The breakup of a corporation, limited liability company or partnership is an extremely complicated and stressful process. Whether you are the minority asserting that the majority is acting fraudulently, illegally or oppressively towards you or the majority denying the same, you will need professionals to guide you through the process. One of the first people you will probably think of retaining is an attorney who can guide you through the legal process. Obviously, you want to retain an attorney who is experienced, knowledgeable, responsible, competent, diligent, and responsive to your needs. In addition, to an attorney, I strongly encourage you to consider the following professionals to help guide you through the process:
1. Business Valuation Expert– It is difficult, if not impossible to have a sense of what your interest in the company is worth without a business valuation expert. Unlike publically traded companies, it is difficult to know what your interest is worth without the guidance of a competent business valuation expert. Often the resolution of divesture litigation involves one side buying the other side out of the corporation. You should not engage in buy-out discussions until you have a sense of what would be a reasonable price to pay for or sell the interest in the company.
2. Real Estate Appraiser– If the company owns real property, I strongly encourage you to retain a real estate appraiser. Again, oppression litigation often is settled with one side buying the other out. It is generally always a good idea to consult with an experienced, real estate appraiser before you buy or sell an interest in a company that holds real estate. You don’t want to pay too much or receive too little because you don’t have a professional opinion as to what your interest could be worth.
3. Account/Tax Professional– It is almost certain that the resolution of a business breakup will have tax consequences. It is always a good idea to speak with an accountant or tax professional before you settle your case to try to structure the settlement in a way that is most tax friendly to you.