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Getting Married as an Entrepreneur: What You Need To Know

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Being an entrepreneur comes with significant responsibilities. You have to juggle a lot of balls — from running the day-to-day operations of your business to keeping an eye on the big picture and ensuring your company’s long-term success.

However, like any other human being, it’s only natural that you might eventually want to settle down and start a family. But what does getting married mean for your business? If you’re an entrepreneur considering tying the knot, you must keep a few key things in mind. Here are some things you should consider before taking the plunge.

Have a sit-down conversation with your soon-to-be spouse

It’s probably the most common advice you’ll hear before getting married, but having a serious conversation with your partner about money is essential. Did you know that money is one of the top reasons couples fight? According to a survey by the American Institute of CPAs, 73% of couples say that money is a significant source of tension in their relationship. This part is especially crucial if you’re an entrepreneur because your business is likely a substantial source of your income and assets.

As a couple, you need to be on the same page about your financial goals and understand how your spouse feels about your business. Do they see it as a crucial part of your family’s financial stability, or are they more comfortable with you scaling back your involvement in the business? Being clear about these things from the start can help avoid any misunderstandings or disagreements down the road. And once you get married, you’ll want to revisit this conversation periodically to ensure you’re still on the same page. This way, you can make any necessary changes to your financial plans as your circumstances evolve.

Get a prenuptial agreement

A prenuptial agreement, also known as a prenup, is a legally binding contract between two people who are planning to get married. The purpose of a prenup is to protect each person’s assets in the event of a divorce. A prenup can protect your business interests if you’re an entrepreneur.

Without a prenup, your spouse could have a claim on your business if you get divorced. Even if they don’t have any direct involvement in the company, they could still potentially receive a portion of its value in a divorce settlement. A prenup can help you avoid this outcome by specifying that your business is separate property that will not be subject to division in the event of a divorce.

Of course, a prenup involves some delicate conversations and can be a bit of a minefield to navigate. So, you’ll need to consult a trusted family law attorney to draft a prenup that will be enforceable in your state. In doing so, you and your spouse can be completely transparent about your respective assets and debts.

Declare your business affairs

Suppose you’re married and your business is a sole proprietorship. In that case, it can automatically be considered a joint asset of you and your spouse. That means your spouse could get held liable for your business debts if things go south. To protect yourselves, you’ll need to organize your business affairs and get everything in order before tying the knot.

If your business is a partnership or corporation, you’ll want to get legal advice about the best ways to protect your interests and those of your spouse. You may need to restructure your business before getting married or create a shareholders’ agreement that outlines each person’s rights and responsibilities.

Husband and Wife Looking at Papers While sitting in the living room

It would be best if you also considered getting insurance to protect yourself financially if something happens to your business. Whatever steps you take, keep your spouse in the loop and get their input on any decisions that will affect them. After all, you’re now a team!

Plan for the worst

No one likes to think about the possibility of divorce, but it’s essential to be ready for the worst. That means having a solid exit strategy if things don’t work out with your spouse. If you own a business together, you’ll need to settle an agreement on how it will get divided if you divorce. It can be tricky, so it’s best to consult with a mediator to help you reach a common ground.

It’s also important to update your will and other estate planning documents to reflect your new marital status. If you don’t have a will, your spouse could inherit your entire business in the event of your death. And if you have young children, you’ll want to appoint a guardian in your will to take care of them if something happens to both you and your spouse. When it comes to your business, it’s always better to be ready for whatever may come.

Getting married as an entrepreneur comes with its own unique set of challenges. But if you take the time to prepare for the worst and protect your interests, you can set yourself up for a successful future with your spouse. The above are just a few things to remember as you plan your nuptials. You may also need to take other steps depending on your specific situation. Nonetheless, you can avoid any stressful surprises down the road by being proactive and getting everything in order before you tie the knot.

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