What is a Share Sale Agreement
Shares are sold for a variety of reasons Quite often what a client begins to describe as a simple transfer of shares in fact becomes a sale of business, with one business partner selling out to another. Often the reason for selling shares is that one of the shareholder / directors in a company decides to leave the business.
In addition to selling the shares in the company, the exiting director also wishes to get out of collateral contracts such as the lease of the premises from which the business is conducted and directors guarantees.
A well drafted share sale agreement will not only effectively transfer title in the shares but also protect the rights of the party leaving the business from ongoing liabilities, and leave the remaining parties with ownership of the business assets.
Selling a business may be effected by selling the shares of the company that owns the business or selling the assets of the business. A sale of the assets of the business is the most common practice. The new owner does not need to concern themselves with the history of the company and whether it has complied with statutory obligations or paid the right amount of tax. This guide covers the sale of shares. Sale of business assets is covered in a guide dedicated to that topic.
Share sales are characteristically evidenced by an Agreement for Sale of Shares – a detailed agreement containing all the terms and conditions of sale. As in a sale of business assets or property, the agreement contemplates a three-step process in the sale of shares:Certificate and any other documents evidencing title to the shares and ownership of the business.
After the share sale is complete, the transaction must be notified to ASIC. The form to use is ASIC Form 484.