6034 West Courtyard Drive, Suite 100,
Austin, TX 78730

Call Us512-610-6199

austin divorce lawyerOnce a divorce process begins, you have endless things to think about and take care of. For small business owners, the list is even longer. You may worry that your divorce will permanently affect the success of your business, leaving you without a way to provide for yourself or your children. 

Understanding how businesses are valued and treated in a Texas divorce is an important first step in making wise decisions during the divorce process. While this blog gives a brief overview of business valuation methods, your attorney is the most qualified source of answers to your questions. 

What is My Business’s Market Value? 

Using the market valuation method means looking around at the value of recently sold similar businesses with a willing seller and a willing buyer. Requiring both the buyer and seller to be willing excludes any businesses whose prices may have been artificially lowered by an unwilling seller in a tight situation. 

...

TX divorce lawyerBusiness interests are often an important consideration in a high net worth divorce. A family business can represent a significant source of income, and it is likely to be one of the most valuable assets owned by a married couple. Since business interests must be included along with other assets when dividing marital property between spouses, determining the value of a business is crucial for making sure all assets can be allocated fairly. In these cases, spouses should be sure to understand the methods that may be used when performing a business valuation.

Three Methods of Business Valuation

There are multiple different approaches that can be taken when determining a business’s value. Typically, they fall into the following categories:

  • Asset-based valuation - The simplest method of business valuation involves a calculation of the total value of the assets owned by a business. The business’s debts or liabilities are then subtracted from this total to determine the value of the company. While this approach can determine the cash value of the tangible assets owned by a business, it may not take other factors into account, such as the business’s goodwill in the community, its relationship with its customer base, and the value that an owner brings to the organization.
  • Income-based valuation - This approach can be used to obtain an idea of the income that a business will likely generate in the future and its potential growth over the next several years. Methods such as discounted cash flow can look at the business’s past earnings and projected future earnings, while also considering how these earnings may increase if they are reinvested in the business to promote growth. This approach will often provide a better understanding of how a business will increase in value, ensuring that spouses understand the benefits of retaining ownership of business interests.
  • Market value - Another method that may be used to determine a business’s value will look at recent sales of other similar businesses in the same geographic area. This can provide an idea of how much the spouses would be able to receive if they sold the company during their divorce. However, this method is not always completely accurate, since factors that affected the selling price of other businesses, such as poor management, may not apply to the business owned by the divorcing spouses.

In many cases, a combination of these approaches is used to place a monetary value on a business. Once spouses have a full understanding of the value of this and other assets, they can determine how to divide their marital property fairly. In some cases, one spouse may retain full ownership of a business, while the other receives other assets of a similar monetary value. Spouses may also decide to sell a business and divide the profits, or they may choose to continue to co-own a business after they complete their divorce.

...

TX high asset divorce lawyerThere are multiple financial issues that will need to be addressed during a high asset divorce. Couples who have a high net worth may need to complete complex property litigation as they determine how to divide the assets they own. These concerns can be especially important for spouses who are business owners, including those who are doctors, accountants, chiropractors, or operators of other types of professional practices. In many cases, a business will represent a primary source of income for a spouse, and they will want to ensure a company or practice can continue operating successfully after their divorce is complete.

Division of Business Interests

A business will be considered part of a couple’s community property if it was founded or acquired during their marriage. If one spouse owned a business before getting married, it will usually be considered separate property. While separate property will remain under the ownership of one spouse, the other spouse may ask to be reimbursed for contributions made toward the business, including time and effort put toward building the business or marital funds that were used to pay off business debts.

When a business is included in community property, spouses will need to determine how to divide business interests along with their other assets and debts. To ensure that a business can remain in operation, one spouse may maintain ownership of a business while the other keeps other assets of an equal value. One spouse may also purchase the business interests the other spouse would be entitled to receive, either through a cash payment or by making arrangements to pay the amount owed over time.

...

TX divorce lawyerThere are a variety of financial issues that may need to be addressed during a high-asset divorce, and one of the key considerations for many spouses is the possibility that their former partner may be attempting to hide assets. This is often done with the intent of influencing the property division process or to reduce the amount of spousal support or child support payments that a person would be required to make.

When spouses have a high net worth, complex property litigation may be needed to sort out multiple different types of assets and ensure that they are divided properly. Litigation may also address any attempts to conceal assets or income. Concerns about hidden assets are likely to arise if one spouse is a business owner. Some common ways that a business may be used to hide assets include:

  • Misreporting income and expenses - A business’s financial records can be used in a variety of ways to conceal assets, such as by failing to report cash payments or reporting fraudulent expenses.
  • Paying nonexistent employees - A business owner may claim that they are paying a salary to an employee while funneling this money into a private account. In some cases, a person may employ a friend or family member and overpay them as a way to have them hold money until the divorce is complete.
  • Depreciating business assets - A person may claim that assets owned by a business, such as equipment, vehicles, or real estate, are worth less than their actual value. By attempting to reduce the overall value of the business, a spouse may attempt to avoid dividing this or other marital property fairly.
  • Overpaying taxes - A business owner may purposely pay more taxes to the government than are owed with the intent of receiving a refund after their divorce has been finalized.
  • Delayed transactions - A person may wait to sign business contracts or complete major transactions until after a divorce has been completed, allowing them to avoid reporting this income or any increase in the value of the company during the divorce process.
  • Transferring business assets to others - A spouse may give an ownership share of their business to a family member or friend, or they may transfer other assets into someone else’s control. This may be done with the intent of removing these assets from the marital estate while planning to resume ownership of the assets after the divorce has been finalized.

Contact Our Austin, Texas Business Valuation Lawyers

If your spouse is a business owner, you will want to make sure all of the financial issues related to the business are considered properly during your divorce. At Powers and Kerr, PLLC, we will work to make sure all business assets and financial records are uncovered during the discovery process, including working with forensic accountants to gain a full understanding of the value of business assets and all forms of income and cash flow. We will help you determine how these matters should be addressed during the divorce process, and we will work to protect your rights and financial interests at all times. Contact our Austin high asset divorce attorneys today at 512-610-6199.

...

TX divorce lawyerDivorce involving business owners can be particularly complicated, especially in an Austin high asset divorces. When one or both of the spouses own a business, the division of community property can become extremely complex. The following are just a few special considerations for dividing a business in a high asset divorce. If you have questions or need assistance, you should get in touch with an Austin high net worth divorce lawyer as soon as you can.

Business Appraisals Are Extremely Complicated and Should Be Done Early

Chances are good that much (if not all) of your interests in a business will be classified as community property and will be subject to distribution. Sometimes spouses own a business together, while in other scenarios only one of the spouses is involved in a business. In either circumstance, it will be essential to have a proper business appraisal done to ensure that the court knows precisely how much your business (or business interests) are worth when determining how to divide community property.

Business appraisals are extremely complex and require the skills of an experienced business appraiser. A business appraiser can complete different types of business appraisals, including those for the purposes of selling the business and those for the purposes of identifying the value of a business in a divorce. Businesses can be valued in various ways, as well. For example, a business appraiser can provide a fair market value, which can take into account all intangible assets of the business as well as tangible assets (like equipment and furniture). A fair market value provides a number that reflects what the business might sell for. You can also consider a capitalization of earnings valuation which attempts to calculate the “net present value” of the business based on “its projected future earnings.” In addition to appraising the business, you may also need a valuation of your business stock.

...
Super Lawyers Super Lawyers TBLS AV Martindale
Avvo Top One Expert Top 10 Law Firm
Back to Top