We offer a unique service to Professional Business Advisors (e.g. IFA or Accountant), and to Business Owners who could benefit from the advice and skills of an independent Legal Services provider. Storage facilities are also available in both physical and online vault formats.

If you are a Business Owner, we offer a wide range of services that include advice and legal documentation. The initial consultation is complimentary and confidential. See Corporate Services below.

As a Professional Business Advisor (e.g. IFA or Accountant), we can tailor a service to suit you. This could be for training, advice and document production. See our Private Client Services section/information below.

Corporate Services for Business Owners

For the Business Owner, we understand your concerns and the pressures on your precious time to have the right legal advice and documentation at a price that is affordable, without hidden costs

By making your business better, we improve our own.

It is very easy to confuse agency, distributor and franchise agreements.

An agency agreement is between a supplier and a company to sell products, the agent acts as sales channel between the supplier and the end user in agreed markets/areas.  The products or services never leave the ownership of the supplier’s business and will invoice the end user.  The agent receives their remuneration from the supplying company, usually in the form of commission.

A distributor agreement is where a supplier company has an agreement with another business to purchase products or services then resell them to their clients at their own prices in agreed markets/areas.  The distributor receives their remuneration from the profit on each sale they make.

The difference between an agent and a distributor is, an agent will sell your goods without taking ownership, a distributor will buy your goods or services and resell them.  Agents and distributors are both companies that will represent your brand in your chosen market but are still working under their own name. It is important to know the difference between these two, as this can have various legal implications.

A franchise is a contract between a brand owner, (franchisor), and another party known as the franchisee.  To use a brand, but also to obtain products, services and support from the franchisor.  While using the brand the franchisee is often obliged to use the shop furnishing, signs and corporate style and to pay a part of his turner/profits to the franchisor.

As you can see it is very important to have proper advice on these areas which we are happy to provide.

We provide a free initial, confidential business health check, most useful if considering selling or expanding your business.  This is not an accountancy check, but a review of your existing business set up, staffing, profitability, use of assets and possible exit strategies.

One of the last things on our minds when setting up a business is how do we sell it or ensure its future.  Most of us think it is easy to sell our business to one of our competitors at a nice price. Unfortunately this is not always the case as it is far easier for them to monitor the business’s progress and age - let it die, and pick up the clients for nothing!

So what do we do?  We need to put in place a strategy of how we are going to exit the business (The Great Escape). The main reason anyone goes into business is to be financially successful and independent, which is exactly the same for our retirement.

We specialise in the advising and setup of business exit strategies. Each business differs in the setup, the goals, taxation and the required results.  We are able to offer a constructive plan to continue the business, pass on to the family or sell it at a sensible figure.

If you are considering an exit strategy we suggest that you contact us to discuss your hopes and fears.  Together we can put into place an effective estate planning strategy to secure a later life plan for you and your family.

If you are deciding to start your own business, we will talk it through with you as to what the best type of business you should start with, e.g. Sole Trader, Partnership or Limited Company and explain all the “pros and cons” of each business type.

There is always a lot to think about when starting out in business, but thought needs to be given as to what would happen if something should happen to you or a partner on a permanent or temporary basis, if you or they die suddenly, how to sell the business or wind it up.

We are happy to advise on the best methods of setting up, structure and management over its life cycle.  No one cap fits all, but we are keen to assist in advising the best solutions to address the unique issues faced in this field.  We try to find the best and most tax efficient ways to operate these types of business.  Care must be had to find a practical solution to be able to pass on this legacy tax efficiently to your chosen beneficiaries.

All matters are treated in full confidence – call us to see if we can assist.

We offer a free 30 minutes initial consultation. We have close working relationships with “people friendly” Solicitors who specialise in this field.

Once the decision is made as to which business type is best suited to what you want to do, we will help you set up the business in terms of registration, the required systems needed to run the business and the question of accounts for the need to register for VAT etc.

An agreement is entered into by all the shareholders of a company to ensure that the sale of shares goes smoothly in the case of death. Each shareholder takes out a Life Insurance policy on themselves, where the money goes to the remaining shareholders or, on each other where the money goes back to themselves, i.e. their estates.

