Glossary of Business Valuation Terms

Valuation terms are quoted from the American Society of Appraisers, ASA Business Valuation Standards © (Revision published November 2009). Banking-related terms are quoted from the book Valuing Financial Institutions, by Z. Christopher Mercer, ASA, CFA, (Homewood, IL: Business One Irwin, 1992).


The act or process of determining the value of a business, business-ownership interest, security, or intangible asset. The objective of an appraisal is to express an unambiguous opinion about the value of a business, business ownership interest, security, or intangible asset, which opinion is supported by all procedures that the appraiser deems to be relevant to the valuation.

Appraisal (Valuation) Approach

A general way of determining a value indication of a business, business ownership interest, security, or intangible asset using one or more valuation methods.

Appraisal (Valuation) Date

The specific point in time as of which the valuator's opinion of value applies (also referred to as “Effective Date” or “as of” date).

Appraisal (Valuation) Method

Within approaches, a specific way to determine value.

Appraisal (Valuation) Procedure

The act, manner, and technique of performing the steps of an appraisal method.

Appraised Value

The appraiser's opinion or conclusion of value.

Arbitrage Pricing Theory

A multivariate model for estimating the cost of equity capital, which incorporates several systematic risk factors.

Asset (Asset-Based) ...

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