Why you should play "Russian Roulette" with your podcast co-host.
Imagine this scenario: The time has come to part ways. You and your podcast co-host or partner aren't seeing eye to eye, and because you're equal co-owners, you have reached impasse. As a result, nothing is happening. You can't agree whether to continue or stop, or who gets what if you decide to split up. Essentially, the podcast venture is paralyzed. And that's not good for anyone.
Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this kind of scenario. But you have to take steps early in the relationship. Before there are any problems or disagreements.
Enter the Podcast Prenup™
I'm talking, of course, about preparing a "Podcast Prenup™".
A Podcast Prenup can take many forms. If you're operating in an LLC or Corporation, the company's operating agreement or bylaws can serve as the roadmap you'll use if it becomes necessary to dissolve the venture. But it's often wiser to adopt a separate co-production / joint venture agreement to specify the parties' obligations, responsibilities, and rights both during the company's life, and in the event that it comes to an end.
Key among the provisions you'll want to include is some kind of buy-sell agreement. This allows one party to purchase the other's interest and continue the venture. But how will you agree on the price that the buyer must pay? And how will you handle things if both partners want to continue, just without the other?
Playing Russian Roulette
This is where the so-called "Russian Roulette" clause comes in.
The russian roulette clause provides that, in case of stalemate, one of the partners can force the other into a decision by proposing to either purchase the shareholder’s share or sell his own share at a designated price. (usually based on his own estimation of the venture's value or some kind of appraisal.)
Then, it falls upon the other partner to elect either to sell or buy at that designated price. Usually, with a limited time in which to make the decision.
In this way, the one who activates the russian roulette clause determines the price, while fairness of pricing is better assured because the other party chooses which side to accept.
It's kind of like when children are taught to divide the last cookie evenly: One gets to cut, the other chooses his or her preferred piece.
Unfortunately, disagreements happen between co-owners and partners. But with proper planning, they can be addressed in a way that assures a reasonable degree of fairness.
Planning for the up-side *and* the downside just makes good sense. A Podcast Prenup™ is the best way to provide certainty and predictability with your podcast venture. If you're ready to learn more about the legal and business end of podcasting, visit LegitPodcastPro.com and join our free community.
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