Shareholder/partnership Agreement Planning

No business plan is complete without a shareholder or partnership agreement containing buy/sell agreement that allows for the orderly transfer of ownership interests upon:

  • Retirement
  • Disability
  • Death
  • Disagreement

Specifically at death or disability, for example, the remaining owners may not want to remain in business with the deceased owner’s heirs or the non-active disabled owner. As well, the heirs or disabled owner may prefer to receive the value of the deceased owner’s share of the business in cash.

Proper funding should be in place to ensure that money is available to buy the shares of a deceased or disabled owner, should the event occur. Life insurance is the most efficient means providing the necessary dollars at a far lower cost than borrowing to fund a buy-out. Funding the buy-out directly from cash flow can be difficult as the loss of the owner has probably already placed strains on the cash flow of the business. The best alternative is to be prepared with life insurance.

Whether it is more tax efficient to use corporate or partnership-owned rather than personally-owned life insurance, there are also concerns about :

  • Creditor protection
  • The effects of provincial family legislation
  • The complexity of tax consequences

Our advisors can help you determine which approach is appropriate for your circumstances.