Particularly in these uncertain times it is important to know that if a business owner unexpectedly becomes unwell the potential serious fallout can be managed until they are well enough to take the reigns again. Many business owners are aware of how important insurance is for business interruption, premises and equipment but not many think of how important it is to insure themselves against misfortune. Yes, you may have taken out keyman insurance to help financially but what about you. Many business owners do not know about the option to make a lasting power of attorney so that others can continue to run their business in the event of incapacity. A business lasting power can help with contracts, paying wages each month, HR issues, marketing, controlling business assets and many other things. It is just like insurance. It is there for the worst situation, the what if, which we hope will never arise.
It is not the case that in the event of incapacity a business owner will never be able to regain control of their business. Whilst capacity is not present a trusted business colleague, accountant, friend can take over the decision making process. This individual, known as an attorney, cannot simply run off and do what they wish, they have to act in the best interest of the business owner and therefore the company and whenever possible the attorney must speak with and consult and help the incapacitated individual to make decisions for themselves. It is only if this is not possible that an attorney will step in and make a decision without consultation. Giving authority to the attorney does not need to be without conditions a business owner making a lasting power of attorney can provide detailed written instructions, should they wish, to ensure the business continues to be managed how they want it to be until they are well enough to resume daily management.
Thought needs to be given as to the suitability of your attorneys, Do they understand your business? Do they possess the necessary skills and qualifications to act? Do they want to act as your attorney? You also need to consider any potential conflict of interest. Do you want a co-director acting on your behalf alone, or at all? Does appointing them, in effect, give them decision making over the whole business? Do you need someone completely independent to act for you
When you speak to an adviser about making a business lasting power they will ask you for company documents and an appraisal of what your business does, how it trades, accounts for the last few years, a copy of your business plan and what you envisage for the future. It is important when drafting these documents that the lasting power does not conflict with the terms of the governance documents and any contracts of employment there may be in place for the business owner.
We promise you that this document will give you peace of mind and ensure that all you have worked for can continue and still be there should you become unwell. Come on business owners, you are sensible with everything else so be sensible with this!