Buying out your business partner.
1. Mutual Releases (both): If this is going to be a clean break, the both of you need to execute mutual releases releasing each other from any causes of action or claims you might have against the other. If this is an amicable split, it might not seem necessary, but if you're leaving not on the best of terms, this is an absolute must.
2. Release of Company Liabilities (Seller): If you're the one leaving the business venture, the business still might have some liabilities and debts, for which you are personally liable, such as bank loans which you were required to personally guarantee. Some lawyers simply have the buyer sign an indemnity for you, which simply means that he (the remaining partner) agrees to pay the loans, and to protect you from liability against them. The problem with this is that the bank is not bound by this agreement, and if your partner at some point is unable to make the payments, the bank can still come after you. Sure you've got a contract, but your ex-partner is now bust, so what good is that going to do? Instead, ensure that your break is a clean one by getting the bank to release you from your personal guarantees when you leave.
3. Proper Corporate Filings (Buyer): If you're buying out a fellow shareholder (corporation) or member (LLC), it is important to execute the proper corporate paperwork and filings. For example, if buying out a fellow shareholder in a closely-held corporation, you need to have prepared proper corporate minutes in which the stock certificates are conveyed, and in which the seller resigns from all corporate offices, directorships and registered agency, if applicable. If the seller is a member in an LLC, you must make sure that he resigns as manager and (if there is more than one remaining member of the LLC) that all members consent to the seller leaving and to the sale, if any, of his membership interest.
Buying out a fellow partner (or selling out, as the case may be) can be relatively straightforward, so long as the proper procedures are followed.
If you need further advice on dissolving a venture, or buying out a fellow partner, contact me at email@example.com .