In fact, a quandary many buyers face is with situations where the owner is “the business” however, there are situations where retaining certain key employees is fundamental to the ongoing success of the business under new ownership.
If a business has low level, hourly employees who can easily be replaced, there is no need to get overly concerned about whether or not they will stay. To this point, it is not necessary for a buyer to meet with employees of a company pre-sale if in fact these are basic employees who of course are important, but their departure will not really impact the business.
After all, if the business is totally reliant on one key employee, does it really make sense for you to buy it?
Next, the question becomes how can a buyer guarantee that an employee will stay? The short answer is they cannot. Contractually, a seller cannot bind anyone else so forget the idea of including language in a contract whereby a seller agrees that specific employees will sign an employee agreement. While a buyer can certainly have a condition of the deal to provide for certain employee agreements to be executed, this can only be done between the buyer and employee.
What also needs to be considered is whether or not a buyer even wants to be bound by an agreement with any employee. On the one hand, a buyer may want the security of knowing an employee is contractually obligated to remain, but what if they soon discover they want to terminate them? Personally, unless there are highly unique circumstances,
Author of the 'How To Buy A Good Business At A Great Price©' series
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