The company had always handled cases where sole traders had stumbled into difficulty, but after a successful trial earlier this month, a dedicated team will now be formed at the company’s Sheffield headquarters.
Phil Meekin, head of marketing at Wilson Field, said the idea to form a dedicated team developed from handling occasional referrals from accountants and solicitors but there could be scope to develop the unit still further.
He explained: “There are some fairly chunky businesses out there that are still sole traders. I actually met somebody a couple of months ago who was involved in property and the figures he was dealing with stunned me.
“His portfolio equalled about £20m and he was a sole trader. There was a time when there were some hefty traditional partnerships before LLPs but this market is often overlooked.”
The new revenue stream from voluntary arrangements for sole traders has enabled Wilson Field to diversify its income and increase headcount.
Meekin said: “From our point of view, voluntary arrangements provide you with cash flow. If you have a thousand clients sending you 500 pound a month you have that constant cash flow coming in.
“Some are a five year plan and some will fall down on the way, but you are constantly adding new ones. Meekin says that, in the trial period, there were businesses from various sectors ranging from property to plumbers in need of assistance.
He added: “The big threat that they have got is that personal liability on a partnership or a personal trader impacts on everything – credit cards, house, etc. If you have personal assets in the background, a voluntary arrangement is quite often the only option.”
By Joe McGrath