When entrepreneurs in Florida get a divorce, they will need to deal with the business as part of the process of property division. This may be a business owned by just one person or a business that is jointly owned by both spouses.

The first step is to get the business appraised. Even if the finances are very transparent, this needs to be done by an objective professional. Appraising a business involves examining both tangible and intangible elements. These include equipment, any real estate owned, the likely income over the years ahead and the reputation of the company. It is important for the forensic accountant or other professional to review financial records carefully to make sure the owner is not trying to conceal the value of the business. This could include listing fake employees or altering profit or expense statements.

Once the business has been valuated, the couple must decide whether they will sell, split or continue to own the business. Usually, instead of selling, an owner might exchange the company for one of the other marital assets. If the person owns the business with several other people, there might be what is known as a cross-purchase agreement that address what happens in the event of one owner’s divorce. People should also make sure they understand the tax implications of selling or splitting the business.

People who have a business and other assets to divide may want to contact a Venice, Florida, property division law firm. The attorney might be able to give a person a sense of what to expect in this phase of the divorce as well as whether one spouse might be expected to pay alimony to the other.