You started your business before you got married. When your spouse came into the picture, they were extremely helpful in boosting your business and helping you take it to the next level.
Now, as you look at a pending divorce, you know that they deserve at least some kind of kickback from the support they provided, but you also want to make sure that your divorce doesn’t negatively influence your business. If you have no agreement in place at the moment, you need to sit down and think about your plan.
No agreements in place? Talk to your spouse
If you have no agreements in place regarding your business, it’s a good idea to talk to your spouse about their interest in the business. Some people may not be interested in participating in the business in the future. Others could want to continue running it as they always have, especially if your divorce isn’t particularly contentious.
Figure out where each of you stands in terms of what you’d like to do with your business. You may both have the same ideas or goals, like splitting the business and continuing to work together or having one of you buy out the other.
What can you do if your spouse wants you to buy their share of the business?
If your spouse would like to be bought out of the business, you have to determine how much is theirs to begin with. For example, they might be entitled to 15 or 20% of the business because of their investments, or, they could be looking for a much higher percentage.
Splitting your business can be done by selling it and splitting the proceeds. You can also buy out their share if you want to continue running the business, paying them cash for their portion or offering other marital assets in exchange for it.
This can be a complex situation to deal with, so you should start by trying to talk to your spouse about their goals for the business. Then, if they don’t align with your own, you should consider looking into your legal options and beginning negotiations.