I was talking to someone earlier this who said if she’d known how she’d have incorporated her business, i.e. become a limited company. Instead, she continues to trade under her own name. There is nothing inherently wrong with this but it can lead to paying higher taxes or exposure of personal assets to liabilities of the business.
Many of the simplest things people can do to help their businesses or personal affairs are straightforward and picking up the phone to ask their solicitor should at least get them pointed in the right direction.
This lady had assumed to incorporate would have been costly and asked me if it was a big job. I told her she could do it herself online with 10 mins and a debit card to pay the £13 fee.
There are numerous advantages to incorporating but it won’t suit everyone. Transferring a business into a limited company will protect the individual’s non-business assets from debts that might arise from trading. If an individual is simply trading as themselves their own money and property could be vulnerable should the business rack up debt it’s unable to pay. The current tax system also seems to favour a limited company but this can change as easily as a government.
This wasn’t meant to be a post about the pros and cons of a business structure. It’s about knowing where to start in a given problem.
One of the best ad campaigns the Law Society ran was ASK – a solicitor knows. Which is great! Provided the solicitor in question does actually know the answer you’re looking for.
Be it business structure, leases, employment contracts or supplier/customer contracts a solicitor can make sure you’ve got the best foundation to make your business successful. For private client matters, having a will, power of attorney, and some consideration of the ownership of your assets will provide you with what’s needed in 90% of cases.