People in Ohio who own a business and who are getting married should take steps to protect that business. One of those steps may be creating a prenuptial agreement. This can help ensure that the business is considered separate marital property even if the other spouse helps out in the early days of the business. If the couple is already married, the business owner can create a postnuptial agreement. It is important that each person have a separate attorney review the agreement.
Another way to protect the business is by ensuring that provisions are in place to protect it in case the owner is divorced. How this is done depends upon the type of business entity, but there are a few issues that should be considered. For example, the provisions can deny voting rights to the spouse, require all owners to have a prenuptial agreement and reduce the likelihood that the spouse can take ownership.
It is important to keep marital finances and business finances separate. Investing marital money into the business could give the spouse a claim on it. The business owner should also set aside a salary. If this amount is put back into the business instead, the other spouse may be able to claim that the money should have gone into the household.
People should keep in mind that a prenuptial agreement is still vulnerable to court challenges. For example, if the court believes one person received insufficient legal counsel or if the prenuptial agreement was signed under duress, it might be dismissed in court. Postnuptial agreements may be particularly carefully scrutinized since there may be a greater possibility for coercion if the couple is already married.