In practice, both quantitative and qualitative criteria are used to include or reject potential comparables. Examples of qualitative criteria are found in product portfolios and business strategies. The most commonly observed quantitative criteria are:
- Size criteria in terms of Sales, Assets or Number of Employees. The size of the transaction in absolute value or in proportion to the activities of the parties might affect the relative competitive positions of the buyer and seller and therefore comparability.
- Intangible-related criteria such as ratio of Net Value of Intangibles/Total Net Assets Value, or ratio of Research and Development (R&D)/Sales where available: they may be used for instance to exclude companies with valuable intangibles or significant R&D activities when the tested party does not use valuable intangible assets nor participate in significant R&D activities.
- Criteria related to the importance of export sales (Foreign Sales/Total Sales), where relevant.
- Criteria related to inventories in absolute or relative value, where relevant.
- Other criteria to exclude third parties that are in particular special situations such as start-up companies, bankrupted companies, etc. when such peculiar situations are obviously not appropriate comparisons.
The choice and application of selection criteria depends on the facts and circumstances of each particular case and the above list is neither limitative nor prescriptive.