What happens if the company needs to be quickly sold because
of death or disability and it doesn’t make sense to transition your
company to any heir? If this applies to you, your family and your
employees and your customers are counting on you to have an answer.
Buy/sell Agreement if you Have No Co-Owners
Can you have a buy/sell agreement with someone who is not your
partner? You can, and it can be a good idea.
For many years, I had an agreement with another CPA who is in his
own private practice. He agreed to buy my practice if I died, and I
agreed to buy his if he died. We agreed that the purchase would be
one times the amount of revenue collected in the first year of practice,
and that amount would be paid to the deceased’s heirs 25% per year
for 4 years, plus the prime interest rate.
Under this arrangement my employees and customers would be in
good hands and my heirs wouldn’t have the burden of trying to sell
the company themselves and instead have the cash.
We did not “fund” the agreement with life insurance because we
really didn’t need to. We expected the earnings from the acquired
business to cover the payments as agreed. In some cases it may make
sense to include life or disability insurance policies in the buy-sell
agreement in the typical manner, so that those policies could be used
to fund the purchase/sale in case of a qualifying event.
Excerpt from “50 Ways To Leave Your Business (There Must Be) by Sandra Finch. Now available on Amazon.