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How small business owners can protect their company in divorce

Divorce will have dramatic implications on every part of a person's life. For business owners, a divorce could even imperil the company's future.

If you find yourself in this position, there's no better time than now to answer key questions to ensure that your business will remain in good hands after your divorce is finalized.

It's not something that many business owners think about, but divorce could have a negative impact on your company. For this reason, there are steps you can take today to put you in a better position should you be faced with divorce. Consider the following strategies:

  • Sign a prenuptial agreement  - If you're closing in on your wedding day, now's the time to discuss a prenuptial agreement with your soon to be spouse.
  • Consider a postnuptial agreement  - Even if you missed your opportunity to create a prenuptial agreement, it doesn't mean you're out of luck. Instead, you can opt for this legal arrangement. It's basically the same thing as a prenup, with the primary difference being that you sign the agreement after you tie the knot.
  • Create a buy-sell agreement - With this, you can outline what happens to the company in the event that your status as owner changes. This can include a divorce. This type of agreement can be set up to limit a person's ability to acquire part of the business in a divorce.

All of these things should be considered before you ever get close to the divorce process. In other words, think about these agreements when everything is going well with your relationship. A lawyer will be instrumental in taking the appropriate steps to create legally binding, enforceable agreements.

If divorce sneaks up on you without any preventative measures in place, you aren't necessarily out of luck. However, you will need to make some important decisions. For example, you may be able to sacrifice other assets in order to maintain full control of your business.

There are few things as important to you and your company than protecting your rights during divorce. As a small business owner, you must make decisions that are in the best interest of your company. This can be complex and challenging at times, but moving forward one step at a time will keep you on the right track.

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