHas strong experience in retail and real-estate industry valuationsSlow6/10Unknown
4TeknosExperience valuing businesses in information technology, life sciences, alternative energy/cleantech, and blockchain technology/cryptocurrencyModerate timeline8/10Unknown
5ArancaExperience valuing companies from around the worldModerate timeline7/10Unknown

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Valuation Firm

We’ve gone through the factors to consider when selecting a valuation firm as well as top 5 valuation firms. But it’s also equally important to be aware of common pitfalls to avoid. 

Here are some mistakes to watch out for:

Mistake #1: Overlooking Industry Specialization

Every industry has its intricacies and unique factors that influence valuation. 

Choosing a valuation firm that lacks expertise in your industry may result in an inaccurate valuation. 

Look for firms that specialize in your specific industry to ensure the valuation is conducted by professionals who understand the nuances of your business.

Mistake #2: Ignoring Client Reviews and Feedback

Client reviews and feedback provide valuable insights into the quality and professionalism of a valuation firm. 

Ignoring this feedback may lead to choosing a firm that does not meet your expectations. 

Take the time to research and reach out to past clients to gather their experiences and recommendations.

Mistake #3: Neglecting Post-Valuation Support

Valuation is not a one-time event. It’s an ongoing process that may require future updates or further analysis. 

Neglecting post-valuation support can result in additional costs or the need to seek a new valuation firm altogether. 

Ensure that the valuation firm provides ongoing support and is available for future consultations or updates to guarantee a seamless valuation experience.

Third-Party Valuation Companies – FAQs

Have questions about the third-party valuation process? I answer them below:

What is a third-party company valuation?

A third-party company valuation is a comprehensive assessment of a company’s economic value, taking into account various factors such as its assets, liabilities, financial performance, market dynamics, and future prospects.

When conducting a business valuation, experts analyze the company’s financial statements, including its balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. 

They also consider the company’s tangible and intangible assets, such as:

  • Property
  • Equipment
  • Patents
  • Trademarks
  • Customer relationships

The valuation process also involves evaluating the company’s historical financial performance and projecting its future earnings potential.

Business valuation approaches can vary depending on the industry, the purpose of the valuation, and the specific circumstances of the company being valued. 

Common valuation methods include:

  • Market Approach: This method looks at what similar businesses have sold for to set a value for your business.
  • Income Approach: This way figures out how much money your business might make in the future and sets the value based on that.
  • Asset-Based Approach: This method adds up all the things the business owns (like property and equipment) and subtracts what it owes to find the value.

Here are a few scenarios where a business might need to hire a third-party valuation company:

  • Selling the Business or Acquiring Another: To get an accurate selling price or understand the value of a business you’re considering buying.
  • Seeking Investment or Financing: To present a credible business value to investors or lenders.
  • Legal Proceedings: Such as divorce settlements or partnership disputes, where an impartial valuation is needed.
  • Taxation Purposes: For accurate reporting and compliance, especially for estate taxes or charitable donations.
  • Strategic Business Planning: To understand the business’s current value for making informed decisions about future growth or restructuring.
get in touch
Let's talk.

Schedule a free consultation meeting to discuss your valuation needs. 

President & CEO

Chris co-founded Eton Venture Services in 2010 to provide mission-critical valuations to venture-based companies. He works closely with each client’s leadership team, board of directors, internal / external counsel, and independent auditor to develop detailed financial models and create accurate, audit-proof valuations.

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