Tips for small business owners who are going through a divorce

Small business owners who are going through a divorce need to think about their company when they’re navigating the process. This isn’t something that’s going to be easy, but putting things into perspective can benefit the situation.

If you are divorcing and you and/or your family own a business, one of the most important things to remember is that you may need to compartmentalize the business and the divorce. You have to make logical decisions about everything related to the company. This means putting your emotions aside.

Determining the fate of the business

There are a few options that are present for the family business. You and your ex can continue to operate the company as a team, which requires a solid partnership agreement. It’s also possible for one party to buy the other one out of their share of the business. Alternatively, the business may close or be sold. Settling debts is necessary if it will close. Having it valuated and finding a buyer are critical if you plan to sell the company. If the company will be sold, the method of splitting the profit must be decided.

Keeping the divorce away from the business

If the business isn’t going to close, you and your ex must continue to operate the company. While you may let the employees know about the divorce, you can’t let the emotions of the divorce cloud the decisions you make for the company. If you’re going to continue running the business or if you or your ex will buy the other person out, this is the time to start making adjustments to how the company is run if there are any necessary. These should be done slowly and carefully so they don’t disrupt the daily operations of the company.

The fate of a family business is part of the property division process, so it’s critical that that the company is valuated properly and that all options are considered. Working with a legal representative who can explain the options and assist with moving the case forward may be beneficial, given all that is at stake and how complex the property division process can be.