Buy-Sell Agreements for Baby Boomer Business Owners is an essential book for all successful business owners. The Prologue of the book, available with Kindle’s “Click to Look Inside” function, explains why it is so important for baby boomer business owners to focus on their buy-sell agreements. The Prologue to the book also provides an overview of what buy-sell agreements are supposed to do and how they should work. It summarizes Mercer’s key recommendation for the type of buy-sell agreement pricing mechanism that he believes is best for most successful closely held businesses.
Readers of this book are provided free access to Mercer’s Buy-Sell Agreement Review Checklist and the Shareholder Promissory Note Checklist.
Chapter 1 provides a story of a baby boomer business owner and how he learns what he and his fellow owners must do to “fix” the problems with their buy-sell agreement. The story may be instructive for you.
Now, dust off your agreement and read it in light of the valuable information in this new book.
- Does your company have a busy-sell agreement? If you do, you need to read this book. And if you don’t, you certainly need to read it.
- Do you know why your buy-sell agreement is not likely to work well if and when it is “triggered?” Read Chapters 2 and 3.
- What are the trigger events for your agreement? Are they adequately identified and specified? Do you know most buy-sell agreements focus on death as the primary trigger event, but death is the least likely thing to happen to you or your fellow owners? Consider divorce, disability, termination, retirement and on…. Read Chapter 5.
- Does your agreement have a fixed price? Is it current? Fixed price buy-sell agreements are a prescription for disaster. Read Chapter 6.
- Is the trigger price for your agreement set by a formula? Do you know that no formula will work all the time? Has it been calculated recently? What adjustments does the formula call for when circumstances change? Read Chapter 7.
- Does your buy-sell agreement have a “valuation process” to determine the trigger price? How will the appraisers be selected? What are their qualifications? How does the process work? Has it ever been invoked? What kind of value (trigger price) will the appraisers provide? Will it be reasonable for you as a seller – or as a buyer – because you won’t know in advance which you will be? Is the valuation language in the buy-sell agreement clear so there will be no misunderstandings? Read Chapters 7, 8 and 10.
- Do you know the best valuation process for the buy-sell agreements of the vast majority of successful businesses? Mercer describes the Single Appraiser, Select Now and Value Now process and why it works to solve the problems of fixed price agreements, formula agreements, and ill-specified valuation process agreements. Read Chapter 11.
- What else can go wrong with your buy-sell agreement? Read Chapter 12.