Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • sortingmyshitout
    • By sortingmyshitout 1st Mar 18, 1:20 PM
    • 24Posts
    • 2Thanks
    sortingmyshitout
    They're taking my business :-(
    • #1
    • 1st Mar 18, 1:20 PM
    They're taking my business :-( 1st Mar 18 at 1:20 PM
    ** resolved - see post #33**

    I've made myself bankrupt, as it seemed the best way of dealing with my debts (mostly unpaid taxes, but also some credit cards etc from 6+ years ago). My total debts were on the order of £50k or so.

    I felt I was quite safe to do so, as I don't have any assets as such to speak of. I had a niggling doubt in my head that the website I run as my main source of income could be considered an asset, but I figured they would never want to take that away as it's MY MAIN SOURCE OF INCOME.

    After an hour's interview today the OR and I agreed that over 3 years I am to pay back a couple of hundred every month. Fine.

    He then dropped the bombshell via email that my website is now the property of the OR, and that I need to hand over the registration certificate for it and make "a reasonalbe offer" to buy it back from them.

    Obviously I have no money with which to buy it back. I think the implication is that I'm supposed to beg a friend/relation to buy it back for me. I understand why, they want to get some money out of me for my creditors, and this seems like a good way of them doing it.

    But I don't think I know anyone who would be in a position to make "a reasonable offer". How much are they going to want? It makes a profit of about £20k a year, which is why I've now applied for bankruptcy as I thought I was making enough money to stand on my own feet and pay taxes like a real person, if I could get a fresh start, which I thought was the point of a bankruptcy :-(

    Then there's this bit: "if we are not in receipt of a satisfactory offer the Official Receiver may consider closing the website or realising it for the benefit of creditors as they do not want to be liable for any costs associated with it."

    I'm of the opinion that without me the website is worth very little, as the admin system I've rigged together over the years is far from user-friendly, it'd need someone with a fairly unique combination of technical skills and interest in my niche to run it, and even then there would be a lot of work to be done to make it more usable by an outsider. And would they want to put in 12hr+ days every day to make £20k profit a year... probably not!

    So, any advice, what can I do?

    This website is a passion of mine, and also my income. I know I'm very fortunate that my job is something I LOVE doing, and maybe as a bankruptee I don't deserve to be that fortunate... but I really don't know what I'll do if they take it away from me. It's been my life for years, and aside from my wife is the only thing in the world that I care about even slightly :-(
    Last edited by sortingmyshitout; 17-04-2018 at 6:15 PM.
Page 1
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 1st Mar 18, 1:38 PM
    • 37,130 Posts
    • 156,355 Thanks
    silvercar
    • #2
    • 1st Mar 18, 1:38 PM
    • #2
    • 1st Mar 18, 1:38 PM
    My knowledge is sketchy, but how is your business split between the domain name and the work that you do for it.

    I suppose I'm asking if you could relocate your business to a different website and leave the OR take control of the domain name. How much is the domain name worth without your input.

    Could you start a new website now, with a divert from the old website for a few weeks and encourage all your followers etc to update their bookmark to the new site?
    • sortingmyshitout
    • By sortingmyshitout 1st Mar 18, 1:45 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    sortingmyshitout
    • #3
    • 1st Mar 18, 1:45 PM
    • #3
    • 1st Mar 18, 1:45 PM
    My knowledge on this is thin as well. I've long disliked my domain name, and wanted to change it, but we all know a re-branding under a different name is risky...

    ...but if I did want to, legally, could I do that? Do they not essentially own all of the IP, all of the code? I feel they must?

    I think the suggestion seems pretty sketchy at best, and probably downright illegal at worst. Anyone else care to weigh in?
    Last edited by sortingmyshitout; 01-03-2018 at 1:49 PM.
    • TakeAwayKing
    • By TakeAwayKing 1st Mar 18, 2:00 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    TakeAwayKing
    • #4
    • 1st Mar 18, 2:00 PM
    • #4
    • 1st Mar 18, 2:00 PM
    You canít just take the customers and trade from one site and transfer it to another site - you will get in a whole heap of trouble if you try that without first settling with the OR

    If you are not in a position to do so, hard though it may be, perhaps it is time to start a new chapter and find a job that you could enjoy.
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 1st Mar 18, 2:11 PM
    • 5,073 Posts
    • 6,830 Thanks
    spadoosh
    • #5
    • 1st Mar 18, 2:11 PM
    • #5
    • 1st Mar 18, 2:11 PM
    Offer 50p.

    Probably about reasonable for a website that they dont wish to maintain and will become absolutely worthless should they choose not to.

