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Entrepreneurial couples need solid business plan, prenup

For many Texas couples in today's economy, leaving the corporate world to start your own business is an attractive option. Married partners who go into business together have the benefit of taking advantage of the state's business-friendly tax climate, as well as shared expenses, shared responsibilities, and shared dreams. However, while every entrepreneur knows a good business plan is essential to success, many don't realize that a solid prenuptial agreement is also crucial when going into business together.

Especially if couples start a business at the beginning of their marriage, it can be tempting for them to imagine things will work themselves out. However, both businesses and marriage can bring similar challenges, and love doesn't always conquer all. According to one small business authority at the University of South Florida Business Development Center, simply loving someone doesn't mean the business partnership will prove hassle-free.

She encourages couples who co-own a business to have an attorney outline a prenup for them. In Texas, prenuptial agreements can cover basic issues such as who keeps a pet after a divorce. Interestingly, without such an agreement beforehand, even seemingly simple topics such as pet custody can erupt into large-scale battles. Thankfully, prenuptial agreements also concern the more substantial subjects in divorce, such as property division and spousal support.

Just as a divorce can affect a business, the success or failure of a joint business can also affect a marriage. For instance, if a startup is extremely successful, one partner may want to work even more while the other may want to cut back. On the other hand, if a joint venture takes a while to get up and running, entrepreneurs can feel burned-out and may not have the energy to work on a marriage as well. Good businesspeople anticipate either situation, and can do so more comprehensively with the help of a prenuptial agreement.

Source: ABC Action News, "Going into business with your significant other brings special challenges," Brendan McLaughlin, Feb. 14, 2013

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

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