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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75141
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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My son is setting up a business selling takeaway food from a

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My son is setting up a business selling takeaway food from a purpose-built trailer. He has a conviction for drug driving. What would be the better option for him, to set up as a limited company or as a sole trader?
JA: Where is your son? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Bath UK
JA: What steps has your son taken so far?
Customer: He has bought the trailer and is currently preparing menus etc, it has also been registered as a food outlet with Bath and North East Somerset council
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: He had a conviction for possession with intent to supply cocaine 4 years ago when he was 18.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Is the conviction the only concern here?  Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks

Customer: replied 17 days ago.
Not the only concern. He is 22 so quite young and has also been banned from driving. I am concerned that this will prejudice his position re public liability insurance as a sole trader. I would like to know if it would be better to set up the business as a limited company to distance his convictions from regulatory authoriities

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. Whilst there may indeed be difficulties in obtaining insurance if he has a criminal record, it does not automatically mean that he will have no issues if he goes down the limited company route. A lot would depend on what the insurer is asking him to declare – for example, in a limited company they may ask about the details of the company’s directors and he could get caught up that way. Often you won’t know exactly what he has to declare until the application process has started so it may have to be a case of trial and error. With a bit of forward planning, he could go down the easier route of being a sole trader first and starting to apply for insurance and if it becomes obvious that his past is preventing him from progressing further, he may have to open up a limited company, which can be done very quickly, and re-start the process that way, hoping for better luck.

There is no right or wring way here, unfortunately. It all depends on the insurers, what their criteria are, what questions are asked, what his convictions are and how they see them, etc. Often, you won’t know what the best approach is until you have tried it.

Hello, following my main response above, I just wanted to check that everything was clear. If you have any further queries about this issue, you can reply to me at any time on this portal and I will be happy to help. Thank you.

Hello, I trust that everything has now been resolved to your satisfaction and your original question has been dealt with. If you have any further queries about it, please do not hesitate to get back to me on here. In the meantime, I wish you all the best.

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