More and more people are starting up a new business. Many go into partnership with someone they trust. It’s exciting and liberating but it’s not easy; lots of hours, compromises, challenges. It can also be very nerve-wracking. Naturally, people worry about how it’s all going to work out and often have a lot at personal stake. At some point however the business starts making progress. Hopefully, it expands and profitability increases. Their hard work has paid off; they feel in control and they start to relax about the future.

Then something unexpected and totally out of their control happens; a business partner or key employee dies or suffers a critical illness. Could this happen to you? Well yes, clearly it could happen to anyone and undoubtedly it would have a major impact on your business. Are you prepared for the worst?

Most small businesses have one thing in common – they rely on specific individuals to operate. It is therefore important that business owners ask themselves how the business would cope if they suddenly lost one of these individuals. Would your business lose profits? Would you be able to continue to trade and pay employees and suppliers? Would you be able to pay any loans back to the bank? What would the family do with their share of the business? Do you want to be in partnership with your business partner’s next of kin? In many cases, this is the point where the surviving business partner has to buy out the other partner but, would there be the spare capital to do this?

These are questions that I find many business owners haven’t considered and they are not aware of the solutions available. There are, in fact, some simple ways to protect yourself, your business and your family.

Key Person Protection

Key person protection allows a business to insure against the financial loss it may suffer if a key person dies, is terminally ill or suffers a critical illness. You or your business will be the policy owner. The key person is the life assured. The business is protected and receives the proceeds of any claim.

Shareholder/Partnership Protection

If one of the business owners were to die or become either terminally or critically ill, shareholder/partnership protection insurance could give the remaining business owners enough money to buy the insured partner’s or the shareholder’s interest in the business.

Financial Advice

With so much at stake, it is important to seek qualified professional advice. A financial adviser will be able to help you decide which type and level of protection are right for you and your business. With the peace of mind that comes from knowing you are protected against the worst, you can relax and focus on the enjoyment of owning your own business.

Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group’s website at