Business partnerships, like marriages, can sometimes end in divorce. Like a marital divorce, a business divorce can be amicable or contentious.
The breaking up of a business partnership, whether it involves a corporation, a limited liability company, or a partnership, is often a difficult and complex process, sometimes leading to drawn-out litigation.
Weiner Law is unique among New Jersey law firms in that it has a practice group devoted to business divorce.
Business divorce in New Jersey is a legal process that requires careful consideration and the skilled assistance of business divorce attorneys.
At Weiner Law, our experienced business divorce attorneys can provide you with the guidance and support you need to navigate the process successfully.
In this article, we will explore business divorce, the role of the business divorce attorney, and the costs associated with such legal services.
If you have questions or would like to speak with an experienced attorney, please contact us today.
What Is Business Divorce?
Business divorce is the legal process of ending a business partnership and unwinding the relationship between the owners.
Business divorces happen for various reasons, including disagreements over business decisions, financial disputes, the illness or retirement of one of the principals, misconduct by one of the principals, or changes in personal circumstances.
In most cases, a viable business will continue after the business divorce is included. Many cases involve the sale of one or more of the owners’ interests, either to the business itself or to the owners.
In other cases, the entire business is sold as a going concern to someone else. In rare instances, the process may involve the division of assets, the dissolution of contracts, and the settlement of outstanding debts and liabilities.
When a business partnership ends, there are important considerations for both the parties and others interested in the business, including employees or silent investors.
It is critically important to be guided by experienced attorneys who can guide the process and preserve the value of the business.
How Do I End a Business Partnership?
A business partnership is a legal relationship. When you decide it is time for you and your business partners to go your separate ways, you can end your partnership in several ways.
- Buy out a partner. You can buy another owner’s interest in the business. Typically, you need a business valuation before the negotiations can move forward.
- Sell to a partner. Conversely, you can sell your interest in the business to your partner using the same process you would use to buy them out.
- Removal of an owner. New Jersey law permits the removal of partners, and limited liability owners when there has been wrongdoing or the partnership cannot continue because of the conflict. Removal usually requires litigation and a court order.
- Sell the business to a third party. The parties can agree, or a court may order the sale of the business as a going concern to a third party, with the money to be divided between the owners.
- Dissolve the partnership. You and your business partner could agree to dissolve the business. A court may also order the dissolution of the business. This process may involve drafting a dissolution agreement and proceeding according to the terms outlined in that agreement, or securing a court order to dissolve the business.
Many partnership agreements include buy-sell agreements that provide guidance on how to handle a buyout. If there is no buy-sell agreement, you and your partner must agree upon a process before moving forward.
If you choose to end the business partnership through dissolution, there are additional issues that could arise during the dissolution process.
Some of these issues include adverse tax problems, future costly litigation, loss of assets, and loss of income or equity. The qualified business divorce attorneys at Weiner Law can assist you in navigating the issues that arise during the dissolution process.
Moving forward with any of these options to end your business partnership can be complicated and requires extensive knowledge of New Jersey’s business divorce laws. To find out more about business divorce, contact our office today.
How Can a Business Divorce Attorney Help Me?
Navigating a business divorce in New Jersey can be a complex and emotionally charged process. The attorneys at Weiner Law help our clients end their involvement with a business in a variety of ways, including:
- Legal expertise. Our business divorce attorneys have a thorough understanding of New Jersey’s complex business laws. We can help you understand your rights and obligations as a business owner, guiding you through the legal process step by step.
- Litigation Representation. The attorneys in our business divorce practice group are experienced litigators representing individual owners and businesses in lawsuits involving LLCs, closely held corporations, and partnerships. Our experience includes oppressed minority shareholders and members, judicial dissolution, expulsion and dissociation, breach of fiduciary duties, and breach of contract matters.
- Conflict resolution. Our attorneys can act as mediators to facilitate negotiations between partners, aiming for an amicable resolution whenever possible. We can help draft settlement agreements that protect your interests.
- Valuation of business interests. One of the most challenging aspects of a business divorce is determining the value of each partner’s stake in the business. We can help appraise the business and its assets to ensure a fair division.
- Legal documentation. Our lawyers will draft and review legal documents such as buyout agreements, partnership dissolution agreements, or court filings to help ensure they comply with New Jersey’s laws and protect your interests.
- Tax implications. Business divorces can have significant tax consequences. Our knowledgeable attorneys can help you navigate these complexities to minimize tax liabilities.
Ending your involvement with a business is not always a straightforward process, and typically involves some of the issues above.
Consulting with the experienced business law attorneys at Weiner Law will ensure you make it through the complexities of a business divorce successfully.
Issues a Business Divorce Attorney Can Help Me With
Our business divorce attorneys have a depth of knowledge on transactional and litigated divorce matters. Specifically, we help our clients with issues such as:
- Expulsion of limited liability company members,
- Minority shareholder oppression claims,
- Limited liability company minority oppression lawsuits,
- Business valuation,
- Deadlock among owners,
- Methods of dissolution,
- Breach of fiduciary duty,
- Misappropriation and prohibited competition,
- Termination of partnerships and joint ventures,
- Dissenter’s rights and valuation,
- Breach of owner’s agreements, and
- Succession planning
A business divorce requires skilled legal representation to protect your interests. If you are searching for a business divorce lawyer, please get in touch with our office today.
How Much Does a Business Divorce Attorney Cost?
The cost of hiring a business divorce attorney can vary widely, depending on several factors, including:
- Complexity of the case. Simple, uncontested business divorces will typically cost less than highly contentious, complex cases that require extensive legal work.
- Hourly rates. Many business divorce attorneys charge by the hour, with rates varying based on the attorney’s experience and reputation.
- Retainer fees. Some attorneys may require an upfront retainer fee, which is a deposit against future legal services. Retainer amounts vary.
- Case specifics. If your case requires expert witnesses, forensic accountants, or other specialists, these additional costs will be factored into your overall legal expenses.
- Negotiation vs. litigation. Resolving your business divorce through negotiation or mediation is generally less expensive than going to court, which can be a lengthy and costly process.
It’s important to discuss fees and payment structures with your business divorce lawyer during your initial consultation. At Weiner Law, we offer initial consultations where you can discuss your case, your budget, and how we can help you.
Contact an Experienced Business Divorce Attorney Today
Ending a business partnership in New Jersey requires careful planning, adherence to legal procedures, and open communication.
Whether your partnership ends amicably or through a more contentious process, consulting with a qualified business attorney can help ensure that you navigate the complexities of dissolution successfully.
Remember that every partnership dissolution is unique, and seeking legal guidance tailored to your specific situation is essential for a smooth transition and to protect your interests.
Weiner Law is proud to have a team of attorneys with a diverse area of expertise. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide range of legal disciplines, including:
- Corporate and business law,
- Land use and environmental,
- Family law,
- Education law,
- Real estate,
- Government and public,
- Entity law,
- Labor and employment,
- Workers’ compensation,
- White collar criminal defense,
- Cannabis law, and
- Trust and estates.
When you hire Weiner Law to represent you in your New Jersey business divorce case, you are getting the benefit of a well-known and respected firm that has been providing our clients in New Jersey with representation for over 40 years.
Our experienced business divorce attorneys go above and beyond for our clients and help them get the results-driven legal help they deserve. Contact us today for your consultation.