It’s hard work starting a business from scratch. Sometimes you feel that you’re taking two steps forwards before something knocks you three steps back again. 

Whether it’s staff, business rates, global pandemics, you name it… there will always be something trying to get in your way.

What makes you a successful business owner is down to how you deal with it. You get back up, brush yourself off and go again. Because you have to, there is no other way! If it was easy everyone would do it, right?

Imagine, however, that you wake up to a call one morning from your business partner’s spouse or partner informing you that they had died? It’s not inconceivable, everyone dies sometime! You’d be in shock and, no doubt, go through a period of grief. But you’d still have a business to run, one that has to function no matter what is thrown in front of you.

However, when the dust settles, you realise that you are now be in business with your business partner’s spouse. They now own x% of the shares and have x% of the dividends. Although they won’t automatically be a director of your business, and therefore have any say in the day to day management, they will be a stakeholder. As a result, they have an interest in any future sale or offer. If you really don’t get on with them, they might be able to sell their shares to your local competition.

I love both of my business partners’ spouses, I really do. But I still wouldn’t want to go into business with either of them. They have their own careers and could never care about Co-Navigate the way I do.

I’m painting a doomsday scenario here, I know. But it does happen. The solution is so simple as well. A life insurance policy is put in place for each shareholder for the value of the shares, and ensures there is enough money paid to the surviving shareholder(s) via a business trust. A legal cross-option agreement then allows either the surviving shareholder or the deceased shareholder’s representatives to trigger an automatic swap. You get full control of your business back and the widow gets the benefit of a lump sum representing the value of their shareholding. That’s a win-win.

Don’t fall into the business ownership trap! To speak to us about protecting your business please contact enquiries@co-navigate.co.uk, call 0191 228 6130 or fill in our form.

Associate Firm SMP

Co-Navigate is now an Associate Firm with the Society of Mortgage Professionals, we are delighted to announce.

And we are equally excited that Director and Mortgage and Protection Adviser Lyndsey has joined the Personal Finance Society local region committee as an SMP Advocate.

The Society of Mortgage Professionals aims to raise the levels of professional knowledge and technical competence of people who work in the profession.

This announcement is reassurance for our clients that Co-Navigate strives to deliver the most professional, knowledgeable and client-focused service possible.

The SMP offers continuous development to our mortgage team to build on their experience, including research reports, analysis and technical and market articles.

After the successful application, Lyndsey says, “In being accepted, our clients can be assured that our professional standards align with the SMP. This includes voluntarily committing to the eight core principles of being an Associate Firm.”

What is a SMP Associate Firm?

Among the commitments of becoming an Associate Firm includes adopting the SMP’s:

  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Customer Charters
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Employee Training and Development

Being an Associate Firm also means we must:

  • Comply with the Code and all relevant laws and regulations.
  • Act with the highest ethical standards and integrity.
  • Act in the best interests of each client.
  • Provide a high standard of service.
  • Treat people fairly regardless of age; disability; gender reassignment; pregnancy and maternity; marriage and civil partnership; race; religion and belief; sex; and sexual orientation.

Lyndsey adds, “Through the commitment and adoption of the SMP’s ethical standards and compliance of their Code, our clients can be assured of our obligation to offer a service they can trust.

“We boast a loyal client base thanks to our client-focused service. Becoming an Associate Firm further enhances our reputation as a company that puts the best interests of our clients first.

“I am delighted that I am now an Advocate on the committee too, which is an exciting new chapter in my career. It is also an honour and privilege to serve on the committee and for Co-Navigate to be represented at such a high level.”

For more details about our mortgage service, contact us today.