Chris Thorpe looks at how best to structure a husband and wife (or civil partner) business.
There are nearly five million family businesses in the UK paying nearly £150bn in tax, so they are the backbone of our economy.
Many such businesses may start off as a husband and wife (or spousal) operation, with children joining in when they are older. As well as helping grow the business, having the kids involved may well facilitate succession planning in later life, allowing mum and dad to retire knowing the business will carry on.
The simplest, most rudimentary way for a couple to run a business is an ordinary partnership, whereby the revenue and capital profits or losses are split according to the partners’ wishes; the profit shares can usually be changed year on year if so desired (within reason – see below), giving far more