If a shareholder falls ill or passes away, depending on the policy taken out, the remaining shareholders can have access to the shares and they can either retain or purchase.  It is essential to a business as it means that the shareholders can still own a percentage of the company, whilst the agreement put into place ensures that the deceased shareholder’s family still have inherited money from the shares.  This split allows the business to function, whilst making sure that the family of the deceased are not forgotten about.

Skipton Building Society, with whom we have a close working relationship, has advisors who offer fully independent advice on Pensions, Savings and Investments, whether you have a small or larger amount to “find a home” for.  The Skipton will have the solution for you and their friendly advisors visit you at no extra cost.

Find out more here - Skipton BS Financial Services

GDPR is a a fast evolving area of business today. This being especially so in the marketing of our services to our existing and prospective clients. You need to get it right and it needs to fit your activities. The typical off the shelf answer fall far short of really what the normal business requires and so leaves them open to heavy penalties. We are happy to go over what you need and check the suitability of what you have in place. This type of evaluation is in our FREE initial consultation brief.

Firstly what does it mean to import and export?  Importing means buying foreign goods or services from another country.  Exporting means selling goods or services produced in this country and being sold in another country.

To set up an effective import or export operation requires a great deal of product research and understanding of the legal requirements in each country.

We are able to assist in all of areas of importing and exporting of products and services from personal experience, so are always happy to discuss future projects that you may be considering.  A raft of investigation needs to be addressed even before deciding whether you wish to import or export.  Points to consider are: language; need; communications; logistics; economies; viability and legal factors.  The biggest question is whether a market actually exists.

The other main decision, especially during current times, is whether to actually physically import the actual part or finished article or arrange a licensing agreement.  Different products and services need to be looked at in different lights. Also, whether it is feasible to absorb manufacturing into facilities or the need to set up a complete new operation.  Again do the products or services comply with any existing regulations?

Good advice from experienced advisors can be worth a fortune.

These powers are specifically for business owners as they allow the owner to legally appoint someone to act in his/her place if he/she is permanently or temporarily unable to work – absolutely vital when it comes to banking, paying wages and signing contracts etc.

N.B. These documents have to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before the attorneys have the power to act; registration time is approx. 10 weeks.

With the advent of GDPR it is important to understand that if you hold data on your customer or client that you have a policy in place to ensure that you understand their rights under the new Law, such as the right to rectification, the right to erase, the right to limit processing etc.  The more sensitive the data you hold, the more robust your privacy agreement and the way you handle that data is paramount.

A privacy policy or legal document is a statement that discloses some or, all of the ways you gather, use, disclose and manage a customer or client's data.  It fulfills your legal requirements to protect your customer or client's privacy.

When goods are bought and sold, a contract is formed between the buyer and seller.  It may not be written, i.e. someone buying groceries from a supermarket won’t leave with any documents except the till receipt, but will have entered into a contract nonetheless.  The buyer will have rights and the supermarket will have obligations.

When your business sells goods or services, you will need to set out your terms in writing; it is wise to consider all the aspects of how your sales process to clients works, then produce relevant terms and conditions that you are happy with.  We highly recommend that you do not use a competitor’s terms and conditions because they may not mirror your actual requirements.

Whether you are looking for secure storage of actual documents or online access to sensitive and confidential information, we offer both types of storage at competitive prices.  Our online vaults enable you to send sensitive documents such as contracts over a secure connection.

A shareholders’ agreement is made between the shareholders of a company and is beneficial to both minority and majority shareholders.  It can be between all or, in some cases, only some of the shareholders, e.g. the holders of a particular class of shares.  Its purpose is to protect the shareholders’ interest in the company and will set out: the shareholders’ rights and obligations; regulate the sale of shares within the company; describe how the company is going to be run and define how important decisions are to be taken.  The agreement will also contain specific and important practical rules relating to the company and the relationship between all the shareholders.

It is worth noting that the reliance on the standard Articles of Association of a company do not cover all the individual needs of all businesses and the use different share classes for estate planning for example.

