Kirkpatrick & Hopes - Succession Planning Accountants

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How do I know if ISOP is right for me?

If you are the owner of a business and you want to make sure you get maximum value out of it in a tax-efficient way (both now and in the long term), Income and Share Ownership Planning will almost certainly give you what you need.

Most of our ISOP clients have businesses worth between £1m and £10m, and are based in south-east England.

If you are content with your role in the business, your level of income and you have no intention to change anything, then our Accounting services may be more appropriate for you.

How does your ISOP service differ from what my accountants are already doing for me?

By going through the ‘Clarify’ and ‘Plan’ stages of ISOP with you, we will get a full understanding of where you are now and where you want to be – not just the business finances but all aspects of the business and, crucially, your personal life. This means our advice is in context so it will take you towards your personal and business goals. Most accountants focus just on the annual compliance services of filing accounts and tax returns.

How much does your succession planning service cost?

The ISOP service is fully customised to each client’s needs so the costs vary. However, every single client we have done this for has saved far more in tax than they pay us in fees – so there is no net cost to you! We should be able to give you an estimate of the costs and savings after our initial meeting, and we are willing to do some or all of the work in the Clarify stage as a stand alone project, so you can be sure you will be happy working for us. This could cost as little as £1000.

But note that if you are more concerned about the level of fees you pay us than the value of our service then ISOP may not be right for you.

How much tax will your ISOP package save me?

This depends on how much tax you are paying now, and how well advised you have been in the past! We assess the savings over a five-year planning period and the average saving is over £500k for the clients we have worked with to date.

How do I keep control of the business once I have decided to step away from day-to-day involvement?

This is one of the trickiest areas we deal with. To get the maximum tax benefits using Entrepreneur’s Relief, you often have to give up control. But it is often possible to build into your succession plans a mechanism to allow you to step back in if things go wrong. The other key point is making clear plans and targets for your successors to follow and to incentivise them to act in a way that protects your interests and your stake in the business.

My children are not interested in taking over the business from me. How can you help me with succession planning?

It is quite rare these days for kids to want to follow in their parents’ footsteps, but for most clients we find that there are other non-family members who are willing to step up (see next question also).

I want to retire from my business, but there’s no one who is capable of running it. What should I do?

You may find potential successors in unexpected places – remember that the skills to run a business are very different to the technical skills by which employees are usually judged. If not, you can start looking to bring people in who can take over, with the promise of a stake in the business (which is an opportunity that is often very hard to come by).

Should I trust my employees with share ownership?

Yes! Letting go and trusting employees is very hard for business owners to do, and you may have been let down many times in the past. There are various ways to legally protect the business but most importantly, good management, communication, plans and controls (especially over finances) will protect you.