When acquiring small or medium sized businesses, buyers often utilize a tool called an “earn-out”, which is a form of contingent consideration that sellers may receive at some point in the future in addition to the cash that they stand to receive at closing. Though earn-outs can be useful and mutually beneficial tools for both buyers and sellers under the right circumstances, without careful structuring and consideration they can fraught with risk and unintended consequences.

Before you propose an earn-out as part of your own acquisition, I’d encourage you to think through some of the risks and considerations that we discuss in today's episode. Please enjoy!

The Merits, Risks, and Possible Unintended Consequences of Earn-Outs