What Are Some Best Practices For Business Continuation?

Establishing a buy/sell arrangement for a business involves defining the terms and conditions under which owners can buy or sell their interests in the company. This arrangement helps ensure a smooth transition of ownership and minimizes potential conflicts. Here are some best practices to consider when establishing a buy/sell arrangement.

Define the Triggering Events

Determine the events that trigger the buy/sell agreement, such as death, disability, retirement, divorce, or voluntary departure. Specify the conditions that require a buy/sell agreement to be activated.

Valuation Method

 Establish a transparent and fair valuation method for the business. Common approaches include using a formula, independent appraisal, or a combination of methods. It's crucial to update the valuation to reflect the current market conditions regularly.

Funding Mechanism

Determine how the buyout will be funded. Standard methods include cash payments, installment payments, third-party financing, or using insurance policies. Identify the funding sources and establish the mechanism for distributing payments.

Determine the Purchase Price

Specify how the purchase price will be calculated, whether it's a fixed price, formula-based, or determined by an independent appraiser. Consider including a mechanism for adjusting the price based on certain factors, such as changes in financial performance or market conditions.

Identify Potential Buyers

Determine who has the right to buy the departing owner's share. This could be existing owners, the company itself, or a combination of both. Specify the order they can purchase and establish a time-frame for responding to a buy/sell notice.

Buyout Process

Review and Update

Periodically review and update the buy/sell agreement to ensure its relevance and accuracy. Changes in the business structure, ownership, or legal requirements may necessitate updates. It’s advisable to involve legal and financial professionals in the review process.

Communication and Documentation

Establish clear communication channels and document all buy/sell agreement details. Ensure that all relevant parties, including owners and legal advisors, understand the agreement terms and any updates.

Seek Professional Advice

Consulting with legal, financial, and tax advisors is crucial when establishing a buy/sell agreement. They can help ensure compliance with laws and regulations, provide guidance on valuation and taxation, and assist in drafting a comprehensive agreement.

Legal Considerations

Consider legal aspects like corporate bylaws, articles of incorporation, partnership agreements, or operating agreements. Ensure the buy/sell agreement aligns with these existing documents and meets all legal requirements.


The best practices may vary depending on the nature of your business, the number of owners involved, and the applicable jurisdiction. It is highly recommended to consult with professionals experienced in business law and succession planning to tailor the buy/sell arrangement to your specific circumstances.

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