Interest Dilution and Damages as Contribution-Default Remedies in Failing LLCs and Partnerships
Business Law Today, Nov. 6, 2018
4 Pages Posted: 12 Dec 2018 Last revised: 13 Dec 2018
Date Written: November 6, 2018
Failure is not an option — at least not until it happens. Starting a venture with the attitude that failure is not an option may reflect the American spirit, but the reality is that attitude alone does not control the fate of the venture — even if it did, events can change attitude, precipitating the decline of a once-promising idea. Market or other forces often affect whether a venture fails or succeeds, and failure is a definite possibility for most ventures. Advisors working with venturers in their euphoric, optimistic days of formation must maintain a realistic perspective and help them draft provisions of their entity documents that effectively address the possibility of failure. For instance, the preference for particular contribution-default remedies can change as a venture’s promise and condition change. Consider how the members’ preference for interest dilution and damages can change as the fortunes of a venture change. Recognizing such preferences should affect the venturers’ decisions as their advisors help them draft the entity documents. A recent case from the Delaware Superior Court and earlier cases from the Kansas Court of Appeals help illustrate the legal repercussions of drafting contribution-default remedies for LLC or limited partnership ventures that fail. The cases all considered contribution-default remedies in LLC operating agreements, but the principles should apply to limited partnership agreements as well.
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