Barrister incorporation

The Bar Standards Board announced in November 2014 that its application to regulate entities had been approved by the Legal Standards Board. The BSB will now be able to regulate organisations owned and managed by barristers and other lawyers. From 5 January 2015, the authorisation application process for entities owned and managed by authorised individuals will be available through an online portal. Authorisation decisions will be made from April 2015.

The BSB explains the benefits as being that barristers and other advocacy focussed lawyers will be able to pool together resources and share the risks of investing in their own business, without having to change regulators. BSB believe that becoming a regulator of entities will help new advocacy focussed business models emerge and flourish, which in turn will increase client choice.

As a firm of chartered accountants and business advisers we have guided many clients through the process of incorporation and so are ideally placed to advise our barrister clients.

In general business terms, incorporation is looked upon favourably because of the tax advantages it offers; also the limitation of liability where private assets are safeguarded from a company’s debts.  We strongly recommend that each barrister thinks carefully and takes specialist advice before embarking upon this strategy. Tax advantages may, for example, look very appealing to some barristers at a certain level of income but you need to be aware that these advantages may be temporary and dependent on the government policies of the day. There are other complexities that need to be considered.   Incorporation itself is relatively straightforward; disincorporation is much more complex. 

We would be very happy to discuss incorporation with you and help you understand the impact it would have on your own circumstances. There are a number of stages through which we will be able to help you:

  • Initial incorporation report – is incorporation right for you?
  • Financial report as required for the completion of BSB Application for Entity Authorisation, section B25
  • Detailed tax planning report
  • Incorporation of the new company with all necessary registrations
  • Package to include all ongoing annual compliance matters for a limited company

If you decide to look further into incorporation, we will be able advise you through the process.

Please email for a copy of our “Should I incorporate” report.

Please contact us on 0845 337 9409 to discuss it further with Andrew Hood or Tony Reynolds or email

The information given was correct at the time of publication (04 February 2015).

All content is for general guidance only. It provides an outline, and may not include points which are important in your case. You should not rely on this blog without taking individual advice based on the full facts of your case.