Take time and be focused, because “it can be messy.”
That short piece of advice is delivered by a financial columnist in a recent Forbes article discussing concerns relevant to a family business in a divorce.
Specifically, what might be bit muddled and certainly complex is properly valuing a business in a timely way. Centrally, that means before any dissolution-linked discussions begin.
After all, a family business is often the largest piece of the proverbial pie in a divorce. Getting its worth right is critically important for securing an equitable distribution pursuant to its sale or transfer of interests.
Although the Forbes piece is slightly slanted toward the perspective of female entrepreneurs, it is also quite clear in noting that the “special concerns and challenges” linked with a business outcome in divorce can apply equally to soon-to-be-ex male partners.
A bottom-line point stressed in the Forbes focus on business is that an affected party must be flatly dispassionate (the Forbes commentator uses the term “sharp-eyed”), methodical and smart about arriving at an accurate number concerning business worth.
That approach typically merits close assistance from a proven family law attorney with a demonstrated background in divorce-related financial matters. In some cases, professional input necessarily includes the addition of a forensic accountant and other parties as well on a client’s divorce team. A seasoned divorce attorney can help make appropriate referrals.
Truly, there is a lot to focus upon, ranging widely from current income and future growth prospects to goodwill, inventory, liabilities and a host of other weighty issues.
Forbes stresses how vitally important it is for a divorcing entrepreneur to avoid being slack concerning any aspect of business valuation and a subsequent negotiation focused upon a buyout or other outcome.
There will likely be a lot of money on the table. A party who worked hard for it has a right to claim an equitable share.