Alexander CrutchfieldClean Energy. GreenTech. Water. Agriculture.
Bio

Generalist. Company Director. Advisor. I solve business problems. 200 plus transactions. 40 plus Corporate BODs. Experienced in Startups, Strategy, Finance, Structure. Columbia MBA. Leading expert in Energy, Clean Energy, Natural Resources, Agriculture, Water and Middle East. Serial founder. SOX Audit Committee Financial Expert.



Recent Answers


I hold two accounting degrees (frankly from more than a little while ago). That said, this isnt accounting advice, nor is it tax advice, nor legal advice. I have done hundreds of real estate deals, ranging from deals just like this one (two partners owning a house) to large commercial transactions. There are as many ways to calculate profit sharing as can be imagined, and almost all of these ways can either be argued or have some precedent. What appears to me to be happening here is that one partner is hoping to get more of the proceeds than the original agreement called for. The more salient question, in my view, is how would a court look at this circumstance, and again, while this is not legal advice, I do have sufficient experience to say that most likely a court would respect the original 55/45 agreement as it was agreed to by the partners. That is much more dispositive of the sharing question than the accounting method. If you would like to discuss this further I am available. Good luck.


For about 30 years I have been an agent, investor, advisor and director in many companies involved in mergers sales and acquisitions. I have seen many failures as well. The biggest mistake is that owners want to do it on their own without adequate advice. Adequate advice includes at least three different professionals-a CPA, a corporate lawyer and an agent. Dont use your book keeper, or the lawyer who did your will, or a stockbroker--they have the wrong skill sets. If you would like to discuss this Im available. Good luck.


I have been involved in agriculture for over 30 years. The answer, like so many things is: it depends. Most states, but not all, regulate seed wholesalers and require a license. The licensing requirements vary from state to state-some are rigorous, others are like a library card. As to finding a white label company-you might be able to get one of the large established retail seed wholesalers to package your product for you. Or you might be able to find a company that packages food and they could convert part of their line to accommodate your requirements. If you would like to follow up, let me know.


I founded a VC fund and successfully backed over two dozen startup, seed and early stage ventures. There is a "new" type of security called a SAFE which allows you to raise money and to put off the valuation until the professionals come in on an A round. Failing that you can offer a simple proposition to the seed investors, a multiple and a round percentage. I have found that a 2X multiple and 1 percent per $25,000 is almost always compelling to both the issuer and the angel. Let me know if you need anything else.


I have been a real estate investor in the US, Europe, Latin America and Africa for many years. The first thing you learn in any new market is that education costs. Thats a cynical shorthand to explain how the first investment in a new market is usually not successful. Real Estate Laws and practices vary by country and are different from the US. Many countries lack title insurance. Few countries are what are known as record title jurisdictions. And leaving a property empty 9 months a year is a recipe for trouble.

If you want to speculate on the Euro, you can buy Euros or a Euro Contract or an ETF or open a bank account.

If you want a getaway in Europe, just buy something you can afford in a place you like. Plan to hold it for a long time. Budget at least 10% of the property value for upkeep, management, repairs and the like.

Good luck. Please feel free to get in touch if you would like to discuss this further.


I have been involved in many private companies from startups to large cash flowing enterprises. Lets start with what many companies find useful at the outset-negotiate and execute a shareholders agreement that establishes rights and responsibilities of the founders in case of events like this. So with respect to the founder, and assuming you lack a shareholders agreement, you are limited to the options you can negotiate with him. Repsonding to your question of raising funds by selling his share, that essentially competes with capital for the company. The best solution, assuming capital scarcity, might be to let the founder stay in place with his shares, and make an agreement with him to give the remaining founders the right to vote his shares. If you would like to discuss this further please feel free to get in touch.


I have raised money for companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies, as a founder, an independent director and as an agent. The main salient difference is not so much deferring valuation (unless you give the convertible buyers a ratchet) as it is the trade off of who gets what in the case of huge success on the one hand or utter catastrophe on the other. In the case of huge success, its better to sell less equity so the convertible is probably the way to go. In the case of utter catastrophe you dont want a fight over who gets the desks and pencils, so in that case its better to have sold equity. Its all pretty much no more complicated than the calculus of greed on the part of the founders. Good corporate finance practice formerly dictated that issuers only sell debt if they have cash flow to service it, as few startups do. If you would like to discuss this further, let me know.


Uber has grown so fast because it attracted a great deal of capital to fund its business model. It was able to attract capital because it skirts/ignores traditional safety and financial regulations on the one hand and takes advantage of desperate and unemployed people willing to put their capital to work for free (ie their cars) on the other. The combination of rule breaking and exploitation appeals to the libertarian and capitalist leanings of VCs.


I have managed startups as well as mature companies. I personally have never been part of a business that has publicized salaries, except as required by law in the context of securities regulation. Publicizing salaries might serve the personal interests of certain kinds of founders-those who want to appear benign and generous in the case of high salaries, or those who want to appear mean and all-powerful in the case of low salaries. There does not appear to be any legitimate business purpose served or advantage gained by doing so however.


Sales Tax is a state-by-state question, but generally sales taxes are collected by sellers of almost any good (and quite a few services).


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