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Brexit and political uncertainty stifling your business?

Brexit uncertainty

Brexit and political uncertainty stifling your business?

Many of our clients are being impacted by the economic and political uncertainty caused by Brexit.

Originally the UK was expected to leave the EU by 29 March, which has now been delayed until 31 October.  However, it is still far from certain that the UK will leave on that date, and if we do leave, what the terms of that departure will be.  This uncertainty, coupled with a possible general election on the horizon, is impacting the strategic thinking of many business owners, delaying investment decisions and transactions. However, are opportunities for businesses being missed or lost during this process? Is now an ideal opportunity to prepare for transactions that are planned once certainty on the UK’s long-term relationship with the EU is confirmed? We are helping our clients reach these conclusions.

Despite the uncertainty, businesses should continue to prepare for proposed acquisitions and disposals and ensure they have the best structure in place so that the uncertainty does not impair their ultimate vision.  We are helping many of our clients reach these strategic conclusions.

At Creaseys we help businesses prepare for and understand the proposed acquisitions and disposals they are entering.  We are able to do this because we take time to understand our client’s dreams, challenges, objectives (their Big Picture) and we use our understanding to ensure the right structure is in place in order to deliver those dreams. We have set out further thoughts on these areas below:

Are you considering an acquisition?

Our client’s growth ambitions are often satisfied through strategic acquisitions of competitors, or complementary businesses.  In order to achieve this, we help them consider structuring of the acquisition and how it will be financed.  The questions which should be addressed include, how should the acquisition be structured? Should the target entity be brought into a group or held separately? How can tax relief for finance costs be maximised?  Once an acquisition proceeds, we can help with undertaking a financial and tax ‘health check’ on the target entity to identify any historic exposures to be factored into price negotiations and issues which impact the structuring.

The approach to structuring the acquisition will depend on each client’s Big Picture vision and the tax profile of the entity being acquired. Preparing now for an acquisition can add value to you by ensuring that the transaction has a greater chance of progressing more smoothly. 

Are you contemplating a disposal?

Our clients also need our support when they are looking to sell some, or all, of their business. We have a huge amount of experience in structuring disposals in a tax efficient manner, ensuring that entrepreneurs’ relief is maximised and inheritance tax implications are also considered. In order to prepare for a disposal, it may be necessary to separate businesses, or in some cases, combine them.  Any non-business assets that are to be retained will need to be removed from the structure as tax efficiently as possible.

We help our clients maximise their sale price by understanding their business and any tax reliefs that might be of benefit to the purchaser. We carry out a pre-sale ‘health check’ to identify any historic tax or accounting risks that might have the priced “chipped away” by the purchaser and establish a strategy for addressing any open tax enquiries with HMRC.  

Do you have the right structure in place?

Even if acquisitions and disposals are not currently contemplated due to the economic and political uncertainty, we can help our clients to undertake a review of their structure to ensure it is ‘fit for purpose’ and meets their long-term objectives. We work with our clients to ensure a plan is in place to ensure the appropriate structure is in place for a potential disposal or that longer term ownership objectives are met if the business is to be retained in the family.

Many business owners are waiting for the uncertainty of Brexit to end so they can plan for the future. We think that now is the time to prepare for acquisitions and disposals and ensure appropriate structures are in place in order to meet Big Picture objectives.  Being prepared should enable transactions to progress smoothly, tax costs to be minimised and long-term objectives to be met. 

We specialise in advising our clients on preparing for transactions. If you would like to know more about how we can assist with achieving your commercial and personal objectives, please contact your usual Creaseys contact on 01892 546 546