It’s not uncommon for partners in a marriage to become partners in a business. Whether you open a small brick and mortar shop or work remotely for your own company, starting a business with your spouse isn’t always as simple as it seems, especially if your marriage ends in divorce. And some small business owners will need to deal with the aftermath even if their spouse was not an active part in the company. What do you do when you separate when you own a small business?
Is it Separate or Marital?
Step one is to determine if the business or any income earned through the business is separate or marital. This is clear when the business is owned and worked by both parties. However, it becomes less clear if the business is handled by one partner but the income is utilized by both.
You don’t have to have a financial background; you just need an expert who does. They can walk you though the process to determine what is fair and equitable.
Knowing the value of the business is also important. This is the economic value of the owner’s share of the business and is used all the time to determine the sale price. If the business were to be sold to a neutral third party, what would they pay?
A lawyer can help you understand what you can keep or what you are owed if a marriage ends and there’s a business involved.
Splitting a Shared Business
If you split a shared business, things can be much more complicated. Someone, essentially, needs to buy out the other partner. But this can get complex in terms of ownership, intellectual property, or other minute details that will impact the equitable split of the company.
There will also often be concerns about who has more at stake in the business. This can be true in the case of a shared business as well as a divorce between partners where one party is the business owner.
Working with a Lawyer
Whether you own you own business, share a business, or are divorcing someone with a business, it’s important that you’re represented fairly. Before you take another step, contact a lawyer with a background in finance.
Call Shaw Law, located in Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Cumming and Atlanta, to help you today.