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Zero to a million.

IF you want to set up or grow your business, we've got just the person to help. In her new weekly column, millionaire Sylvia Marshall, who has taken her own business, from PS0 to PS1,000,000 and is helping others to do the same, answers your questions based on the lessons she's learned along the way


Good news for Sylvia this week as she has been invited by the Institute of Directors to become a Fellow, based on her experience and contribution to business.

The IoD invites just 3.5% of its members to take up Fellowship each year and Sylvia is proud to join the ranks of the very few women across the world who have achieved this status.


Dear Sylvia,

I have a full-time job and have an idea for a business I want to start in my spare time. I have friends who can help me and they are happy to work for shares as I cannot afford to pay them. How do I do this?

Sylvia says: I am assuming this is unrelated to your day job and that you have the intellectual property rights to your idea. If this is the case, in order to issue shares you need to set up a company with share capital.

It will be essential to think long term to provide a way of dealing with any potential disputes that may arise in the future by putting a shareholders' agreement in place. This should outline the rights for both majority and minority shareholders.

Get legal advice as this will be money well spent - this is an important document that will be tailored to meet the aims of the company and shareholders. Companies House must be notified of the new shares issued.


Dear Sylvia,

I read recently about a couple whose business had failed and they'd lost their home and possessions. Can this happen if you are a limited company?

Sylvia says: As shareholders in a small business you will enjoy the benefit of limited liability. If the company fails, you will not be liable in respect of creditors' claims against it.

While I do not know the detail of the case you mention, so cannot comment, there is an important point here. If a shareholder is also a director, they face the risk that, upon the company's demise, they will be ordered to contribute to its assets under the wrongful trading provision in section 214 of the Insolvency Act 1986.

Section 214 is designed to protect creditors and it is vital that shareholders who have a place on the board understand their potential exposure to this.


SYLVIA'S new book can show you how to start a business without having to re-mortgage your house, rack up debt or sell your soul.

Zero to A MIPSPSION - She Did it & So Can You by Sylvia Marshall is available to Mirror readers at the special price of PS2.95, saving PS3 on the usual recommended retail price of PS5.95.

Download your copy via

For straight-forward advice from one of Britain's most successful businesswomen write to: Sylvia, The Mirror, 1 Canada Square, London E14 5AP. Or email :
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2013 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 23, 2013
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