Shareholder Buy-Sell Template

A shareholder buy-sell agreement is a legally binding contract between shareholders of a company, typically a closely held one, that outlines how ownership shares will be bought and sold under certain circumstances. It is particularly important in startup companies in the event of a fall out between the founders, or the early departure of a founder.

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A shareholder buy-sell agreement is a legally binding contract between shareholders of a company, typically a closely held one, that outlines how ownership shares will be bought and sold under certain circumstances.

Here’s why such agreements are important:

  • Orderly Transfer: It establishes a clear process for what happens to shares if a shareholder dies, wants to leave the company, or faces another triggering event (disability, divorce, etc.). This avoids confusion and potential conflict among remaining shareholders or the deceased’s estate.
  • Prevents Unwanted Owners: The agreement can restrict who can buy the shares. This can be useful to prevent shares from falling into the hands of someone undesirable, such as a competitor.
  • Fair Valuation: The agreement determines a fair method for valuing the shares, which can be a major point of contention without such a provision.
  • Liquidity for Estates: For estates of deceased shareholders, the agreement provides a guaranteed buyer for the shares, which can be crucial for generating much-needed liquidity.

Overall, a shareholder buy-sell agreement helps ensure a smooth transition of ownership and protects the interests of both the company and the shareholders.

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