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BizReport : Law & Regulation : February 05, 2014

Top 3 tips for troubled SMB owners on Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day stands to be a good revenue day for many retailers and businesses - both online and offline - but Valentine's Day should also be a reminder for small businesses. That reminder: don't mix business with pleasure - and if you do, protect yourself.

by Kristina Knight

This Valentine's Day one expert is offering his tips for small businesses to protect themselves in the case of owners divorcing. Matt Kaufman is the Head of Incorporation Services with Rocket Lawyer. Kaufman knows how difficult it can be to run a small business, but running a small business when one partner is divorcing the other is fraught with potential pitfalls.

How can SMB owners protect their business?

First, know the local law.

"Knowing local law is critical. While most jurisdictions will include the value of "enterprise goodwill" in a business appraisal, many will exclude "personal goodwill." Some states will not even distinguish between the two types of "goodwill" and allow for valuation of both. To maximize your results, your attorney and your business appraiser should agree on strategy and valuation methods, while keeping an eye on current cases, evidentiary rules and statutes that could affect the outcome," said Kaufman.

Second this about the transition before any moves are made. In the cases of spouses owning a business together, determine if working together is still possible. And, if not, how to make the best transition. Along those lines, hire an impartial appraiser to look at the business and what it is worth before moving forward.

Finally, don't be rash with any decision making.

"A personal break-up does not have to signal the end of your business. First and foremost, both involved parties need to separate discussions concerning the business from any private and personal property squabbles. Protecting the business -- its worth and integrity -- should be a top priority. What this means is removing emotional involvement from the situation (as much as possible) and trying to think and act objectively as possible," said Kaufman.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: Rocket Lawyer, SMB owners divorce tips, SMB tips, SMB trends, Valentine's Day

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