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Law Office of Lily L. Huang

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Tips for dividing business assets

Whether young and in love or widowed and remarrying, most California couples with the starry-eyed gaze of fresh romance never dream of it ending. Sometimes they decide to take on another big risk, and the life partners become business partners, building their hopes on big dreams. 

Is going into business with a spouse a good idea? Some would say it depends. suggests it is not a problem, but the partners should think through the setup process carefully for the best chance at achieving the dreams they are building.

Since owning a company together is similar to owning a car or home with both spouses’ names on the deed, it is best to remember the courts will likely order the business to be equally divided if the two ever decide to dissolve their marriage.

The buyout

Some partners may find they prefer not to split the business, especially if it is lucrative and continues to grow. A Forbes article suggests there are other options besides simply dividing the assets. One spouse can buy out the other. This process includes evaluation by an appraiser and good communication between the former partners, but if one has a strong interest in continuing the company, this may be a good option.

The sell

Another possibility the article suggests is selling the business outright. Again, an appraiser would need to come in and propose a value, but once the business sells, the former owners could then split the money equally.

The ongoing partnership

Finally, an option that may or may not work, depending on how well the two continue to communicate, is keeping the business together and maintaining the roles already in place. If the partners can carry on amicably with one another, this option may be a good fit.