Key Harrington Barnes, PC

Unexpected changes in business ownership

A small Texas company could face a period of turmoil in the event of the death or other premature departure of a business owner. When a departure is expected, there is time to evaluate how or if the company will continue to operate. In some cases, employees might be given notice that operations will conclude. In other cases, a sale of the business could be orchestrated to ensure that the company has the opportunity to continue to operate. When changes happen suddenly, however, employees can be left wondering if they will continue to have jobs.

Large businesses may deal with the issue before it arises to ensure that a plan is in place to keep the company in existence, especially if there are investors or stakeholders involved. In a partnership, it might seem clear that the remaining partner or partners would continue to own and operate the company in question. However, the death of one of the partners could lead to legal action on the part of that individual's heirs if a plan is not in place for buying out that party's share of the business.

Small business owners may not even realize that a business plan is needed as they start out. However, it is helpful to create a plan for disposing of or continuing to run the business after one is no longer able to be involved. Even better, it may be wise to develop a comprehensive business plan prior to initiating operations so that all legal responsibilities can be addressed at the outset.

It may be helpful to obtain business advice from an experienced attorney so that an appropriate strategy for starting, growing, and managing a company is selected. Creating a plan to deal with unexpected events and other contingencies can protect both one's employees and heirs in the future.

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