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My Business is in Debt: Where Can I Get Advice?

Are you struggling with business debt and unsure where to turn for help?

You’re not alone. Many businesses face financial challenges, making it crucial to recognise the signs of debt and seek professional advice.

“My business is in debt, where can I get advice?” – this comprehensive guide will provide you with the resources specialist advice and tools necessary to tackle your business debt head-on and take control of your business premises financial future.

Recognising the signs of business debt and seeking professional advice can help reduce debt.

Utilise informal creditor negotiations, Time to Pay Agreements or a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) for businesses in debt.

For individuals, prioritise important debts and use free resources such as budgeting tools and online services & communities to manage personal debts before they escalate into legal consequences.

Recognising the Signs of Business Debt

Business debt can sneak up on even the most vigilant entrepreneurs. Some common signs that your business may be in debt include cash flow difficulties, delayed payments, and creditors pursuing legal action.

Ignoring these signs can lead to severe consequences, such as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) seizing assets without a court order to recoup unpaid tax.

Understanding the root cause of your financial difficulties is essential to implementing changes and improving your situation.

External factors could be contributing to a decrease in sales margins or an increase in debt repayments, as business rates such as business rates such as less business rates, increased costs or decreased business rates and sales. It might be beneficial to explore refinancing options to reduce your debt to a more manageable level.

Seeking Professional Assistance

When you notice your business struggling, it’s crucial to seek professional advice as soon as possible.

There are several resources available to help you navigate the complexities of business debt, such as the Money Advice Trust, Licensed Insolvency Practitioners, and Tax and Business Advisors.

By tapping into their expertise, you can better understand and address your debt situation, giving your business a fighting chance for survival.

Money Advice Trust

One valuable resource for small business owners and self-employed individuals is the Business Debtline, a free debt advice service provided by the Money Advice Trust.

This service offers practical self-help, enabling you to communicate directly with creditors and formulate solutions to address your business finance and debt issues.

In fact, 89% of callers experienced a decrease or stabilisation of their business debts after contacting Business Debtline.

Businessdebtline.org is a great resource for businesses who are facing financial problems. They offer guides, fact sheets, sample letters and even an online budgeting tool for both businesses and households.

By using these resources, you can gain insight into the best strategies for tackling your tax and business rates, debts and improving your financial situation.

Licensed Insolvency Practitioners

Licensed Insolvency Practitioners play a crucial role in resolving company debt issues. They can advise on a variety of formal and informal measures to assist your business in addressing debt problems and facilitate recovery.

For example, they can help limited company directors with repaying bounce back loans by managing negotiations with creditors directly on their behalf.

When seeking the help of a licensed insolvency practitioner, it’s essential to remember that their expertise extends beyond insolvency.

They can also offer guidance on negotiating with creditors directly, refinancing, and undertaking a more comprehensive restructuring of your company and its operations.

Tax and Business Advisors

Tax and Business Advisors are financial experts who offer advice on tactics to reduce taxes due while adhering to legal and regulatory requirements.

They also provide guidance on other aspects of running a business, ensuring that you have a well-rounded approach to addressing your debt situation.

By seeking their advice, you can better understand your tax obligations and devise strategies to meet those responsibilities while managing your business debt.

Addressing Business Debts

Once you’ve sought professional advice, it’s time to take action and address your business debts.

There are several methods available to help you manage and reduce your debts, including informal creditor negotiations, Time to Pay Agreements, and Company Voluntary Arrangements (CVAs).

Each of these options has its own unique benefits and drawbacks, so it’s essential to carefully consider which method best suits your small business owners”s needs.

Informal Creditor Negotiations

Informal Creditor Negotiations involve negotiating directly with creditors to reach an agreement regarding debt repayment without resorting to formal legal proceedings.

This method offers the company the ability to take bank loans and pay back debt over a given period of time in regular installments. By engaging the bank in informal negotiations with creditors directly, you can alleviate short-term cash flow concerns and obtain external financing.

The process of informal creditor negotiations typically involves discussing the debt with the creditor, proposing a repayment plan, and negotiating the terms of the repayment plan.

It’s essential to be honest and transparent with the creditor regarding your financial situation and provide evidence of your income and expenses.

Remember to be prepared, candid, and open to compromise, and maintain records of all negotiations and agreements.

Time to Pay Agreements

A Time to Pay Agreement is a legally binding arrangement between a business and HMRC that permits the business to settle their tax liabilities in installments over an agreed period of time.

This credit arrangement can be a viable option for businesses in debt, as it enables them to pay their outstanding tax liabilities over an extended period, thus helping to keep costs and alleviate short-term cash flow difficulties.

To pursue a Time to Pay Agreement, it is recommended to contact HMRC, who will evaluate the business’ circumstances and determine if one is available. If granted, this first non payment agreement can provide much-needed relief and support for businesses struggling to meet their tax obligations.

Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA)

A Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) is a legally binding agreement between a company and its creditors for the purpose of repaying its debts over an agreed period of time.

Creditors, at least 75% by value, must agree to the implementation of the CVA, which is more likely if the company can demonstrate its future viability as a trading entity and its ability to adhere to the monthly repayments outlined in the CVA proposal.

The benefits of a CVA include the potential to reduce debt, the option to continue trading, and the possibility of avoiding insolvency.

