In the dynamic world of business, where uncertainties and unforeseen circumstances are ever-present, ensuring a smooth transition and uninterrupted operation of a company is of paramount importance. One invaluable tool that facilitates this seamless journey is a Buy-Sell Agreement. It not only protects the interests of shareholders but also fosters stability, trust, and long-term viability within the organisation.
Let us delve into the pivotal role played by a Buy-Sell Agreement and explore the five trigger events that activate its significance in preserving the future of a business.
What is a Buy-Sell Agreement?
A Buy-Sell Agreement is a legal document that sets out the terms and conditions for buying and selling a business when certain events occur, such as the death or disability of a business owner. The agreement also determines the value of the business, either through a predetermined price or a specified valuation method.
Buy-Sell Agreements often use life insurance policies to fund the potential buyout in the unfortunate event of a partner’s death. In the event of a business owner’s departure, the remaining owners have the option to buy the departing owner’s shares, which helps maintain the continuity and sustainability of the business.
What are the trigger events?
The Buy-Sell Agreement is activated upon the occurrence of these five trigger events:
When a business owner passes away, the agreement comes into effect, and the surviving owners have the opportunity to buy the shares previously owned by the deceased. This purchase is typically facilitated by using the insurance proceeds received.
2. Critical Illness
If a business owner is diagnosed with a critical illness that hinders their ability to contribute to the business, the Buy-Sell Agreement is triggered. In this situation, the other business owners will have the opportunity to buy the shares belonging to the critically ill owner. It’s important to have a clear definition of what qualifies as a critical illness in your agreement, as the payout for such cases may vary depending on insurance policies.
3. Total and Permanent Disability
When an existing business owner experiences a sudden and permanent disability that prevents them from continuing their work, the Buy-Sell Agreement is activated. The remaining business owners will then have the option to purchase the shares owned by the disabled individual. This provision ensures the continuity of the business despite the disability.
Upon reaching retirement age, many business owners may prefer to sell their shares and cash out. The Buy-Sell Agreement enables the other business owners to buy the shares of the retiring owner instead of selling them to an external party. This allows for a smoother transition and keeps the business within the existing ownership group.
If a business owner faces bankruptcy, the remaining business owner(s) have the right to purchase the shares from the bankrupted owner, preventing the assets from being liquidated to unknown parties. This safeguards the business and its assets during financial turmoil.
This article should not serve as a substitute for independent professional advice. Contact Summit Planners to schedule a consultation with our team of professionals.Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share