Many initiatives are emerging to help business leaders better understand what makes their company valuable, including what is known as “immaterial capital”.
What is immaterial capital?
Indeed, depending on their industry, 60 to 90% of the value of businesses now rely on assets that are difficult to see in their balance sheets. For example, for digital companies, the immaterial capital would represent 80% of their value. The business development strategy must, therefore, integrate these new dimensions, that, until now, entrepreneurs were managing intuitively!
Recently, the Directorate General for Enterprise (DGE) presented a French website cap-immateriel.fr, enabling companies to better identify, develop, and promote their intangible assets. A well-managed intangible asset enables to increase the capacity for differentiation and to boost development potential.
With this website, it is possible to identify and qualitatively assess the strategic nature of these intangible assets, real competitiveness levers.
These resources, often excluded from the company’s balance sheet, can be grouped into three main categories:
- Human Resources
- Relationship resources: relations with shareholders, partners, customers, suppliers, etc., which have a significant impact on brand image.
- Structural or organizational resources: governance, processes, tools, methods, information system, intellectual property.
These different dimensions are not always easy to appreciate.
The particularity of industrial property rights
Among these different components, industrial property (IP) rights (trademarks, patents, registered designs) are “assets” that can be included, under certain conditions, in the balance sheet as an intangible asset. The same may also apply to software and other digital products. A significant financial lever!
These intellectual property rights strongly crystallize the company’s potential for development and innovation. They also constitute exchange values that feed into many R&D, industrial or even financial partnership agreements.
The issue of evaluating these assets, both qualitatively and financially, is very specific and requires not only financial but also technical, legal, commercial and strategic skills.
It is common to request a valuation of these assets in certain equity-related (contribution in kind to capital, the opening of capital, merger/acquisition…), legal (transfer or assignment of rights, licensing, contracts, and disputes of course…), tax, or simply accounting contexts …
In regard to financial estimates, the solution ip-nuts.com makes it possible to obtain a value estimate of trademarks, patents, and designs within 3 days. The user fills in a form, for the requested estimate, covering the legal, technical, marketing and financial aspects. Then independent experts process the self-reported information to produce a financial estimate, according to recognized methods and in accordance with the relevant standards. It is an interesting intermediate solution when you need a serious idea of value, rather than producing a well-documented independent report.