In this guest post, award-winning boutique law firm Roche Legal explain why planning for the future of your business is a vital part of supporting your employees.
Running a business can often feel like performing a balancing act. There are so many things to consider, not only to keep things ticking along, but also to take advantage of opportunities for growth.
We believe that running a successful business isn’t just about things like profit and market share. Rather, it’s also about the environment you create for your employees and how much support they’re offered. Part of this support should include ensuring you have clear plans in place for the future of your business.
The stark fact is that none of us really know what’s ahead. This is something we come across every day as private client solicitors. Unfortunately, the unexpected sometimes does happen.
Though you may not like to think about it, taking the time to put plans in place to protect the future of your business would mean that your employees would have some legal protection should anything happen to you.
Below we’ve shared three steps you can take to start this planning process.
Step one: ensure business documents are up to date
If your business is a limited company, the death of a director or shareholder will not automatically mean the business is wound up. However, depending on the circumstances, the loss of key personnel could be a difficult blow to weather without careful planning. It’s vital to ensure that your company’s Articles of Associations have clear instructions for this scenario.
If your business is registered as a partnership, it will usually be considered legally dissolved on the death of one of the partners. This can cause real issues to any surviving partners. The best way to protect against this is to ensure your partnership agreement documents include a provision for what should happen to the business, its assets and its profits in the event of a death.
Step two: make a Will that includes directives for your business
It’s important for everyone to make a Will, but it can be particularly important as a business owner. An experienced private client solicitor will be able to help you clearly set out your wishes for the future of your business. This could include directives on who would inherit any professional assets, along with who you’d wish to appoint as your successor.
Depending on the circumstances, your solicitor may advise you to set out your wishes for the powers you’d want your executors to have over your business during the administration period. This might include things such as overseeing employees and managing payroll.
Step three: make a Lasting Power of Attorney for your business interests
Planning for the future of your business should include provision for what would happen if you became unable to make decisions for yourself. This might be because of a short-term acute illness or accident, or it might be due to a longer-term condition such as dementia. Either way, putting a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place now would mean that you could nominate someone to take care of your business if it ever became necessary.
A solicitor will be able to advise you on how to tailor your LPA to meet the needs of your business, including who you would wish to appoint as your attorney and what powers you would want them to have.
Where to go for advice
Planning for the future of your business can be a very complicated and emotive subject. We’d recommend seeking support from a specialist who understands the kind of pressures you’re under. Our experienced solicitors are always on hand to support you through this process.
You can find out more about us by visiting rochelegal.co.uk. Alternatively, you can get in touch by emailing email@example.com or calling 01904 866139.