Alternative Business Structures (ABS)

We have been giving you regular updates on the progress of barristers being able to work from an Alternative Business Structure (ABS).

Many barristers have held back, waiting for the BSB to catch up and offer the same regulation services as the SRA. As you may have seen in January’s Counsel Magazine (page 50), the BSB is now an approved regulator of non-ABS’s. A non-ABS simply means either a single barrister, or a collection of barristers and other advocacy focussed lawyers working as a limited company. The entity is 100% owned and managed by lawyers.

What does this mean for barristers?

This means, for example, that a barrister can work for a limited company, with other advocacy focussed lawyers. There are a number of advantages to working from within an ABS for barristers, not least, the significant benefit of potential tax savings.

It is hoped that later in 2015, ABS’s can apply to the BSB for regulation. An ABS might well comprise of a husband and wife working in a limited company, where one or more of the parties were NOT a lawyer. This may well bring significant tax saving advantages, depending on personal circumstances. It is intended that a non-ABS could apply later in 2015 to become an ABS.

Take your first step towards becoming an ABS

The BSB has started accepting applications from BSB-regulated non-ABS entities from 5 January 2015. The first round of decisions will be issued from April 2015.

At BarTax, we have continued to set up limited companies for barristers in preparation for the BSB taking on this role. If you would like to form a limited company or would simply welcome the opportunity to discuss this matter with one of our senior partners, please call us on 01625 268482 or send us an email.

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