    You said it yourself they need you to maintain it, youre not going to do that if its not yours and they arent paying you. Theyve said they wont maintain it themselves and you think it will be hard for them to do that anyway.

    It sounds like youre the only asset for the website. Without you its worth what it costs to keep up. Youd have to be quite commited and not financially motivated to buy something that will require you working 12 hours days to recieve £20k a year. That isnt minimum wage.
    Don't be angry!
    • sortingmyshitout
    • By sortingmyshitout 1st Mar 18, 2:15 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    sortingmyshitout
    • #6
    • 1st Mar 18, 2:15 PM
    • #6
    • 1st Mar 18, 2:15 PM
    I have asked for a bit of guidance from them as to what constitutes a reasonable offer. I'm scared that given a £20k annual profit they'll be wanting at least that, if not 2-3 times that. But you're right that I don't make minimum wage, so once you take out the cost of someone running it the profit is essentially £0.

    I love it, so I don't care, but they'd probably struggle to find someone else who felt the same.

    Offering 50p seems like it would be taking the !!!! though, they clearly want to use this as leverage to get me to get a loved one to cough up some serious cash, don't they?
    • fwor
    • By fwor 1st Mar 18, 2:35 PM
    • 5,989 Posts
    • 4,045 Thanks
    fwor
    • #7
    • 1st Mar 18, 2:35 PM
    • #7
    • 1st Mar 18, 2:35 PM
    If you take out the emotional side and look at it rationally, it's just an asset, and it's the OR's job to make as much of that asset for your creditors as possible. Make an offer that's not derisory and see what the reply is.

    My advice would not be to offer 50p, because that would obviously not reflect in any way on what value it has to you - and they would know that immediately.
    • sortingmyshitout
    • By sortingmyshitout 1st Mar 18, 2:37 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    sortingmyshitout
    • #8
    • 1st Mar 18, 2:37 PM
    • #8
    • 1st Mar 18, 2:37 PM
    My thoughts exactly. So would £1k (doable) be enough to be considered reasonable and of interest to them, or are they more likely to be looking at £10k+ (not doable).

    One thought is that if enough capital is needed I could attempt to crowd-fund it from the site's audience. Obviously a bit embarrassing, but I think I could live with it. Though if it doesn't work then that's even more embarrassing!
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 1st Mar 18, 2:38 PM
    • 62,185 Posts
    • 363,951 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    • #9
    • 1st Mar 18, 2:38 PM
    • #9
    • 1st Mar 18, 2:38 PM
    As you say - to earn £20k/year will often mean you're paying yourself 50p/hour because you're actually working on it, spotting trends, tweaking, writing etc 24/7 ..... it's worth nothing to others .... the only things that potentially have a value are any subscriber list and any domain name. So if those two aren't much good it's got a low resale value.

    Could you start again? Or is the current website "the one boat that can sail this journey"?
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 1st Mar 18, 2:45 PM
    • 5,073 Posts
    • 6,830 Thanks
    spadoosh
    If you take out the emotional side and look at it rationally, it's just an asset, and it's the OR's job to make as much of that asset for your creditors as possible. Make an offer that's not derisory and see what the reply is.

    My advice would not be to offer 50p, because that would obviously not reflect in any way on what value it has to you - and they would know that immediately.
    Originally posted by fwor
    But that is making it emotional.

    No one values a business on what it means to the owner, you can argue about intangible assets a little bit but on a website earning £20k a year, hardly the millions of pounds of goodwill built up on a forum like this.

    Value it as a business not what its worth to you. As a business it will be worth very little. Everyone knows websites need to be kept update and maintained, once theyre not footfall drops and so does revenue.

    https://www.worthofweb.com/calculator/

    Put it in there and see what it comes back with. Then offer 10% of that price as its in receivership.
    Don't be angry!
    • sortingmyshitout
    • By sortingmyshitout 1st Mar 18, 2:50 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    sortingmyshitout
    Thanks. Sites like that one are pretty (ha ha...) worthless though. Indeed it suggests the value of my website is $3k and that I could expect to make $6 a day from it.
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 1st Mar 18, 2:59 PM
    • 5,073 Posts
    • 6,830 Thanks
    spadoosh
    Thanks. Sites like that one are pretty (ha ha...) worthless though. Indeed it suggests the value of my website is $3k and that I could expect to make $6 a day from it.
    Originally posted by sortingmyshitout
    They are but thats all there pretty much is to go off.

