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I own 50 percent of a plumbing business. We intend to sell it to our two key employees. We need someone to take over the inner workings and have a third party willing to buy in, but she wants to include her bookkeeping business as part of the package.

Nina Kaufman answered October 19, 2008
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/answer/221698
By "we intend," do you mean that you and your other 50 percent partner (assuming there is only one) intend to sell, or is it just you? That can change the dynamics of all this.

Also, your potential employee-purchasers may not want to be saddled with this particular third party--and especially not her bookkeeping business (when they may only have wanted to be involved in a plumbing business). They may have ideas of their own as to how to handle the "inner workings."

Either bring the third party on first, integrate her into your business and then sell the package to the employees . . . or present the option to the employees and let them decide whether they want her to be part of the package.

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq. is an award-winning New York City attorney, edutainer and author. Under her Ask The Business Lawyer brand, she reaches thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners with her legal services, professional speaking, information products, and LexAppeal weekly ezine. She also writes the Making It Legal blog.