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Oak Brook, Illinois

Buy-Sell Agreements

Illinois Attorney for Buy-Sell Agreements

A Buy-Sell Agreement is a legally binding agreement between partners of a business. It governs the future transfer of ownership interest in the business and outlines the terms and conditions under which an owner’s shares can be sold or transferred, and how.

Starting a new business is an exciting venture, but it is equally important to consider the long-term stability of the business when a partner dies, retires, or decides to exit the business. For most business owners, they choose business partners for a typical reason and unintended partnership and unwanted partners may affect the continuity of operation and control of the business.

A Buy-Sell Agreement secures the future of your business and ensures it is operated by the “right person.” Every business is different from each other, Motiva Business Law understands the unique challenges and opportunities that new businesses face. With our legal expertise, you can navigate the complexities of ownership transitions and business succession planning right from the beginning to ensure your business’s future stability and growth.

When Should we write a buy-sell agreement?

The best time to write a buy-sell agreement as right at the beginning when you work with your business partner or partners. The buy-sell agreement outlines the terms of the shareholder’s purchase and any rights associated with the purchase or sale. It also includes other terms about a shareholder’s retirement, disability, or death.

Key Elements of a Buy-Sell Agreement

A buy-sell agreement lists the conditions of a buyout or sale of a partner’s shares in your business corporation.

Key terms include:

  • Purpose of the business
  • Types of permitted transfers
  • Involuntary transfers of shares such as in the case of death or disability
  • Payment terms
  • Transfer on termination of employment, if applicable
  • Determination of purchase price


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Danya was a pleasure to work with. She was very professional, courteous, and had the expertise and knowledge to review our lease and franchise agreements. She gave great insight and recommendations on how we can protect ourselves and our business and to ensure the agreements were fair for both parties. I will be using her for future business law needs and highly recommend her to those looking for a business law expert.
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Buy-Sell Agreements FAQ

No, buy-sell agreements do not need to be filed with most states, particularly Illinois or Florida. Always check with a local attorney.

Buy-sell agreements and shareholder agreements are often used interchangeably and at a practical level, may not be different. Generally, shareholder agreements tend to have more terms and are more detailed, and buy-sell agreements are used for closely held corporations.

Immediately, nothing will happen since buy-sell agreements are not legally required. However, if a business partner or shareholder dies, wants to sell her shares, or becomes disabled, the corporation is at risk for litigation. Also, with the newly enacted Corporate Transparency Act that requires that business owners with a 25% or more interest file a beneficial owner information report, it is important to document how much each business partner owns in a business.

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