Promised ownership

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Nov 01, 2005

A veterinarian I don't know that well offered me an opportunity to work for a clinic she's purchasing, promising that if we're compatible, she'll allow me to buy in. How do I formalize our agreement?


Cynthia R. Wutchiett, CPA
"Finding out whether you're compatible before owning a business together makes sense," says Veterinary Economics Financial Editor Cynthia Wutchiett, president and co-owner of Wutchiett Tumblin and Associates in Columbus, Ohio. "Unfortunately, there isn't really a way to guarantee what the circumstances will be, but you should request a letter of intent that states that the owner plans to sell you a portion of the practice," says Wutchiett. "It may itemize the expected timing of the buy-in, terms of the purchase, percent of the practice she's offering to sell, financial potential, and how the value will be established. Your attorney can advise you on what level of detail to ask for in this letter—and also the enforceability."