Whether or not the crime committed was directly related to the business, being incarcerated will have some serious consequences for both the owner and the business itself. The obvious impact is the inability to run the business until the crime has been resolved, but it can also affect reputations and licensing (for businesses that require a license, such as a doctor, therapist or attorney).

The more subtle effect is that debts don’t stop coming due just because the business owner is behind bars. Unless preventative steps are taken, a business owner could end up leaving prison with no money in the bank, a destroyed credit rating and creditors calling on a daily basis.

One of the most important things to do is designate a trusted person to handle financial accounts while in jail. Notify your banks and financial institutions of this ahead of time, so they can set up an account for the incarcerated person to access. Other preventive steps include closing any unnecessary accounts such as streaming services, cell phone service or subscriptions that might incur debt while you are incarcerated.

If you are a home owner, it is also a good idea to discuss the situation with your mortgage company ahead of time to determine if you can lower your payments while you are incarcerated or, if necessary, sell your house and put some of the proceeds into a savings account that you can access once you’re out. Finally, it’s a good idea to temporarily give your assets to someone you trust, such as a close family member or friend, if you can afford to do so. Alternatively, you can create a legal document to transfer your assets and grant power of attorney to a financial professional for the duration of your sentence.