SHAREHOLDER AGREEMENTS

Are you in business with someone else?

Do you want to secure your investment and ensure your rights are protected?

A shareholder or partnership agreement is a must-have document for any multiple-owner business.

They can be used to:

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Set out how decisions will be made between the partners

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Create an easy to use dispute resolution process to solve any disagreements

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Set out what happens if someone gets ill or sadly dies

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Include processes to deal with what should happen if someone leaves the business or breaches the contract

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Help future proof your business for unforeseen life events

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Ensure you are able to sell the business when the time comes

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Protect your family and finances for the future

What happens if you don’t have one?

If you don’t have a contract in place, you will waste valuable time trying to work things out and spend up to 10 times more in legal fees to solve any issues that arise. You run the risk of losing your share in the business and or not being able to sell it when a buyer comes knocking.

Don’t leave it until it is too late. No one thinks they will fall out when they first start working together.  Just like no one thinks they will get divorced, yet 1 in 2 marriages end that way. A shareholder agreement is like a prenup for your business. If you agree to the rules now, you can save yourselves a lot of time, money, and stress in the long run.

 

Reasons we hear why people don’t have a good contract in place and what we say about that

I can't afford it -
    •  Simple shareholder agreements start from £2500 plus VAT.
    • In a nutshell, the amount you invest to build one will be money well spent.
    • The bottom line is you can’t afford not to!
    • If you fall out without a shareholder agreement, legal fees will cost at least 2/3 times that to resolve the issues through solicitors.
    • And 10 times or more, if you end up in court.
    • Not to mention the damage to the business whilst you argue over things.
We're family - we get on just fine -
    • Many owner-managed businesses are also family run.
    • Having a family-run business can make for a huge success. Everyone understands each other and everyone has the same aim.
    • The problem is, families get bigger and other people get involved.
    • And even the happiest families fall out from time to time.
    • No one who gets married plans to get divorced but almost 1 in 2 marriages fail.
    • Think of this as a prenup for your business…
I got one online -
    • We get it…£2500 seems like a big investment.
    • And we know there are cheaper alternatives out there.
    • The thing is these templates are just that, templates. They aren’t even always produced by qualified solicitors.
    • You won’t know if it’s wrong – you don’t know, what you don’t know.
    • They have been built as a one size fits all, when every business is unique and every owner has different aims and objectives.
    • We take our time to fully understand what your hopes and dreams are for the business that you have built up.
    • Our contracts are painstakingly constructed to provide a bespoke solution.
What if I want to sell the business?
    • When we work with you to build your agreement, we will cover what your future plans for the business are
    • We will help you work out what succession plans may be appropriate
    • We can advise on the prospects of a sale
    • And help make sure you have the right clauses to achieve it
Now I've got a problem - who can I call to help me -
    • Here at Aly Young Law, we will be there to help you if things do go wrong.
    • But we much prefer to prevent the issues from arising in the first place.
    • In our experience, as well as causing huge emotional distress, shareholder and partnership disputes damage the value of a business.
    • Everyone loses out
    • Let us help you avoid the problem in the first place.
What about my children?
    • Many people assume that their share of the business will go to their children.
    • This isn’t always the case. It will depend on what you have agreed with your business partner.
    • If you don’t have a contract, you might find that your wishes are not complied with.
    • It’s like not having a will.
    • On the other hand, some business owners will be nervous about the risk of having to deal with their business partner’s family.
    • We can suggest other alternatives that can help make sure the business stays in the hands of people who know how to run it.

Benefits of having a Shareholder Agreement in place –

Shareholder contracts can include clauses that achieve all of the following benefits:
  • Protection for all the shareholders from being diluted, in other words preventing the value of their shares being reduced.
  • Stopping shareholders from selling their shares to other people.
  • Providing a mechanism and process for solving disputes.
  • Protecting the business and the owners from things like death, illness, and bankruptcy.

Working with us

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A taylor-made and watertight contract that will support you and your business partners for the lifetime of your business

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A complimentary annual check-in to make sure that your agreement is still fit for purpose

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A user-friendly explanatory guide to explain the technical terms in your contract, so you can understand and use it on a day-to-day basis

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A letter of intention, which includes your individual personal wishes about the business, how it is to be run, and how your shareholding should be dealt with in certain circumstances

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A fixed price for the whole of the job

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Referrals to our trusted providers who can provide the money needed to pay for your share of the business at the appropriate time

GUARANTEES

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Taylor-made

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Watertight

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Annual check in

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Fit for purpose

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User-friendly explanatory guide

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Personal wishes

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Fixed price

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Trusted providers

Case study

Amy Ramage

MD | Creative Director  – Celibataire | Female leader | Judge

The background

I had been in business for over 6 years with my partner. By the time I sought Aly’s advice, our relationship had broken down and he had already instructed solicitors to act for him. Aly’s first question to me was, did we have a shareholder agreement? Sadly we didn’t.

The solution

Aly explained that because we were 50/50 owners, the impact of not having an agreement, was that we were effectively stuck in limbo. Aly painstakingly took me through the limited options available to me to try and resolve the impasse. Most of these involved some form of litigation, which could have cost tens of thousands of pounds. Unfortunately, my former business partner blocked all attempts to find a sensible solution. We went around in circles for several months, which cost considerable legal fees. Aly was always very apologetic that she didn’t have a magic wand to solve the problem. She was as frustrated as me that we couldn’t persuade the other side to be pragmatic over things.

The lesson

In the end, Aly was able to guide me to the other side. We couldn’t create a perfect solution, but we settled on something that meant I could move on. The whole process was extremely stressful and I never want to go through anything similar again. Aly was an incredible support, beyond her professional advice, she really understood on a personal level how emotional the situation was. I would not hesitate to recommend Aly for any business matter, she really was my rock in a dark time. If I do ever go into business ownership with someone new, Aly is already on speed dial to help us build our partnership agreement.

Case study

Paul Andrews

Serial entrepreneur | Business owner | Ambassador for SME’s | Radio show host | Speaker

The background

I recently started a new venture with 2 other business partners. As an experienced business owner, I knew how essential it was for us to have a partnership agreement to set out the rules around our respective shares of the business. Each of us is bringing something different to the table and we wanted to make sure that we understood and agreed what we were all expecting from each other.

The solution

I have worked with Aly many times over the last few years and I knew that she would take the time to understand each of us and make the process as painless as possible. Although Aly didn’t originally know the other 2 people, she made the effort to spend time with them and build a rapport, so that they knew they could trust she would look after their interests as well as mine. We had 3 face-to-face meetings with Aly and brainstormed various different scenarios.

The lesson

Aly pointed out a number of things we hadn’t thought about and helped us find solutions to some of the risks we were each facing. Even though I am an experienced owner, she came up with issues, that even I hadn’t thought about. By the end of the process, we felt totally confident that we had a robust, realistic and fair arrangement, that protected all of us and were all happy to sign on the dotted line.

If you want the peace of mind of knowing that you have a decent contract in place, let us help you sort that out

So don’t be the ones who get in a muddle. Work with us to get your contract sorted and get peace of mind knowing that you can concentrate on building your business, with the right plan in place. It’s simple to book your free discovery call today. Just follow the link below.

Book your free discovery call today

Book your free discovery call today

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