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I'm looking for someone who specializes in selling intellectural property with a website business.

This is out of my area and expertise. I have someone who is rich in intellectual property, (ie, tradenamed domain, written appraisals around $65K, high traffic numbers, length of business), but no real income coming in at the moment. They are interested in selling the business for just the value of the intellectual property, traffic etc. What's the best way to go about this?

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Answers (11)
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Cook County, IL

Don, thanks for your input and suggestions. I mention that it is a west coast company, because, as you know east coast buyers are different from west coast buyers in what they see as potential, value etc. I realize that the business can be run from anywhere. I guess the fact that it has been in business for over 10 years and was considered unique in its approach might be best sold as an asset sale. The price would reflect that. However, these written appraisals were not done by "computer generated" sheets. These appraisal reports were written by hand, by the top people in this field with considerable experience dealing with internet properties. This is what sets them apart as more reliable and legitimate. Again, thank you again for your indepth answer and obvious knowledge on the subject.
Matt

Aug 1, 2010
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The BAF Group LLC
MD

Matthew, the problem with what you are attempting to do is that appraisals do not really take the Buyer into account. No business is worth anything more or less than what a ready, willing and able Buyer is willing to pay. And many times, appraisals - and we call them valuations, in setting the value on businesses - miss that point. For example, we dealt with one business that was actually referred to us by a business valuation company, and the value that was set by them was about 25% above what any Buyer could possibly afford and what the SBA or any Bank would entertain, in terms of Cash Flow. It made no sense.

In your case, Cash Flow does not mean anything because you are selling a concept, rather than a tangible business. The questions for the Buyer are: How much money they need to further invest, in order to make money out of this concept? How much money can be made from it? How long will it take to make that money? And most vitally, how unique is the concept? What I mean by that is, if someone buys your concept, can it be easily be replicated or topped by a competitor, which can almost immediately erode any value in the concept, altogether? The valuation should take all of this into account. But $65k is not a big number, so I assume that this concept either has limited long term financial potential, or that the intellectual property can be copied, and is therefore looked at as fragile, in terms of its long range potential.

The kind of Broker you need does not really need to be on the West Coast, because as said before, a Web Site can be run from anywhere in the Country.

What you DO need is a Brokerage that will market your Company, specifically and individually. In my view, there are two kinds of Brokerage philosophies. The first is the Brokerage that will list anything it can, regardless of type, size or value. You can note these by the fact that they heavily promote the number of businesses they represent, which can sometimes go to the hundreds or even thousands. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS kind of strategy, if you are selling a Liquor Store or C-Store; but for you, this would be the worst path to take.

The second kind of Brokerage philosophy is one that has deliberately limited its listings, and takes the time to individually promote each of the Businesses it represents. They seek out specific types of Buyers, for specificy Business types. That is what you need.

I hope this helps.

Aug 1, 2010
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Cook County, IL

Dear Buy-A-Company, don't you have your own businesses to sell? Perhaps you should focus on assisting those people instead of focusing on what I'm doing regarding a business I'm representing. Again, if there are any SERIOUS buyers interested in MY LISTING, please contact me at midwest54@aol.com for information. Thanks
Matt

Jul 31, 2010
Buy-a- Company

Matt,

Why waste peoples time? There is no reason you cannot at least narrow it down, as far as the arena of the site's focus. You would save your time, as well as the frustration of many potential inquirers if you just mention the focus. A buyer of a finance site is different from a buyer of a photo site, real estate, shopping, auctions, coupons, porn, etc.

Also, what difference does it make where the current location is? A website can be run from anywhere in the world.

Jul 31, 2010
No User Photo
Cook County, IL

Once again the appraisal reports are from some of the most highly respected companies on the internet. They have been in the domain and internet business appraisal business for many years and know the difference between TM and tradenames. Any further information on the website, newsletter subscribers, type of business, years of operation, advertiser lists/media contacts, traffic etc. will be given with a signed NDA and proof of funds. If you are a SERIOUSLY interested party, please contact me at midwest54@aol.com. I would have contacted you Joe for assistance, but, it is a west coast biz. Thanks for your interest.
Matt

Jul 31, 2010
Buy-a- Company

Are the newsletter subscribers paid, or free?, and are they still paying? What is the subject matter of the site? What percentage of revenue comes from each activity (subscribers, advertisers, adsense, etc.)?

I have seen hundreds of domain appraisals, and they are usually way off, in both directions. Kinda like Zillow puts values on houses.

Jul 31, 2010
No User Photo
Cook County, IL

I found out that in addition to the tradename certificate, 3 written appraisals by the top people in this field, media attention and website, the newsletters subscribers emails have never been sold and that alone is valuable. They are a targeted group. If anyone is interested in this high traffic business that was making $20K up until a few years ago, please make an offer. Owner is older and retiring from the business. NDA and proof of funds will be necessary. The value of the domain alone, before the tradename was $65K. All cash offers will be considered. A little investment in this 10 year old biz could get you a great deal. For more info. contact matt at midwest54@aol.com

Jul 31, 2010
Joseph DiBello
Vested Business Brokers
Career Development Officer/Broker
Suffolk County, NY

I have the experianc you are seeking. I have sold many in NY, Nj DE, click on my name then click on "my links"

Jul 30, 2010
No User Photo

I agree with Matt about the value. There is also a difference between a TM and a tradename which can be transferred, just so you know. I'll keep my eyes open for you. I assume they are looking for someone right away? Based upon my "limited" experience, you should probably expect around .35 to .40 cents on the dollar.

Jul 30, 2010
No User Photo
Cook County, IL

To answer your question, it has about 8K to 10K in newsletter subscribers. I'm not sure what the current website traffic is, but, the name is actually two most searched keywords. There are several of the written appraisal reports from the top, known, respected appraisers in the business included, so I'd have to disagree with your value statement. The main domain, website, media stories regarding the business, tradename certificate, also comes with sub domains. If anyone can let me know the best way to go about selling this, please let me know. Thanks
Matt

Jul 30, 2010
Buy-a- Company

Domain appraisals are usually worthless. A trademark is not very valuable for a domain name, because no one else can use it, anyway. But it is worth something, if the name is good, and would interest a copycat.

What is the area of interest that attracts the traffic? What is the traffic count? Any opt-in subscribers?

You can list it on our site, ebay, etc. It should pull what it is worth.

Jul 30, 2010

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