I was away for a couple of days and have just seen your question.
In England, business interests will generally be considered by the court as matrimonial assets, and their value will therefore need to be added to the matrimonial pot.
This is irrespective of which spouse founded or ran the business.
When it comes to valuing a business, this will normally be done if you and/or your partner own a business outright or is a significant shareholder. This valuation will be taken into account when the court decides upon a financial settlement. Either of you can arrange a valuation for shared business interests, but usually if just one person owns it they would be the one to request a valuation.
The valuation can be a complex process as it depends upon:
- The standard of living that the business supports
- Assets such as property, vehicles etc.
- The value of personal and business pensions
- Whether or not it is possible to extract capital sums from the business
- Whether or not it is possible to borrow money against the business or its assets
- The ownership structure of the company
As it is so complex, a specialist accountant will usually need to be consulted for an accurate valuation.
If you can agree with your wife on the value of the business, then the process will be more straightforward and less costly.
Once the business is valued, how it is treated by the court is dependent on the ownership structure. If, for instance, as it is owned outright by both of you, it will be treated as another marital asset.
So the equity holding will be a relevant factor but not necessarily the deciding one.