A Guide for Businesses
We regularly advise sole traders, partnerships and limited companies through the South East and London. We do not have a ‘typical’ client profile. Our business clients range from small businesses where we deal directly with the owner/manager, to much larger firms where we work in partnership with a dedicated Human Resources department.
Each business has their own reasons for wanting to engage us. These might include advice in relation to:
Employees Benefits - Group Pensions
The pensions landscape is changing, Auto Enrolment means that by 2016 all employers will be expected to contribute to their employee’s pension schemes. This makes it more important than ever to obtain suitable advice to ensure that both new and existing arrangements meet the required standards.
We can also assess whether it is possible to simplify your existing arrangements to reduce both cost and administrative burden.
Employees Benefits - Group Risk
Protection benefits are relatively low cost to provide, but are highly valued by employees, and are becoming an increasingly sought-after part of an overall remuneration strategy. Benefits can start with a simple lump sum death-in-service scheme, and can be expanded to include further benefits such as critical illness, income protection in the event of long term illness or disability, and private medical insurance.
Research has shown that relatively few businesses have fully considered the effect that the death or serious illness of a key individual would have on their ability to both trade and continue to make profits. A survey by the Institute of Directors has found that 39% of small businesses would fold within 18 months of such an occurrence. We are able to advise on solutions to produce a capital injection at the appropriate time to help your business through such a difficult period.
Over 50% of businesses have no formal agreement in place to establish what would happen in the event of the death or critical illness of a business owner. This can result in problems ensuring continued control for the remaining owners, particularly where the deceased owner’s shares are inherited by a family member. We can provide advice on structuring an agreement in addition to suitable life assurance to provide capital when it is needed the most.
Retirement Planning for Business Owners
Limited companies have a great deal of flexibility in terms of making pension contributions. For business owners this can represent a very tax-efficient way of extracting profits from a business – this allows you to spread risk since your pension fund would generally be out of reach from any creditors. The flexibility of modern pension schemes makes this even more appealing, and we can explore the options open to you in conjunction with your usual accountant.
Financial Planning for Individuals
As well as advising businesses we also offer advice to individuals. As we use highly sophisticated cash flow planning tools we can talk about how much you will need to sell the business for, if that forms part of your plans, what to do with the profits while you are involved in the business, if you are self employed or a partner what other tax savings opportunities are available to you.
Commercial Property Purchase
We see continued interest in business owners using their pension fund to purchase the premises their business trades from. This is attractive as it allows your pension to lease the premises to your business, with the rent being paid directly to your pension fund whilst still remaining viable for full tax relief. This can be done on an individual or pooled basis, but the process can be administratively complex with a number of pitfalls, so it is important to seek expert advice.
Investing Corporate Money
Your company’s cash reserves are likely to be held in a bank or building society deposit account, however when interest rates are low the returns on your cash are unlikely to be keeping pace with inflation. Many corporate investors are looking for a low risk way to get better returns on their cash, and we can advise on a broad range of alternative strategies.
Call us today to discuss your business requirements on 0845 828 1000 or email one of our M&H Financial Planning team.