Buy/sell agreements: A way to protect your business and your family from the unexpected

Sudden events can cripple a small business.

One way to protect the business from such an event involving one of the owners is a tool called a buy-sell agreement.  A properly constructed buy-sell agreement allows the business to continue operations should something catastrophic happen to the owner, or even if the owner decides to retire. A buy-sell agreement is a legal contract that provides funding for the future sale of your business interest when an event is triggered.

Events that can trigger a buy-sell agreement include death of an owner, long-term disability, retirement and divorce. The buy-sell agreement immediately provides a buyer’s interest, and sets the triggers that can prompt a change in ownership. The buyers can be other people, or an entity, and there can be more than one buyer.

There are two common forms of agreements: In a cross-purchase agreement, the remaining owners purchase the share of the business that is for sale. In a redemption agreement, the business entity buys the share of the business. Some partners opt for a mix of the two, with some portions available for purchase by individual partners and the remainder bought by the partnership.

In order to ensure that funds are available, partners in a business commonly purchase life insurance policies on the other partners. In the event of a death, the proceeds from the policy will be used towards the purchase of the deceased’s business interest.

A buy-sell agreement is an important strategy to make sure a business continues if something happens to the owner. To schedule your no-cost consultation to find out how we help businesses just like yours every day, click the link at the bottom of this video page.

*Investments involve risk. Investment values will fluctuate with market conditions, and security positions, when sold, may be worth less or more than their original cost. You should always consult a financial, tax, or legal professional familiar with your unique circumstances before making any financial decisions. This material is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing in this material constitutes a solicitation for the sale or purchase of any securities. Any mentioned rates of return are historical or hypothetical in nature and are not a guarantee of future returns. Past performance does not guarantee future performance. Future returns may be lower or higher.