The appraisal buyer must beware in this case. If the professional you contact cannot or will not provide an appraisal, a red flag should wave immediately. While it is common for many business appraisers to intermingle these terms, persons not qualified to provide expert appraisals, litigation support, expert testimony, reports that may face the scrutiny of Federal or State agencies, judges, and the like may try to sell you something short of what you really need.
An evaluation is a commonly used term that usually falls short of the requirements of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP). Make sure the professional you choose has the proper training in USPAP procedures. Has the person provided reports that meet the above requirements? Have they qualified and testified in business valuation issues in a court of law? Have they taught or lectured on the issues of business appraisal? All these and many more credentials such as years of experience, professional memberships, education, experience in the real world of business sales, etc. will help guaranty that the appraisal you receive will provide you with the report you need. When choosing a person to place a value on your business, ask for their resume or Curriculum vitae (CV) to aid you in accessing their credentials.