To understand a “business divorce,” it helps to look at how most closely-held businesses begin: a group of close friends, colleagues, or family members share a vision of “the way things ought to be.” When everything is going smoothly, this kind of tight-knit business structure can be great: the company can make quick decisions and maximize opportunities. But when things start to go wrong, one (or more) of the tight-knit group may decide to leave the closely-held business. These “business divorces” can be as bitter, painful, and complicated as a dissolving marriage. The company has to find a way to remain viable, and the departing owners want to recoup the value they have put into the business. Because closely-held businesses rarely have a “succession plan” for departing executives, and because departing members often have no ready market sell their ownership-interests, business divorces can present hard-edged legal and business problems.
Howard & Spaniol can help. We have navigated the troubled waters of business divorce as both trial lawyers and legal advisors. Our lawyers have spent decades resolving business-divorce issues of ownership, management, control, valuation, liability, and protection. We help our closely-held business clients untangle their personal, professional, and financial interests. Howard & Spaniol strives to minimize business disruption and legal costs, but we know our way around a courtroom and we protect our clients. If you need help with a business divorce or you have questions about your closely-held business obligations or rights, please contact us.