Absolutely, there is. You have to be very careful in this area, because selling a business to a third party involves a lot of variables.
Oftentimes, there would be the requirement of a non-compete for the owner of the company for a period of time. And that non-compete has value. In a divorce case, you have to value a business as if the spouse has the ability to literally walk across the street and open up the same business under a different name.
In companies where it appears there is a lot of value, you are going to see discounts from an evaluation standpoint for marketability. You may see a discount for a situation where they deal primarily with one or two customers, because those customers, in theory, are going to leave the business and go with the divorcing spouse if they open up another business. So there’s a significant difference there from an evaluation standpoint.
In Texas, personal goodwill is not a community asset. And oftentimes, especially in smaller businesses, the argument you are going to make is that the value of this business is based on the personal goodwill of the owner.
If that’s the case, then it has little value. You have to find a business appraiser who can separate the commercial goodwill from the personal goodwill. By commercial goodwill I simply mean will this company still have clients, customers, employees, capital, and continue to operate even without that party being part of that business? There are a lot of companies that will.