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Business Owners Wills

Rowlinsons is specialised in Business Owners Wills. As a business owner, it is crucial to prepare for the future, and for how your business will continue to operate. Our solicitors work on your side and by your side, and ensure you receive expert legal advice.

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Last Will and Testament for Business Owners

Wills for Business Owners are a crucial step to ensure proper succession of your company, shares, or assets.

If you own a business it is essential to consider practically how the business would be affected by your death. Similarly, if you have shares in a business it is important that you understand what would happen to these in the event of your death and a Business Owners Will can help ensure they pass to who you want them to.

Our experienced team will walk you through some of the key questions you will need to consider, so that your loved ones and work colleagues are protected in the event of your death.

To make an appointment please call 01928 735 333 or click here for a call back.


What is a Business Will?

A Business Will is a legal document outlining the wishes of an owner or partner regarding their business interests. This will include people who will inherit shares and ownership of the business, and how operations should be handled after the passing of the owner or partner.

Drafting a Business Owner Will is often done by specialists, and it is common to appoint different executors for a Business Will than for a personal will.


Why should business owners have a will?

Having a dedicated last will and testament for business owners  is incredibly important, regardless of the size of the company. A company may cease trading after the death of an owner, or ownership could be distributed differently from how the owner would have wished. This ensures the value of the business and the interests of partners and beneficiaries are protected.

The transfer of your ownership should always be completely in your control. If you do not have a will, your business could be passed to individuals without the necessary skill or interest to run it, possibly hurting the business’s value that you have worked so hard to build. Your company may also end up being sold, which can be devastating for family business owners.


Can I pass my business to someone after my death as a sole trader?

If you own a sole trader business, it will cease to trade after your death. You will not be able to pass the business on, however you will be able to include any assets related to your business in your will.

Without a Business Will, the administrators of your estate will distribute your estate, including your sole trading business assets, according to the rules of intestacy. They may need to sell some of the assets to pay debts and taxes if your estate is liable for any.

By making a tailored will, you can ensure that someone has all the resources to continue the business you have built by deciding who receives your business assets. Your sole trading business may not be passed on in ownership, but you can give someone all the tools to build on your hard work in the future.


What happens to my interest as a business partner if I die?

If you have a will as a business partner, your interest will be passed to your executors according to your wishes as outlined in the will; otherwise, it will go to the administrators of your estate.

Your interests could be sold to the other partners in the business, and they often will have the option to buy your interests before these are sold to anyone else. In some rare cases, the other partners will be required to purchase the shares.

If your estate is liable for any taxes or debts, your interests can be sold to cover these costs. The executors will then pass on your interests, or money from their sale, according to the instructions in your will - or the rules of intestacy if you have not left one.

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What should I consider when writing a Business Owner Will?

Writing a Business Will requires special consideration. It can be a complex task compared to writing a personal will, and should be handled by legal specialists.

If you are trying to plan for the future and you are a business owner or partner, you will need to make sure that the company’s articles of association, partnership agreement, or shareholders’ agreement do not conflict with your wishes as described in your will. You may need to amend these documents ahead of drafting a will, or adjust the instructions in your will to ensure there are no contradictions, as these will become a complex obstacle for the executors of your will in the future. You may also wish to create a trust to manage the succession of ownership, shares, and assets, as this can ensure the safe transfer to your loved ones especially when minors and children are involved.

Could the business continue to operate without you?

Sole traders are generally not able to pass on their business, as it is tied to their name. However, whether the business could reasonably continue trading without your involvement should be a consideration if you are a business owner or partner in other types of companies too. If you wish for your business to continue without you, it is crucial to make sure it gets passed on to someone with both the interest and skills required to run it.

Who will run the business in the time between your death and its sale?

Selling a business can become a long process. You should account for what will happen to the business between the executors obtaining ownership and the final sale of the business, as this period of time could be crucial in the evaluation of the business.

Can the business be sold so that your family benefits from its sale?

You may decide that the best course of action to protect the interests of your family and loved ones is to sell the business and pass on the sale proceeds. It is important in this case to ensure the amount of tax paid is minimised and the sale of the business is handled correctly. By talking to our expert Business Will Solicitors, you can be sure that your family members will get the most benefit out of the sale of your business.


Will I pay Inheritance Tax if I pass my business on?

Estates which are valued over the £325,000 Inheritance Tax Allowance will be liable to pay Inheritance Tax (IHT). This may seem like a high threshold; however it is often exceeded by small businesses, companies and sole traders once all assets are accounted for. You may also need to pay other taxes, such as Capital Gains Tax, Stamp Duty, and others depending on the nature of the business.

One of the most common ways to reduce losses during the succession planning is to create a trust for your business or shares of a business, which will ensure minimal tax implications and could be a safer option to pass your business and assets on.

Your business estate may be eligible for tax reliefs, sometimes up to 100%. Our Inheritance Tax Planning Solicitors have years of experience, and work hard to ensure business owners protect their interests and pass on their business and assets in a tax-efficient manner.


Contact our Will Writing for Business Owners Solicitors

Planning for the future of your business is crucial, even in the unpleasant prospect of your passing. Our specialist law firm of Solicitors in Cheshire has the compassion, knowledge, and experience to guide you through the process of writing a will as a business owner. How your business is run and taken care of after you will no longer be involved should be a priority for business owners trying to build a strong enterprise.

By choosing Rowlinsons as your will writing solicitors as a business owner, you can be sure that you have experienced legal professionals by your side, who are looking out for the interests of you, your loved ones, and your business.

Our team acts for clients across England and Wales from their offices in Runcorn (Sutton Weaver) and Frodsham, helping business owners planning their estate in areas such as Warrington, Widnes, St Helens, Chester, and Northwich.

If you are a business owner looking to plan your estate distribution after your death, contact us today for expert legal advice for drafting and enforcing a business owner’s will.

Call us today for an initial no obligation call or click here for a call back. We also have meeting facilities in North Wales for Family Law clients.