Imagine you and your business have reached the pinnacle.  Profits are growing.  You have a strong management team.  You enjoy a strong competitive advantage.  Employees are happy.  And, imagine that you have decided that retirement looms, in 3-5 years.  What could go wrong? 

Of course, nothing is ever quite so perfect and much can go wrong without you even realizing it. For instance:

  1. A key employee leaves.  Not a big deal but then he recruits another employee away.  They form a competitive business and start calling on some of your customers they worked with for you, offering them deep price discounts for the same work;...

February 26, 2020

Every business owner questions how much his or her company is worth.  As you approach retirement, this is a critical question so you can determine if you will have enough to live the life you would like to in retirement.  For public companies where a market exists, the question is easy.  It is not quite so easy for private companies.  Obviously, this question is critically important, for instance, when determining how much an owner might need to spend to fund a purchase of a co-owner’s shares.

Experienced professional exist who do this for a living.  Those persons will tell you that while there is a great deal of science involved, there i...

February 17, 2020

The dynamics within a business are numerous and all must be considered when reaching agreement on a buy-sell agreement.  Various provisions can be included in the agreement to help owners ensure all are treated fairly.  For instance, the agreement can include:

  1. “Tag along rights.”  These rights permit a minority owner to join in a sale a majority may be considering.  Imagine if a majority owner is selling his or her interest and the purchaser is someone the minority owner cannot or will not want to be in business with for whatever reason.  Or, consider if the majority owner obtains a favorable deal to sell his or her interest—the minority will h...

February 10, 2020

A buy-sell agreement is an agreement between owners by which they decide how to deal with the “6 D’s” that can challenge a business.  These “D’s” are death, disability, divorce, distress (financial, like bankruptcy), disputes (with your partners) and disengagement (e.g., retirement).  For instance,

  1. Death--the stock you own in your company is your personal property and, if you die, your wife or children or other heirs will receive it.  Is this the best solution for your business and your co-owners or would your wife or children prefer to be bought out at the fair market value of the shares?

  2. Divorce—as a marital asset, your divorcing spouse...

February 4, 2020

Likely, if you are asking yourself this question, then you have already started the process, even if it just a mental rundown of options.  And, of course, most people involved with succession planning would tell you that the best time to start is “yesterday.”  The reason is that the process can take a substantial amount of time.  For instance, think about discussing a “buy-sell agreement” with your partners.  While the drafting might not take long, reaching an agreement with your co-owner may involve a substantial period of time.  This is particularly true when there are differences in ages, family obligations, ownership amounts, etc.  When co-owners a...

January 29, 2020

What is succession planning? 

At its simplest, succession planning is just as it sounds—planning on who might succeed you in your business.  While you might believe you will go on forever, succession planning takes into account the “6 D’s” which can cause a change in ownership structure.  Those are:  death, divorce, disability, distress (financial, like bankruptcy), disengagement (retirement) and disputes (with your partners).   A plan may be as simple as creating a will leaving your business to a child who is already the “heir apparent” to a complex analysis of how to increase profitability over a several year period so that a sale of the company may...

August 24, 2017

PEPPER PIKE, Ohio --- Kaufman, Drozdowski & Grendell, LLC (KDG), a law firm on the East Side of Cleveland focused exclusively on providing a new approach to outside counsel for small and middle market companies, is pleased to welcome Jean R. Robertson and Evan T. Byron to the firm’s partnership. These additions bring KDG’s total attorney count to nine and expand the firm’s service offerings to include robust creditor-debtor rights and restructuring capabilities.

Robertson and Byron join KDG’s six partners, Arthur M. Kaufman, James M. Drozdowski, Henry G. Grendell, Stephen P. Owendoff, Matthew J. McCracken, Rose Marie L. Fiore; and Of Counsel Amie LaBahn...

April 19, 2017

PEPPER PIKE, Ohio --- Kaufman, Drozdowski & Grendell, LLC (KDG) is a new law firm with a sharply-defined focus: reduce overhead, increase client satisfaction and become an innovator in the crowded legal services market in Northeast Ohio. Having spent time on both sides of the attorney-client relationship – as partners in large Cleveland law firms and as in-house counsel to area businesses – the firm’s founders saw a real need for a more personal and practical approach to the delivery of legal services.

KDG’s value proposition lies in its ability to deliver the same top-quality legal work to clients more efficiently and cost-effectively than its competit...

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Kaufman Drozdowski & Grendell, LLC   29525 Chagrin Boulevard, Suite 250, Pepper Pike, Ohio 44122   440.462.6500