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At Armstrong Watson we have been advising, supporting and protecting family businesses since 1867.
We support family businesses through accountancy, tax and strategic business advice taking a holistic approach with your objectives at the heart of our bespoke advice.
Whatever the size and structure of a family business the main objective remains similar, with a clear focus on providing a desired lifestyle for close family members. Each business is unique but the challenges they will face are not, which makes it highly important to get the right advice at the right time.
When a family business disagrees, the tensions are not only felt in the business, but in the family environment as well, and become an issue you can not avoid. We can help to manage these scenarios when they arise, or provide proactive advice to limit the risk of them arising in the first place.
An offer for your business is a reflection of your hard work and the success you have created and enjoyed. It is also a transition in your life which needs to be managed to ensure you protect your own family's future, and those of the team who have been an extended family throughout your ownership.
Clear planning of how you pass the business to the next generation ensures you are investing the time needed to ensure this key transition is as smooth as it can possibly be. It also reduces the risk of any unexpected surprises which could threaten the reputation you have built.
If you are the retiring generation you can probably recall your fears when you were passed the business. If you are the new generation you will be experiencing those fears. However, these fears are natural and can be overcome with the right advice and support.
A family business is like any other business which needs to grow and succeed to survive. A clear strategy and defined goal can help to achieve the growth required to continue to trade but also to become the best you can be.
We all spend a significant part of our working life striving to achieve our career or business goals, but when we get to the age when it is time to step back and retire are we ready? We need to do this from day one to ensure that when the day comes, we have adequate means to retire how we want to.
All family businesses have a uniform requirement to comply with legal requirements for accounts, tax returns, VAT, Payroll, etc. Our history of supporting, advising and protecting family businesses of all size allows us to deal with you based on your circumstances and to give you the right solution for your business.
Over the years we have seen everything that can go wrong but also everything that goes right in family businesses and the margins between the two can sometimes be very small. If a business is planning for the future and getting the right advice from the most appropriate professionals at the key times, the chances of success are much greater.
At Armstrong Watson we don’t just support you with your compliance requirements, we want to understand your business, the challenges you face, and through our mutual partnership, ensure you grow to become the best you can be.
The family business report identifies issues and opportunities faced by family businesses when looking to the future. It is one of the biggest surveys of its kind in the UK with a record number of respondents from all over the country, meaning the results have statistical significance and represent a good insight into the current state of play for family businesses in Britain. You can request your copy of the Family Business Report by clicking the following link.
As a family owned and managed manufacturing business we have the skills and experience to know what to do, when to do it and how to do it. We have the day to day running and management of the business in hand. That said, what we have never challenged ourselves on is the bigger picture, we all know our roles and responsibilities. What the team at Armstrong Watson have done is to challenge how we work not in the business, but on the business. Their input and knowledge has allowed us to stand back from the day to day operations and work on the business, looking at the bigger, more strategic plan, rather than the day to day operational issues. We have found, and are still finding, their input challenging, insightful and of great value. They have a wealth of knowledge and whilst we believe the issues in our family owned and managed business are unique to us, it becomes more apparent that the issues are common throughout many similar businesses.
Jon Ward Joint MD Kay Dee Engineering Limited
We have wanted to develop ourselves and our business with a fresh approach - going in with an open mind, we have quickly gained a different perspective and we have started to change. There is a fascinating blend of gradual, slow, 'wait and see' adjustment and some decisive, quick, 'take the plunge' change...its exciting to be moving to a new way of thinking, building on all the good things we have and leaving some of the not so good things behind.
Mark Sugden Managing Director, John W. Laycock Ltd
Discussing matters of succession planning with family members is a challenging but necessary process if you wish to try and minimise inheritance tax. In recent years, with the help of Helen Thornley and the rest of the team at Armstrong Watson, we have been able to take proactive steps to manage our family’s affairs to the point where we are now confident about the future.
Charles Lowther, Owner, Askham Hall
We were recently left with a very complex family estate to unravel. Helen was able to guide us through the process of IHT submission to HMRC and help unravel a number of complex tax issues in a calm and professional manner. She answered all of our questions promptly and provided clear guidance as to the individual steps we needed to take, making the whole process a lot easier and simpler to deal with. Helen's work meant we did not have to engage a solicitor to close the estate, thus saving expensive legal costs and time and also brought in other experts (Trust & Investment Funds) to advise us as and when needed. At all times we found Helen easy and pleasant to deal with no matter how stressed we were with having to deal with what was essentially an emotional roller coaster ride. The estate took over two years to close out, but without Helen's support it would still be going on now. I would recommend Helen and Armstrong Watson without any hesitation or reservation; they are the “go to source” for all financial issues and advice in my opinion.
Phil & Justine Waddington
Armstrong Watson work very closely with our company and we meet with Tony Bullock regularly to discuss the business and strategic matters. During one such meeting we mentioned a new craft tool that we were involved with, and some of the technical challenges we had faced in this regard. They immediately made us aware of research & development tax relief. We then met with their R&D tax relief expert who explained the relief clearly and we agreed a way forward in order to make our first claim under this relief. Armstrong Watson helped us every step of the way, making the process easy and really showing knowledge and expertise throughout. I would strongly recommend any company involved in science or technology to seek help with R&D tax relief claims from Armstrong Watson
Brian Welch, Managing Director, UK Industrial Tapes Limited
Our family business has been supported by Armstrong Watson over the past 40 years, this alone is testament to the quality service and invaluable advice they provide us. They are only a phone call away, whether it be about tax, pensions, payroll, accounts or personnel queries. We know that we can pick up the phone and our queries will be promptly dealt with in a professional but friendly manner. To be quite frank we would be lost without them.
Fontana's Fish and Chips
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Armstrong Watson LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales, number OC415608. The registered office is 15 Victoria Place, Carlisle, CA1 1EW where a list of members is kept. Armstrong Watson LLP is regulated by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales for a range of investment business activities. Unless otherwise indicated, either expressly or by the context, we use the word “partner” to describe a member of Armstrong Watson LLP or an employee of Armstrong Watson LLP in their capacity as such.
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Armstrong Watson Financial Planning Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm reference number 542122. Registered as a limited company in England and Wales, number 7208672. The registered office is 15 Victoria Place, Carlisle, CA1 1EW. Armstrong Watson Financial Planning & Wealth Management is a trading style of Armstrong Watson Financial Planning Limited.
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