Private Client Services - White Labelled

For Professional Business Advisors (e.g. IFAs and Accountants) who offer Wealth Management Services and wish to enhance the service they offer to their clients and are looking for an organisation to work with for legal advice on a wide range of business situations and white labelled documents. Below is a list of typical documents. Our service can be tailored to your requirements, talk to us.

This is a legal document that allows a person to direct in advance, (whilst they have capacity), and relay their wishes to medical professionals as to what they would wish to happen to them if they cannot speak for themselves for matters such as consent or refusal of life sustaining treatment.

N.B. Care should be taken that this document does not conflict with a health & welfare lasting power of attorney.

For every document we prepare, we endeavour to ensure that it is signed and witnessed.  If it is not possible, and we have agreed with our client that they are happy to do their own attestation, we send out detailed signing and witnessing guidance instructions.

N.B. If a will is not signed and witnessed correctly, it will be rejected by the Probate Court and the deceased will be deemed to die intestate and the Law of Intestacy applied. This will no doubt NOT be how the deceased wished their estate to be distributed and to whom.

As a matter of course we always produce a certified copy will document.  This document is signed and witnessed at the same time as the actual will.  If the actual will is lost or damaged, then the certified copy can be presented for Probate instead.

This is vitally important to avoid the deceased dying intestate (without a valid will), because in this circumstance the Law sets out who should inherit, how much and in what order and this might not be what the deceased would have wished to happen to his/her estate.

If a person loses capacity and does not have a lasting power of attorney, the only way that someone can legally be appointed to act on their behalf is to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order.

This is a costly and lengthy process and involves a mountain of paperwork and the person, (the deputy), who is appointed to act will be at the discretion of the court and could be a family member, local Solicitor or a member of the deputy panel at the court.

Application time is approx. 6 months +.

This is the 2nd process in dealing with the affairs of a deceased person.  As well as dealing with the distribution of the estate in accordance with the directions in the will, the executors have to first make sure that all monies owing are gathered in and all debts of the deceased are paid. There may also be a Tax Return to do and/or the payment of Inheritance Tax to be sorted out.  Here again we can either lend a helping hand and advice or can be instructed to handle everything.

These powers are designed to give immediate power to an attorney to act and deal with a specific task(s) or transaction.  They can be prepared in a day and can “bridge the gap” for an urgent matter to be dealt with if the lasting power of attorney is not registered or available.

As soon as we receive instructions for a will or a trust, the first thing we do is to check the ownership of the property on the Land Registry. Quite often we find the property is not registered, so this throws a doubt on who actually owns it.  N.B. You cannot give anything away in your will or put it into trust unless you own it.  Sometimes the ownership is registered in a different name through marriage or, it may be owned in a sole name and not in both names of a married couple.  If there is a discrepancy, we try and sort it out with the agreement of the client.

These powers are specifically for business owners as they allow the owner to legally appoint someone to act in his/her place if he/she is permanently or temporarily unable to work – absolutely vital when it comes to banking, paying wages and signing contracts etc.

N.B. These documents have to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before the attorneys have the power to act; registration time is approx. 10 weeks

Important documents to have during your lifetime if you should lose your mental capacity and need someone to be able to legally act on your behalf.  The LPA is divided into two parts- property & financial affairs and health & welfare- because a person may wish to appoint different attorneys for each part of the power.

The property & financial affairs power allows someone you know and trust to look after your financial affairs if you are permanently or temporarily unable to look after your own affairs, and you can appoint them to act on a temporary basis if needed.  The health & welfare power allows someone to act and speak on your behalf for health issues if you have lost capacity.

The health & welfare power also allows your attorney to challenge decisions if you are wrongly charged for care fees. N.B. These documents have to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before the attorneys have the power to act; registration time is approx. 10 weeks.

When it comes to making decisions for yourself or dealing with relatives in instances where care issues are involved, we can help you with these matters.