However, it may not be suitable for all businesses, and there are costs associated with establishing a business premises in a CVA.

The procedure for establishing a CVA includes preparing a proposal, gaining the consent of creditors, and then submitting details of the proposal to the court for authorization.

Managing Personal Debts

While focusing on your business debt is crucial, it’s also essential to manage your personal debts effectively.

This can include creating a budget to monitor expenses, ensuring bills are paid on time, prioritising paying off high-interest debts, and reducing the number of credit cards you possess.

By taking a proactive approach to managing your personal and business debts, you can prevent them from exacerbating your business debt situation.

Prioritising Important Debts

Identifying and prioritising important debts is a crucial step in managing both personal and business finances. Important debts include rent payments, mortgage arrears, council tax payments, utility bills, court fines, and income tax or child maintenance.

Failure to prioritise the payment of these debts can lead to severe consequences, such as eviction or repossession of property.

By prioritising important debts, you can ensure that you address the most urgent financial obligations first, reducing the risk of legal repercussions and further financial difficulties.

This proactive approach to debt management can provide the breathing room needed to tackle your business debt and move toward financial stability.

Free Debt Advice Services

Free Debt Advice Services are provided by organisations such as National Debtline, Citizens Advice, PayPlan, Community Money Advice, StepChange Debt Charity, and Debt Advice Foundation.

These services offer completely free and confidential credit advice, providing solutions such as debt management plans, loans, IVAs, Trust Deeds, and bankruptcy.

By utilising these services, you can gain access to valuable resources and expert advice to help you manage your personal debts more effectively.

Free Debt Advice Services can help you develop a tailored plan to address your financial situation and work toward a more stable future, both personally and professionally.

Online Resources and Tools

In addition to seeking professional advice and managing your personal debts, you can also take advantage of various online resources and tools available for managing debt.

These include a Digital Advice Tool, budgeting tools, and online services and communities.

By leveraging these resources, you can gain additional insights and support to help you navigate the challenges of business debt management.

Digital Advice Tool

The Digital Advice Tool is an online resource that assists individuals in comprehending their debt circumstances and providing customised guidance on how to address them.

By utilizing this tool, you can gain a better understanding of your financial situation, identify areas of concern, and develop a tailored plan to manage your debts more effectively.

National Debtline’s Digital Advice. Tool is one example of a digital advice tool that provides personal advice on managing debt.

By using this tool, you can quickly gain insight into your financial situation and receive actionable advice to help you tackle your debt challenges head-on.

Budgeting Tools

Budgeting tools are invaluable resources that can help you monitor your expenses and develop a budget.

Available in the form of software or through phone apps, these tools enable individuals and businesses to track money, record, and report their budgets, generate profit and loss statements, cash flow reports, and more.

Examples of popular budgeting tools include Mint, YNAB, Quicken, and QuickBooks. By utilising these tools, you can develop a clear understanding of your financial situation, identify areas where improvements can be made, and create a realistic plan for managing your personal loans and business debts.

Online Services and Communities

Online Services and Communities refer to groups of individuals who engage in online interactions related to a shared interest, challenge, or goal, such as debt management.

These communities can range from moderated discussion forums, to learning communities, to groups that provide resources and services to those who require assistance or guidance.

Examples of online services and communities focused on debt management include debt advice forums, business advice forums, and financial literacy communities.

By participating in these communities, you can benefit from the experiences and advice of others who have faced similar challenges, gain access to valuable resources, and develop a support network to help you navigate the complexities of managing business debt.

Legal Consequences of Unpaid Debts

Ignoring your business and personal debts can lead to serious legal consequences, such as bailiffs, County Court Judgments (CCJs), and magistrates’ fees.

Court hearings, bankruptcy proceedings, and direct deductions from bank accounts. For self-employed individuals and sole traders, these consequences can impact both their business and personal finances.

It’s crucial to be aware of these potential legal consequences and take steps to address your debts before they escalate.

By seeking professional advice, prioritising important debts, and utilising available resources and tools, you can help prevent these severe consequences and work toward a more stable financial future.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I contact business debt line?

At Business Debtline, our team of experts are here to give money advice trust help you with important business debts and debt advice.

Contact us directly via telephone on 0800 197 6026 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm or visit our website for more information.

What happens to small businesses who Cannot repay their debts?

Small businesses who cannot repay their debts may be declared insolvent and enter into a formal liquidation process to have their assets sold off to repay creditors. A liquidator will also be appointed to manage the sale of assets and recover debts.

Any business with remaining bank credit or debt that is not covered through this liquidation process will typically be written off.

What happens if a business has a lot of debt?

Having a lot of debt can put pressure on your business, requiring you to focus on making repayments rather than investing in necessary developments. This can decrease the amount of money available to your business, making it difficult to manage day-to-day expenses and causing long-term damage to your company and its prospects.

Ultimately, this can lead to serious financial losses.


Managing business debt can be a daunting challenge, but with the right guidance, tools, and resources, it doesn’t have to be insurmountable.

By recognising the signs of business debt, seeking professional assistance, addressing your debt head-on, managing your personal finances, and leveraging online resources and tools, you can successfully navigate the complexities of business debt management.

Remember, you’re not alone in this journey, and with determination and perseverance, a brighter financial future lies ahead.

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