We frequently stress the importance of "exit" terms, also known as buy sell provisions, when clients first meet with us regarding a new or expanding business. Many times, though, this discussion is met with objections. What we hear most often from clients is that everyone is working in perfect harmony and they are King(s) of the World that will be together forever. However, this is Pretzel Logic and Only a Fool Would Say That. Since they Don't Take [you] Alive, at some point Everything Must Go - either voluntarily or by force. We strongly believe it is far better for parties to determine their own fate rather than be left Reelin in the Years.
In the absence of a buy sell agreement, whether executed at inception or Century's End, a deceased owner's estate will take the place of the deceased. This means that after an owner dies, the surviving owner(s) could show up on Monday morning and find a Change of the Guard (be it a spouse, child or Josie, who was named in the will) telling them I Got the News, we, the heirs, are now a part of the business. Well, call me Deacon Blues.
Clients often doubt the probability of this situation occuring Here In the Western World but two recent Rolling Stones articles highlight a post-mortem business dispute involving Steely Dan member and co-founder Donald Fagen and the estate of late member and co-founder Walter Becker, who died after a swift four-month battle with esophageal cancer. Here, Becker's estate is contesting the validity of a 1972 buy sell agreement entered into before the two became Show Biz Kids with the release of breakthrough album, Can't Buy a Thrill. Fagen filed suit to enforce the 45 year [My] Old School agreement and to prevent widow Delia Becker from allegedly seeking appointment as a director on behalf of the estate, as could be her right without the buy sell agreement.
As Any Major Dude Will Tell You, the start of the business is an exciting and joyous occasion, and before you are Through With [the] Buzz, it's the perfect time to determine what will happen when things are not so harmonious. If you are uncomfortable having these discussions or unsure where to start, it doesn't have to be Two Against Nature, let us do the Dirty Work. We can provide advice regarding a variety of options for exit strategies, buy-sell and other protective provisions so you, your partners, family, Cousin Dupree, Peg, Rikki, and company can protect those Green Ear[n]ings.
Don't Do It Again by putting off these decisions, contact Kisner Law Firm's experienced attorneys today to help you protect Everything You Did before you have to Sign In [a] Stranger to your business.