Brief context is that I quit a startup with some vested shares (not options) that I have already paid taxes for. Their attorney is arguing that the shareholder's agreement allows them to buy back all my shares. They've made me an offer but one that allows them to pay me annually over the course of several years.
I feel this is a bad deal for me. If the company makes it that many years, the shares will be worth a lot more than what they're offering now. If the company goes under, they don't have to pay me. So I bear all the risks but none of the upside. However this is not about fairness, but rather what is legal.
Is the company allowed to take ownership of my shares without paying for all of it at once? I'd imagine if I sign a contract that states that, then it's legal. But I don't know if I an option not to sign the first deal they put in front of me.
Are there any laws or standards (in California) that mandates shares should be paid for within a timely fashion?