How much could your business save? Find out now!
Or, you can call us on: 0800 411 8830

POA: lasting power of attorney for SMEs


Power of Attorney is usually associated with the care of elderly relatives. But owner operators of small to medium sized businesses need to consider these too.

SME owner/operators should take steps to protect their business in the event that they lose capacity to make financial decisions. A primary means of doing this is with a lasting power of attorney (LPA) – a legal document where someone nominates another person to make decisions on their behalf should they lose capacity to do so through illness or major accident. When the owner/operator of a small business loses capacity, the risk is that the business maybe unable to function properly, leading to lost revenues, or even closure of the business.

“LPAs are starting to get the recognition they deserve, but they are still fundamentally misunderstood and very few people actually have them,” says Emma Myers, head of wills, probate and lifetime planning for Saga Legal Services. “Any freelancer, sole-trader or small business owner/operator should think carefully about what would happen to their business if they became unable to do so, and what this would mean for them – and their employees’ – financial future. Having an LPA would also alleviate most of the stress and cost to family members.”

Lasting power of attorney forms

There are two types of LPA: one covering health and welfare (which will be familiar to those caring for elderly or seriously ill relatives) and another covering financial and property affairs. SME owners should consider the latter.

This is especially relevant to those drawing toward retirement and reliant on their company’s income.

The belief that business will carry on as usual in your absence can be a serious error: without an LPA, invoices and staff may go unpaid. Unless you give a trusted person with the authority to make decisions that keep the business running, vital decisions (for example with banks and/or financial institutions) cannot be made. Even the closest of family members cannot liaise with banks, the local council or other institutions will not talk to anyone who is not the account holder without an LPA in place.

Forethought is vital: an LPA cannot be made once someone has lost capacity; if an LPA has not been made, relatives can apply to become a deputy, but this can often take months to achieve, and is usually extremely costly.

Putting in place LPA

The price of not having an LPA pales into insignificance when compared with the £110 cost of registering one with the Office of the Public Guardian. Some may find the process complicated and time consuming. Mistakes may mean that the application has to be resubmitted and paid for again so you may choose to pay extra for a professional service, although you should shop around for the right deal and agree a fixed price up front to avoid escalating costs.

For more information about LPAs:

Related Articles

working from home

Can I have a business energy contract if I work from home?

The gig economy is showing no signs of slowing down and micro businesses are thriving, with 76% of UK business...

Read More
New design electricity pylon used in Nottingham

Energy News – 21/04/17

What with the announcement of a snap election and all the ensuing shenanigans it’s certainly not been a quie...

Read More
eco trees image

Earth Day Brainteaser – can you find the footprint?

Can you find the foot amongst the leaves? Challenge yourself with our brainteaser, created to celebrate Earth ...

Read More
Excellent, 9.7 / 10

Very easy

"Very easy. Bea Luseni very efficient & knowledgeable."

This review was posted by Alan Duffy on the 31st of March 2017

Super helpful and easy to work with

"Recommend this company in a heartbeat - Nicole Borneuf was super easy to talk to, was not pushy in the slightest, very helpful and replied with all my questions very professionally and did all she could to help. I had to deal with a few companies to sort my business energy out, all but Nicole were too pushy for my liking and I refused to follow through with them. Thank Nicole - you are a credit to your company, thank you for making the stressful energy change so easy."

This review was posted by Mia Drew on the 29th of March 2017

An Extremely Competent Company

"Switch my business has not only helped my SME secure a good energy deal for the second year running but Jessica swiftly found a alternative supplier for me when I was let down on the day of switching by the new contractual provider I had chosen some 4 months previously. Being suddenly out of contract and without provider is everyone's energy nightmare. Greatest thanks."

This review was posted by S McMillan on the 29th of March 2017

Helpful, friendly and we saved lots of money!

"Jessica Purnell was helpful and friendly, she made the whole process easy and simple AND we saved lots of money thanks Jess"

This review was posted by Melanie Baker on the 23rd of March 2017

Quick & Easy

"Kabibi was very helpful and the whole process was very efficient. The one small reservation I had was that I was phoned up by Kabibi almost immediately having received my online quote - which wasn't enough time for me to finish reading the quotes! Fortunately she was able to assist me in a greater savings on both Gas & Electricity, and so as long as the switchover is seamless I will remain very happy with the service."

This review was posted by Amanda Brown on the 21st of March 2017