Fixed Price Buy-Sell Agreements and the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017


Since the idea of a fixed price buy-sell agreement is appealing and conceptually simple, many companies employ it. The problem is that the parties seldom reset the prices in their fixed price agreements — a major problem in the current environment considering the value of many businesses changed under the new tax law. In this post, we consider the impact of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act on fixed price buy-sell agreements.

Buy-Sell Agreements Stories

A Tortuous Buy-Sell Agreement Process


One day a number of years ago, I received a call from an attorney. On that initial call, he told me about a bizarre buy-sell agreement process that was underway. The attorney represented a company. Based on a buy-sell agreement of some age, an option provided by the agreement had been triggered, and one of the companies had the right to acquire the company at its fair market value.

Buy-Sell Agreements

The "Words on the Page" Define the Valuation Assignment for the Parties or for Business Appraisers


The pricing mechanism is that part of a buy-sell agreement that defines how the price for transactions triggered under it will be determined.  There are three basic types of pricing mechanisms: Fixed price buy-sell agreements. The price at which transactions occur is set by agreement of the parties within some buy-sell agreements.  The price is set […]

Buy-Sell Agreements for 100% Owned Companies

A Better Idea Than You May Think


In a recent conversation with an author, lawyer and business transition planner, the topic of buy-sell agreements for companies that are 100% owned by a single shareholder came up. Nick Niemann, author of The Next Move for Business Owners, was talking about transition and exit planning when the broad topic of buy-sell agreements arose. I’m not sure who mentioned the subject first, but we both agreed that it is a very good idea for a company to have a buy-sell agreement with its shareholder, even if there is only a single owner.

Shotgun Buy-Sell Agreements Are Not Ideal


Shotgun agreements are found in some buy-sell agreements, but we do not see them regularly. Often used to break deadlocks between owners, a shotgun buy-sell agreement is an agreement where, upon the occurrence of a trigger event, one party makes a determination of price and the other party chooses whether to buy or sell at the given price. While I don’t recommend this type of agreement, in this post, we discuss some of their common characteristics as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

Thinking About Selling Your Business? Don’t Wait to Fix Your Buy-Sell Agreement


The story in this post represents a composite from recent discussions with clients revolving around the question – “If a sale in the foreseeable future is a possibility, should you bother to be sure that your buy-sell agreement is in good working order?”

Buy-Sell Agreement Pricing Should be Responsive to Changing Conditions


A recent post by Matt Crow, president of Mercer Capital, on our RIA blog, RIA Valuation Insights, gives me a reason to jump back in to posting here. In his recent post, “An All-Terrain Clause for your RIA’s Buy-Sell Agreement,” he addresses buy-sell agreement pricing provisions for a rapid, substantial change in company performance.

Introduction to Trigger Events for Buy-Sell Agreements


Buy-sell agreements are designed to accomplish one or more business objectives from one or more of several viewpoints: the corporation, the employee-shareholder, the shareholder who is not an employee, and any remaining shareholders. The buy-sell agreement provides for what happens to the shares of owners who leave, for whatever reason, whether favorable or unfavorable. In this post, we walk through several trigger events, accounting for the favorable and unfavorable circumstances, and considerations that impact the company, the shareholders, and the buy-sell agreement.