Are you one of the many small business owners in Florida? Are you getting married or are you already married? Have you taken any precautions to protect your small business from the negative impacts of a potential divorce?
Owning your own company is quite an accomplishment. If you end up getting a divorce in the future, however, all you hard work may be for nothing if you do not take the steps now to protect your business. You see, in Florida, equitable distribution laws apply when it comes to dividing property in a divorce settlement. If your company is your biggest marital asset, your spouse could end owning a portion of it when all is said and done.
Protecting your business with marital contracts
If you are a business owner who is getting married soon, you can ask your fiancé to sign a prenuptial agreement stating that your company is yours in the event of divorce. No, this is not romantic by any means. Who wants to think about divorce when planning a wedding? While a prenuptial agreement can be a hard subject to broach, it may be worth it if it means you get to keep all that you have worked hard to achieve.
If you start a business after getting married or you failed to get a prenuptial agreement before hand, a postnuptial agreement may be your best option. It can offer all of the same protections offered in a pre-marital contract; you just create it after you legalize the union.
Other protection options
There are a few other options that may be open to you in terms of protecting your company. Some of these include:
- Make sure you keep your work and home life separate
- Make sure you pay yourself
- Add divorce provisions in all necessary business contracts
By doing all of these things, you may be able to protect yourself, your company and your business partners should your spouse try to claim the business is marital property.
Getting a divorce does not have to spell disaster for your business. If you have taken all the steps necessary to protect your company, there should be little if any impact to your small business. If, however, you did not get any protections put in place and divorce enters the picture, you can work with your legal counsel to attempt to achieve a fair property division settlement that does not hurt your company.