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Sole Proprietorship


Sole Proprietorship. Julie Anne Gaskill is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Her medical practice is a sole proprietorship that consists of Gaskill as the sole surgeon and an office staff. She sees every patient, exercises all professional judgment and skill, and manages the business. When Gaskill and her spouse, John Robbins, initiated divorce proceedings in a Kentucky state court, her accountant estimated the value of the practice at $221,610, excluding goodwill. Robbins’s accountant estimated the value at $669,075, including goodwill. (Goodwill is the ability or reputation of a business to draw customers, get them to return, and contribute to future profitability.) How can a sole proprietor’s reputation, skill, and relationships with customers be valued? Could these qualities be divided into “personal” and “enterprise” goodwill, with some goodwill associated with the business and some solely due to the personal qualities of the proprietor? If so, what might comprise each type? Is this an effective method for valuing Gaskill’s practice? Discuss.

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