When you're setting up a new business, ensuring there's a clear strategy about what happens to your shares, and who runs the business should anything happen to you or someone in your senior management team, makes perfect business sense.
Our Corporate Will Service ensures there are no nasty surprises should someone die unexpectedly, gets divorced or suffers an accident.
We look at:
- Existing Articles of Association and any Shareholders' Agreements
- Powers of attorney in relation to business and personal financial decision making in the event of incapacity
- General succession planning for the business
- Inheritance tax planning is crucial for business clients contemplating a sale of the business in the short to medium term but also important as part of general wealth planning
- Insurance options to provide cash on the death of an owner to enable a buy back of shares
- Protection in respect of divorce or separation of an owner
- Making/updating Wills
- Review of property ownership
- Trusts & Pensions
Protecting your shares
You may well have made a Will, but does your Will stipulate what should happen to your shares or any business assets? Would you want valuable control of your business to go to your senior management team, your wife, your children? If you want your business to provide an income for your family, ensuring the right person achieves control of your business is essential.
BPE's Private Client team can talk you through the options and consider the terms of any existing shareholder agreement as well as the Company Articles to ensure your shares are distributed according to your wishes should anything happen to you.
Establishing a sound business succession plan is beneficial for most business owners and especially cannot be ignored if you are at or near retirement.
Choosing a successor may be as easy as appointing a family member or assistant to take the owner's place. However, if there are several family members or partners that could take on the role, it is important to evaluate the situation carefully so as not to create lasting resentment. It might make more sense to indentify the next generation of management who might be keen to buy the business from you by way of a management buy out.
There are many advantages to having a business succession plan and BPE's Corporate team can help you put one together for your business.
Regulation & Compliance
Regulation is part of everyday life, affecting everything from how you package goods to how you advertise your services.
The most widely known requirements relate to Health and Safety and food preparation, but regulations also cover freedom of information, food labelling, selling of financial products, pensions and consumer rights.
Failure to comply can have serious consequences, such as fines, bad publicity or even prison sentences.
We can help make sure you're fully aware of the regulatory obligations, so your business stays compliant.
The Data Protection Act controls how you are allowed to use the personal data your business accrues. Everyone responsible for using data has to follow strict rules called data protection principles. The information must be:
- used fairly and lawfully
- used for limited, specifically stated purpose
- used in a way that is adequate relevant and not excessive
- kept for no longer than is absolutely necessary
- handled according to people's data protection rights
- kept safe and secure
- not transferred outside the UK without protection
For all business related to data protection please contact our Commercial team. There is stronger legal protection for senstive data which we can advise you on.
Protecting confidential information and trade secrets
There are a number of ways in which we can help your business protect its confidential information and trade secrets. These include working closely with our Commercial Department to draft appropriate and protective intellectual property clauses to go into employment contracts. They also include the drafting of appropriate restrictive covenants to go into an employment contract for when an employee starts employment and the enforcement of those restrictive covenants, if need be, when the employee's employment ends.