    You can try calculating the business value using the books but i suspect it will give a similar low value especially when you take in to account a (proper) wage for you.
    Don't be angry!
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 1st Mar 18, 3:58 PM
    • 37,130 Posts
    • 156,355 Thanks
    silvercar
    Maybe you actually need to explain to the OR that the website has limited value without your work. The OR is not meant to put you out of business, but merely to collect any assets.
    • ACG
    • By ACG 1st Mar 18, 4:37 PM
    • 16,717 Posts
    • 8,688 Thanks
    ACG
    Of course the business has a value, you have customers, you possibly have stock, you have a domain name those tend to have some value.

    No wanting to sound rude, but the way the website is run is irrelevant. Someone could snap it up and re-do everything behind the scenes to automate a lot of it or at least make it less labour intensive.

    I say this as someone who used to buy websites where people were earning £5-30 a month, make some alterations and get it earning £200-300 a month before selling it on elsewhere. Personally, I think they might want more than a grand - but I suppose under the circumstances where you are basically on your a**e then they can not really be expecting you to come back with an offer of £5-10k.

    I am a little surprised they can take away your job, I thought they would have to leave you with it as its presumably along the same lines as tools to a tradesman? But if they can do it, then you need to come up with a decent offer.

    I would personally speak to them over the phone, you can tend to get more of an indication from the tone of peoples voices.
    I am a Mortgage Adviser
    You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a mortgage adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
    • fwor
    • By fwor 1st Mar 18, 5:10 PM
    • 5,989 Posts
    • 4,045 Thanks
    fwor
    But that is making it emotional.

    No one values a business on what it means to the owner
    Originally posted by spadoosh
    It's not. It's simply a recognition that the OR has a responsibility to get the maximum "value" out of an asset for the creditors.

    The creditors lose nothing if the OR takes it away and the OP has no means of future income, but they can (potentially) gain a significant amount if they can negotiate a value that accounts for the fact that the OP values it and can make a living from it.

    If they accepted 50p they would clearly not be seen to be doing anything useful in that respect.
    • LaLaLa34
    • By LaLaLa34 1st Mar 18, 5:16 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    LaLaLa34
    With no income, how will they expect you to pay into an IPA at a couple of hundred pounds a month as mentioned in your opening post?
    • sortingmyshitout
    • By sortingmyshitout 1st Mar 18, 6:38 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    sortingmyshitout
    With no income, how will they expect you to pay into an IPA at a couple of hundred pounds a month as mentioned in your opening post?
    Originally posted by LaLaLa34
    Well, quite, that's why I thought my livelihood might be "safe" before I went down this route...
    • sortingmyshitout
    • By sortingmyshitout 1st Mar 18, 7:00 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    sortingmyshitout
    Maybe you actually need to explain to the OR that the website has limited value without your work. The OR is not meant to put you out of business, but merely to collect any assets.
    Originally posted by silvercar
    I have put that point of view across, but as someone else said his job is to extract some money from me, and they do technically now own the asset that is my website. Even if the asset is worthless to someone else, it's not worthless to me, and they naturally want me to ask someone to foot the bill for my mistakes :-(
    • 331Blue-tits
    • By 331Blue-tits 2nd Mar 18, 1:46 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    331Blue-tits
    Check the technical manual
    Bankruptcy not my strong point. But have a look at the technical manual and s 283/308 of IA 1986. Excluded assets (those that don't vest in the OR) include items reasonable to carry on business or vocation. Is the website reasonable for your business? I would argue it is. Also if it wasn't, surely the reasonable replacement criteria would apply. And that would be difficult with a website . . How would you pay your IPA anyway without your website income? £200 per month is a lot for the OR to lose for a potentially almost worthless website. (or is that £200 just for the first year with nil tax code ).? I would definitely argue the website has no value of its own.
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 2nd Mar 18, 6:43 AM
    • 20,071 Posts
    • 33,128 Thanks
    Spendless
    I have put that point of view across, but as someone else said his job is to extract some money from me, and they do technically now own the asset that is my website. Even if the asset is worthless to someone else, it's not worthless to me, and they naturally want me to ask someone to foot the bill for my mistakes :-(
    Originally posted by sortingmyshitout
    And what if you haven't got anyone to ask or everyone you do ask says 'No'?
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,524Posts Today

7,284Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • After the news I'm suing facebook over scam ads, people keep sending me ads with my pic in asking, ?is THIS ad with? https://t.co/lhTmijgnWt

  • So Facebook just waxed lyrical about all the things they're doing to stop fake ads. Whoop de whoop. Yet THESE SCA? https://t.co/hP4q6kRuuQ

  • Facebook giving evidence I believe just said "mr lewis said there are 50 ads, but we checked and found 1,000s".? https://t.co/4dAe8PCTCb

  • Follow Martin