It’s a little-known fact that some two thirds of UK businesses are family owned – 4.7 million of them in total.
Many of my clients come from this hard working and often unappreciated part of our economy, and they often present some fascinating challenges.
I have one lovely family that I have advised for many years: four generations who run a successful trucking company. They first came to me because, as is often the case, while the finances of the business were on a firm footing, the family’s own personal finances were (to put it bluntly) all over the place.
It’s quite understandable when all your focus goes on making sure that deliveries are made on time, bills get paid, and money comes in the door.
They first got me on board to sort out their concerns over whether they had sufficient life cover in place, but then we turned to longer-term issues such as having savings and investments in place to fund the future retirement of family members.
All too often in family businesses, all the available resources can go into funding expansion… or even just staying afloat. That means all of the capital is tied up in the business – making it problematic when someone wants to retire or needs to leave for reasons of ill health.
Over the years I’ve been delighted to help them take control of their finances to the point where they can confidently fund the retirement of older members of the family, while investing in the younger ones’ education… and even paying for the odd wedding along the way!
Issues like succession planning have also been dealt with – critical if you are to secure the long-term future for a family business.
Planning well ahead has meant we’ve been able to do this in the most tax efficient way possible while ensuring that their truck business has had all the capital in place it has needed to keep it on the road to success.