Well-drafted business governance documents include buy-sell agreements to address deadlock among the owners.
A shotgun buy-sell is an offer that sets only the price. It can be accepted as either an offer to buy out the other side or to sell to the other side at the price in the offer.
Shotgun buy-sells are an efficient means to set the price of a transaction, but may be flawed when the owners have unequal knowledge of the business or inadequate financial resources.
What happens when the owners of a business can’t come to an agreement on an issue that is critical to the business? This happens when neither side has a majority. For example, when there are two 50-50 owners or when unanimous agreement is required and there are holdouts. Our discussion today concerns how the owners of a small business may use contractual arrangements to address this problem.
These contracts are known generally as buy-sell agreements, and that is that they require one party to sell and the other to buy. Now, buy-sell agreements can also include shotgun sales, which is a buy-sell agreement that’s triggered by a deadlock. And we’re going to focus today on the shotgun sale. That refers to the type of agreement that allows one party to set the price and then allows the other the party to decide whether, based on that price, they’re going to buy or sell.