good·will /'gu̇d-ˌwil/ n
1: an intangible asset that is made up of the favor or prestige which a business has acquired beyond the mere value of what it sells due to the personality or experience of those conducting it, their reputation for skill or dependability, the business's location, or any other circumstance incidental to the business that tends to draw and retain customers
2 a: the value of projected increases in the earnings of a business esp. as part of its purchase price
b: the excess of the purchase price of a business above the value assigned for tax purposes to its other net assets
◇ The Internal Revenue Code requires the purchaser of a business to allocate the purchase price among the various types of assets. Frequently the purchase price is greater than the sum of the values of the individual assets. The excess is labeled goodwill. Because of its indefinite life, goodwill is not amortizable as an asset. The purchaser will therefore usu. try to keep the allocation to goodwill as small as possible.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

noun altruism, amity, benefaction, beneficence, benevolence, brotherhood, charity, cheerful consent, cheerful willingness, commercial advantage, cordiality, countenance, customer approval, customer encouragement, earnestness, established patronage, established popularity, established reputation, favor, favorable disposition, favorable regard, friendly disposition, geniality, good name, good nature, good reputation, helpfulness, humanity, kindness, known name, munificence, patronage, philanthropy, proven name, public favor, public support, sponsorship, support, sympathy, tolerance, willingness associated concepts: impairment of good will, sale and transfer of good will

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

An intangible business asset composed of a good reputation with customers, suppliers, and the community at large, good employee morale, the ability to attract customers and clients, good management, and other positive aspects that are difficult to value monetarily but that contribute to the success of a business.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

the advantage or benefit that is acquired by the business beyond the mere value of its capital stock or property in consequence of the patronage it receives from its customers. For example, it is usual for a business to be sold on the basis of £x for the stock and £y for the goodwill. The amount by which the value of the business as a whole exceeds the assets minus the value of the company's liabilities: Companies Act 1985. In another sense, it is 'the probability that the old customers will resort to the old place', Crutwell v . L y e , 17 Ves. 335.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

The benefit a business has through its name and good reputation. Goodwill is not a tangible asset like equipment or inventory. In an acquisition, goodwill is valued as the amount paid for the business above the fair market cost of all the business's assets.
Category: Business, LLCs & Corporations → Business Accounting, Bookkeeping & Finances
Category: Business Cash Flow Problems & Bankruptcy
Category: Business, LLCs & Corporations → Business Tax & Deductions
Category: Personal Finance & Retirement → Taxes → Tax Audits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

1) The goodwill of a business is the value of its reputation over and above the value of its assets. Brands can be an important and commercially valuable part of a company's goodwill.
2) On an acquisition of a business, the difference between the value of the assets acquired and the price paid (if positive).
3) In accounting terms, the difference between the value of a business as a whole and the aggregate of the fair values of its identifiable net assets.
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Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

   the benefit of a business having a good reputation under its name and regular patronage. Goodwill is not tangible like equipment, right to lease the premises or inventory of goods. It becomes important when a business is sold, since there can be an allocation in the sales price for the value of the goodwill, which is always a subjective estimate. Included in goodwill upon sale may be the right to do business without competition by the seller in the area and/or for a specified period of time. Sellers like the allocation to goodwill to be high since it is not subject to capital gains tax, while buyers prefer it to be low, because it cannot be depreciated for tax purposes like tangible assets. Goodwill also may be overestimated by a proud seller and believed by an unknowing buyer.
   See also: sale

Law dictionary. . 2013.

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