We provide a pro-bono service (no fees charged) that includes, assisting with forms & paperwork, translating for those who are unable to speak English fluently, writing statements & letters, and other general administrative help and guidance.

The provision of advice and support to those who need it the most, yet who are often least able to afford it, is at the very heart of Victorstone Accountants pro-bono philosophy.

We believe that we can use our expertise to give something back to our local communities. Our firm provides free administrative assistance and representation to individuals and community groups who cannot pay and where public funding is not available.

In addition, we support a number of community-based schemes and initiatives that enable us to help hard to reach sections of the community. Our commitment earns us a place in the hearts & minds of our multi-ethnic communities.

Our free advisory sessions for the Bengali community in East London have seen the firm provide much needed support to this community that is establishing itself in this area. We have also had the opportunity to support numerous ethnic communities across London and the surrounding areas, which makes our work rewarding and worthwhile.

It is not uncommon for people who have committed nearly all their own personal assets to the well-being of their business, after-all, it is their main source of income. It is also not uncommon for people to run their businesses as sole-traders instead of a limited company as the latter does require more administrative obligations to comply with company law, thereby requiring more time to manage. There is nothing wrong at all with operating as a sole-trader which may turn out to be the most practical arrangement to run a small business, especially when starting-up. But there are also risks attached to this as a sole trader has no protection from creditors when the business is unable to pay its debts.

Sole Trader Debts = Personal Debts

It does not matter if your business has a trading name other than your real name. The legal entity it is running-off is you and you will be pursued for all unpaid debts owing to suppliers or HMRC. Therefore, as debts build-up it is no different to you borrowing lots of credit to buy household items. If you have personal assets that are nothing to do with your business, for example your car or your home, these items may be used as security by creditors to pursue their un-paid debts.

What solutions exist for sole-traders who become insolvent?

There are three possible solutions depending on the severity of the business debts, your intentions as to whether you want to keep your business running and your personal assets:

* Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)

* Bankruptcy

* Debt Relief Order (DRO)

If you do want to maintain your business, or you have personal assets that far exceed the debts being pursued then an IVA would provide a platform from which you can propose an offer to your creditors. However, if your debts far exceed any personal assets you own, then you may need to consider bankruptcy unless your creditors agree to an informal payment arrangement. If you were to go bankrupt, then of course you will not be able to continue running your business. If the problem is severe and you have very little income to live on, a DRO may have to be considered. This operates in the same way as bankruptcy, except your monthly disposable income cannot exceed £50 per month.