These trusts, set up in a persons’ lifetime, are to protect assets, (usually a property).  Reasons for the settlement include: protection of the asset if the owner(s) suffer from dementia and need help with decisions with regards to maintenance etc.; protection from sideways disinheritance; family breakdowns; protection of inheritance for vulnerable persons and to keep the property for future generations. The trust will run for 125 years.

N.B. This type of trust is NOT Inheritance Tax friendly, but there is another type of trust that can assist with IHT planning, e.g. a pilot trust.

By paying for your funeral now it will guarantee that the Funeral Director’s fees are guaranteed at today’s prices.  You can also leave directions as to what type of service you would like etc.

This is a trust set up in lifetime to mitigate Inheritance Tax liabilities for assets that are not really needed for everyday life.  Assets placed in a pilot trust usually no longer belong to the person who created the trust, instead they are held by trustees for the benefit of the beneficiaries.

After the assets have been in the trust for 7 years, they are no longer considered, by the Tax Man, to be part of the estate for Inheritance Tax purposes, maximum amount recommended to be settled is £300,000.00.

Probate, (this is the 1st stage), and means the proving of a will, by the Probate Registry, that the will is valid, thus giving the executors the power to act.  However, before submitting a will for Probate – decisions have to made, is it necessary to apply for a Grant; is the estate going to be liable for Inheritance Tax?  This is where we can help you to make the right decision and if required complete the correct forms in the right way.  We can also guide you through what to do if the person who has died has not made a will.

In certain situations it may be sensible to have a professional trustee appointed, as this could prove to be beneficial to all parties if disagreements arise between other appointed trustees.

We have a complimentary storage facility to store all your paper documents.  For documents and other sensitive information you have stored online, we have the perfect solution to ensure absolute security and accessibility during your lifetime and after death.   E.G passwords; they will need to be accessed after your death so your executors/family can close down your online accounts etc., otherwise they will remain live.  If you store all your passwords in one of our secure online vaults they can be accessed after your death on sight of a death certificate.

This is whereby a joint tenancy/ownership of equity is severed and changed to what is known as tenants in common.  By being tenants in common each owner owns a percentage share in the equity, usually 50/50, but the percentage shares can differ.   This can be useful tool if owners wish to leave their share in the property to whom they chose e.g. their children from a previous relationship. Again we can assist with this.

Sometimes these can be difficult to obtain, but we have good working relationships with two Financial Institutions who offer this type of service and is all online if required.

For every trust we create, we ensure that annual trustees’ minutes are done and kept with the trust documentation.  We encourage trustees to record every new decision made with regards to the trust fund and maintenance/up keep of the property.  If a challenge was ever made to the trust, by having the trustees’ minutes on record, it will show that the trust is being run properly and is not a sham.

If we find that a property is not registered at the Land Registry, we recommend that a voluntary 1st registration is done.  For the reasons mentioned above and in the event of a sale, if a property is not registered it will most likely “put off” potential buyers because they don’t want to bear the cost and delay in doing it themselves.  Paper deeds are no longer in use, all deeds and information appertaining to properties have to be registered on the register at the Land Registry.  We can assist with this if needed at a competitive price.

All draft or checking copy wills will have a commentary.  The commentary explains all the clauses in the will in plain English, this is just in case there is some text that the client does not quite understand.

The equity of the property is severed, and each spouse has a percentage share – usually 50/50, but the percentages can differ.  This means that each spouse can leave their %share of the equity to whom they chose – usually their children. Upon 1st death the %share of that person is held on trust for their chosen beneficiaries.  When the 2nd death occurs the property is sold and all the beneficiaries receive their respective share.

N.B. This trust only applies to the property only, unlike the Flexible Life Interest Trust that captures all the estate.  Both trusts are RNRB friendly.

Quite often there is a need to include a trust in a will; to ensure that children from previous marriages are not disinherited.  A flexible life interest trust will hold the assets of the first spouse to die, on trust, for the surviving spouse and when the 2nd spouse dies the trust fund can be distributed to all the children of both spouses.

Are you a business owner looking to achieve your financial goals, or a Professional Service Advisor wishing to increase your offering with additional services to your clients with the support of a trusted independent legal services provider with a history of assisting clients and advisors?

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