A business partnership is an agreement between you and at least one other person in which you start, own and run a business together. When you first start the business, it may be difficult to imagine a situation in which you would ever leave it.
Nevertheless, there may come a time when you wish to sell your share in the business and move on to something else. If a business partnership is analogous to a marriage, then selling your interest in it is a bit like a divorce. Chron.com describes some steps you can take to keep your business divorce amicable.
1. Choose the right person to sell to
When it comes to selling your interest in a partnership, you essentially have two choices: have your partners buy you out or sell to an outside party. The outside party then becomes a partner in the business. Therefore, your partners should have a say in whom you sell to if you choose that route.
2. Set the new owner up for success
Perhaps you have found a new partner whom you and your existing partners agree has the potential to be a success. However, this person does not have the benefit of the experience you have had and the knowledge you have gained as a partner in your business. Plan to take some time to train the new partner so that the business can continue to thrive after your departure.
3. Negotiate a fair price
This is important regardless of how you sell your share of the business and to whom, but it is especially important when your other partners are buying you out. The sale price should compensate you for what you have invested in the company without placing an undue burden on the remaining partners.
Having a buyout agreement in place when you start your business allows you and your partners to prepare for the day when one of the partners wishes to leave the company and plan for all possible contingencies.