Virginia Beach, VA asked in Business Law for Virginia

Q: My significant other of nine years are now parting ways. How do we transfer ownership of the business we have together?

We never got around to changing the business structure. It is a sole proprietorship in her name. We have vending and a business bank account. Is there an easy way to just change or do we file for new business license and essentially start over completely, applying for vending accounts, etc.? Trying to keep what is established in sync if possible. She wants a clean break and wants nothing to do with it.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Timothy R Johnson
Timothy R Johnson
  • Berryville, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: I know no one likes this answer because it's exactly what you are trying to avoid...but you need to speak with a business attorney directly. While we can give general advice about what you need to do, there's almost always something unique to your situation that can adversely impact your interests if it is not taken into consideration in a simple forum response.

She might be able to just "sell" her business to you directly where you take over essentially as the sole proprietor. (Though it sounds like it might have actually been operated as a partnership over time. This is where the legal nuances may get tricky if not handled carefully.) If the accounts are reliant on your partner's involvement, there may be issues with retaining those contracts.

In short, it'll be worth a few hundred dollars if you consult with a business lawyer about the situation. An error at this stage could cost you thousands of dollars later.

1 user found this answer helpful

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