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Agreeing on the value of a family business

The Bay Area boast as residents many married couples who take the risk of starting or running their own business. Whether or not they are both actively involved in the affairs of the business, many families rely on them both as their primary source of income and as their largest nest egg among their assets.

When things are going smoothly, the couple might not think much about what their business would be worth since, after all, they are not planning to sell. However, in the event of a financial crisis, a high-asset divorce or separation, or a death in the family, it may be necessary for the couple to decide the value of the business.

Short of just selling the business, which may not be the best financial move, the best thing to do when it comes to putting a value on one's business is to hire someone who is a business evaluator or other accounting professional with a background in calculating the net worth of a business. There are ways one can estimate the value of his or her small business as well, but these are only estimates which a court may or may not accept, especially over the opinion of an expert.

Since it often this type of expert's opinion which a court is going to likely trust, it's very helpful when the parties involved agree on the business evaluator they want to use, either as part of a collaborative divorce process or in connection with some other agreement. This approach can save thousands of dollars in additional legal fees.

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