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I have been left a contract cleaning company in a living will…

I have been left a...
I have been left a contract cleaning company in a living will though the company is trading it does have debts am i legally responsible for these and can i just carry on trading or do i need to start up again
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
11/1/2010
Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 26,070
Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Has the testator died please?
Has the company been formally signed over to you?
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago

Hi no father still living,

All have is a letter from his solicitors stating that he has given be the company on the 25th october 2010 and witnessed by 2 solicitors so need to know if this legal and the ramafications of such letter regards phil

 

  1. OK - how much debt does the company have?
  2. Do you know its annual profit?
  3. Does it have employees?
  4. Does it have any goodwill - customers?
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago

hi debt stands at around 27500gpb which includes 23000 overdraft plus 4500 suppliers wages etc but not the vat

 

Its annual turnover is around 130000 gpb per annum with a net profit of around30000

 

It employs about 15 part time employess and 2 full time

 

It has a customer base who are on yearly renewable contracts

Do you have any business experience in this area or generally?
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago

yes i have been running this company on behalf of my dad for last 12 months

 

Oh ok so you know it well.

It seems to me on the face of it that it is a going concern and the debts are manageable but you may wish to take the advice of a business advisor before taking on the company as you will inherit the debts as well as the income.

the alternative of winding up the company is probably not a good idea looking at these figures but again you may want to have a business advisor run the numbers for you so you can see for sure.

If you take the company then you will need to take a transfer of the shares from your father (assuming limited) and you will presumably want to be appointed director and retire your father - the solicitors should be able to assist you with this.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
it is a sole trder not limited
OK well the same advice goes as above for the company figures except that it will be much harder for you to wind up the business as the debts can be claimed against your father estate so this makes this option probably a non starter in practice.

In terms of taking over the business you will need a deed of gift from your father as to his interest in the business and stock and you will need a deed of assignment in respect of the company accounts and debts if you are prepared to take them on. Alternatively you could agree to take the business on on the basis that your dad pays off the debts.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago

so are you saying that the letter i have from him

which says the following

I(fathers name and adress) hereby irrevocably give my busines known as (company name) including its assets to my son(my name) absolutely and with immediate effect,

dated 27th october 2010

(Fathers signature)

 

witnessed by (solicitors names and adressess)

 

is not legally binding and i would need the deed of assignment and deed of gift to make it legal

As it has been witnessed by his solicitors that letter will operate as a deed so that is fine. You will still need to deal with the business bank account(s) and debts though.

The bank will advise on its requirements for assigning the debt to you and whether they are prepared to do this. Also they will advise on their requirements for transferring the company bank account(s) to your control.
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago
but the letter is legally binding so no one can contest it .
Gifts can always be contested but it will operate as a deed of gift and given it has been witnessed by solicitors, it will be very difficult to contest.
Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
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Experience: LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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