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Adjusted Net Income Defined By Due Diligence Service


Adjusted net income is sometimes a difficult concept to grasp when buying or selling a business. I give my definition below:

"There is a very specific way that cash flow / adjusted net income is calculated.  The following is how it is done.  When net income or cash flow is asked for we use the "owners benefit" figure.  This is the net profit on the P&L (profit and loss statement) plus the owners benefits added back. The owner's benefits are added back because everything one single owner gets, regardless of its form is not considered a business expense and is added back as profit.  Note: Any cash that the owner receives and doesn't report is considered an owners benefit and must also be added; it is labeled other income.

Depreciation and Amortization, IRS Taxes, Franchise Taxes, Interest Expense, Donations, Non-Recurring Legal Expenses or Non-essential expenses. Other Expenses, Owners Medical, Life Insurance for Owners, Pension Plan contributions for owner's family, Non-Essential Salaries, Health insurance (owner's family portion), Owners vehicle expenses (lease payments, operating expenses, repairs, gas, depreciation and insurance), Magazine subscriptions, Owner's Travel, Entertainment, Home office expenses and Home telephone expenses. Any other owners benefit that the seller has hidden in some expense account. Real examples include: a) Personal clothing listed as uniforms. b) Family eating out listed under entertainment. c) Children's education listed under staff training.

Additional clarification on lease payments is as follows: As discussed in the prior paragraph, lease payments made on personal automobiles are not a business expense and are added back. The buyer many times needs to assume a lease payment on leased machinery. If the lease has a $1.00 buy out or any buy out at the end for less than fair market value of the machinery it is called a financing lease. We treat them like a loan payment and add back 100% of the payments and the seller must pay these loans off or the escrow needs to deduct the balance due from buyers cash requirement. We also put these assets on the balance sheet.  If the buy-out at the end of the lease, at fair market, on the date of the buy-out, then this is a real lease which is really just a rental agreement.  The payments are left as a business expense and are not added back. To find out which kind of lease the seller has will require asking the seller or his accountant."

About The Author:  Willard Michlin offers business buyers Due Diligence Services (Second Opinion, Offer Assistance, Final Due Diligence) when they are thinking of making an offer on a business or in the process of investigating a business purchase. Serving all of Southern California. He has written numerous articles on the due diligence process and can be reached direct at 805-428-2063 for more information and an appointment.

Watch for more blog posts / articles from me in the future!


Categories: BizBen Blog Contributor, Business Valuation Issues, Buying A Business



  Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses
Helen Yoo: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - Southern California

New Century Escrow, Inc. is a fully licensed & bonded independent escrow company. Over 20 years combined experience in handling bulk escrow transactions. Multi-lingual staff that speaks your language, including Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese. Call Helen Yoo direct at 626-890-1151.

Willard Michlin, CPA, Certified Fraud Examiner, Due Diligence Services

Willard Michlin, CPA #106752, offers buyers step by step training & assistance in doing Due Diligence Services when they are thinking of making an offer, or are in process of investigating a business purchase. He helps to determine the actual net profit even when there is cash. Call 805-428-2063.

Diane Boudreau-Tschetter: Escrow And Bulk Sale Services

California Business Escrow, Inc. is a full service independent escrow company serving all of California and has expertise in a wide range of escrows. Our team prides itself on providing an exceptional escrow experience. For more info phone Diane Boudreau-Tschetter at 888-383-3331 or 209-838-1100.

Mark Chatow, Esq.: Legal Services For Buying, Selling Businesses

Mark has a broad range of small business purchase & sale experience from analyzing potential acquisition targets to successfully guiding buyers and sellers through the purchase & sale of small businesses. Mark can assist with contracts, negotiations, legal matters, etc. Reach Mark at 949-478-8393.

Michael Davidson, Business Broker - Southern California

Los Angeles Business Broker providing M&A quality services for Small Business Owners. We leverage our technology and expertise to Simplify & Expedite the Business Sales Process. Matching the right buyer with the right business is how we define success.

Ralph Santos, Business Broker Specialist - Health Care Related Businesses

Using my MBA and my perseverance I will make things happen! I provide business brokerage niche services specializing in the hospice and home health care agency industry in the Los Angeles County or Ventura County areas. For either buying or selling assistance please phone or email me today.

Larry Larsen, Broker, Laundry Specialist - Orange, LA Counties

I have over forty years of experience in the sales, ownership, management, and construction of coin laundries. He is a licensed broker active in the sale of coin laundries, a licensed insurance agent specializing in coin laundry insurance.

Mike Brewer: Liquor License Brokers, ABC Consulting Services

Liquor license brokerage and consulting services. We provide: Alcohol License Transfers Application Consulting & Processing, Liquor License Purchases & Sales, City Zoning Permits & Land Use Entitlements, Public Convenience or Necessity Findings and Letters. Phone Mike Brewer direct at 800-437-1100.


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