Is your business protected for the future?

Whether you like him or loathe him Alan Sugar is one example of a British business mogul who has built himself up from a one-man market trader to an international billionaire business tycoon and is now the face of a plethora of business ventures.

But following Lord Sugar’s health scare last year (from which luckily the businessman reportedly recovered well), it does raise the question of what happens to a business if the face of the brand ever finds themselves unable to make decisions and carry on the business?

Whether you own or are a decision maker in an internationally renowned business or you are a sole trader it is imperative to ensure you have legal provisions in place to cover you, your business, your suppliers, your staff and your customers should you ever find yourself unavailable, unable to make decisions or unable to continue running the business.

Putting in place and registering a business Lasting Power of Attorney is one measure any business owner or decision maker should consider, to protect themselves for the future. 

What is a business Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

  • It is a type of financial LPA that deals specifically with assets and finances relating to your business.
  • A business LPA enables you to appoint different Attorneys to those whom you might choose for a personal LPA; who may be better suited to make decisions for your business.
  • A business LPA enables you to appoint someone/people you trust to continue the day to day running of the business if you are unavailable or unable to make decisions for any reason. 
  • If you lose mental capacity a business LPA will ensure the business can continue running under the direction of your chosen Attorney/s.
  • Your Attorneys will be able to settle bills, pay staff, manage projects, delegate work where necessary and make necessary business decisions in the circumstances. 

Businesses often spend a huge amount of time and money planning for the future, putting contingency plans in place, ensuring insurances, training and health and safety are up to date.  However, putting in place legal safeguards to protect against a decision maker losing capacity or being unavailable is often something which is overlooked but should form an essential part of any business crisis management plan. 

Alzheimer’s Society currently report that there are over 42,000 people under the age of 65 with dementia in the UK. This is only one of many reasons why someone with a decision-making capacity in a business may find themselves in difficulties if they are unable to make decisions for any reason.  There is a common misconception that Lasting Powers of Attorney are something only to consider in later life if you ever find yourself losing mental capacity: but this is not the case, and should be something every business owner should consider to future proof their business. 

There are a range of complex elements to consider when putting in place business Lasting Powers of Attorney: for example, are there Articles of Business in place that specify who you can appoint as an Attorney for your business interests?  

Barrett and Co recommend you seek legal advice before putting in place LPAs. If you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to telephone 0118 958 9711 or email [email protected] and someone from the team will be in touch to assist you.

Further Reading:

Are you making a Will? Don’t overlook your digital assets.

What Happens to Crowdfunding Money if You Die During a Fundraising Campaign?

Should I close social media accounts when someone dies?

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Get in Touch

Juliette Spanner is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and works in the Private Client department at Barrett & Co.

If you would like to get in touch with Juliette or have a question for her regarding her area of work, please email her at [email protected] or call her on 0118 958 9711.

"barrettandco" and "Barrett & Co" are trading names of Barrett & Co Solicitors LLP, a Limited Liability Partnership incorporated in England and Wales under registration number OC356263, with registered office at Salisbury House, 54 Queens Road, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4AZ. Barrett & Co Solicitors LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number 549694).

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