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Protecting your business: Valuation

It doesn't matter who you are or how much money you have; divorces are difficult. There is the emotional aspect of the divorce to deal with, but there's also the reality that you have to do everything in your power to protect the assets you've built over time.

If you own a business, then you're in a particularly tough situation. Your spouse might want part of it when you finalize the divorce with your settlement, or he or she might want to buy you out.

What should you do to protect your business?

The first step is to determine how much it is worth. The value of the business is likely to determine how much you or your spouse fights for it. Taking stock of the business also helps you decide how much you or your spouse would need to be bought out of the business in a settlement.

The best way to decide on the value of the company is to have a third-party appraiser review its assets, location, profits and losses. This person should not work for you or your spouse specifically or have a vested interest in the outcome. The goal is to have a genuine valuation of the business, so you know what you need to do if you want to buy out your spouse or if you expect your spouse to purchase the business from you instead.

Regardless of the situation, your first step is valuation. Find out what your business is worth, so you know where you stand and if it's an asset you want to hang on to.

Source: Forbes, "How Divorcing Women Entrepreneurs Can Get What They Deserve," Kerry Hannon, accessed May 15, 2018

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