A fair amount of business owners are married. Some have children. And I’m not referring to the company, although the business could very well be the most demanding of all the kids. (God knows “it” gets tons of attention.)
What many entrepreneurs still fail to realize is that things happen. Partners die. Partners get divorced. Partners may want out of the company. And without a proper Buy-Sell Agreement in place, funded, and tied to a current business valuation there could be trouble.
Don’t think this is just about a male business owner and his pretty little wife. Plenty of companies are built by women. Strong, smart, independent women. So the spouse could be a man. Gender doesn’t make any difference. Spouses have rights. And they are legally entitled to assets. It’s likely those assets could very well be ownership in a business. Ownership in a business may also equate to a position in the company. What? “I don’t want that.” Few – if any – entrepreneurs do. They all enjoy control. It’s like a drug. But business owners remain serial procrastinators; they spend little – or no time – planning. Protecting.
So tonight, when you tuck yourself in bed and look over at the wonderful person you’re sleeping with… Consider a scenario where your co-owner’s spouse is now YOUR partner. Or worse yet, his or her new boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife is now in business with you. They may not have any experience, but they’ve got plenty of ideas and there’s not a darn thing you can do about it.
Yes, the whole scenario may have started with a big celebration, hugs and kisses all around, dancing, laughing, pictures, and lots of happy faces. But it may not end that way…and your next formal sit down may be in a lawyer’s conference room. No music. No cake. No smiles.
That’s when you’ll realize the honeymoon is officially O-V-E-R.
How much will it all cost?
My guess. A lot.