Independent Legal Advice (ILA) for Director’s Personal Guarantee 

When a company director personally guarantees the repayment of business finance, a Director’s Personal Guarantee is required. It ensures the repayment of a business loan or credit facility through personal liability. This legal framework aims to safeguard lenders by mitigating default risks, especially in dealings with small businesses or startups. However, the ramifications for directors can be profound and long-lasting.

Understanding Personal Liability

A Director’s Personal Guarantee places you in a position of individual accountability for your company’s financial obligations. The Personal Guarantee document, which is a formal legal document, outlines specific conditions including the extent of liability, interest rates, and repayment protocols. Signing this guarantee may result in your personal assets—such as property or savings— being kept as collateral against the company’s debts.

Carter Bond can help you with their personal guarantee by providing cost-effective and expert-led advice. 

For more information about our independent legal advice (IILA) services please call us on +44 (0)20 3475 6751 or email

Examples of when you might need Independent Legal Advice

Personal Guarantee

Are you guaranteeing a loan or mortgage to a limited company? This usually means one thing – the lender will insist that you take “Independent Legal Advice” on signing the guarantee before making the loan.

If you are trading as a limited company, as owner of that company you may be required to personally guarantee the repayment sums. This means you would be liable if the company were to default on payments. You may be asked to obtain Independent Legal Advice where your company is entering into a:

• Start-up loan, or other type of business loan;
• Mortgage;
• Company credit card or overdraft;
• Lease of premises;
• Lease, hire purchase or PCP agreement for a company vehicle or equipment; or
• Sale agreement for assets, or other commercial contract that contains warranties given by the company.

Whilst the purpose of a guarantee seems quite simple, it is still important for you to take Independent Legal Advice so a solicitor can inform you of all the salient terms of the guarantee, their effect and the potential implications. It is also likely to be a requirement of the lender, so they can ensure the guarantee is enforceable.

Whilst a limited company is supposed to be a ‘separate legal person’, with the right to incur its own debts and enter its own agreements, it may not be a credit-worthy borrower for the lender. The limited company may not have significant assets of its own right, meaning a lender, landlord or other party may require, as a condition for them entering into the agreement, that a director or shareholder give personal guarantees for the sums payable under the agreement. It means that you will be acting as ‘guarantor’ for your company.

There are a variety of ‘types’ of guarantees:

• Given solely by one guarantor, or by several, on a “joint and several” basis;
• For a limited sum;
• To cover current, existing as well as future liabilities; or
• To be for an unlimited amount.

A director or shareholder may be reluctant to spend money taking legal advice, especially if they are aware of the company’s financial circumstances, however a solicitor will provide a comprehensive insight into the guarantee that highlights all the risks. It is important that you are fully briefed on these risks, as if the company is unable to pay its debts, you could be required to repay large sums of money. Independent Legal Advice also provides the lender with protection, as it ensures the guarantee is enforceable in Court.

Guarantees should also be considered carefully, if you are required to use a personal asset as security. The lender may place a legal charge over your personal property, whilst the company repays the sums due under the agreement. If the company defaults, you could see the lender apply for a possession order of your property.

It is important to remember that commercial agreements can be complex. Taking Independent Legal Advice on your personal guarantee will leave you fully informed of your potential obligations.

What is independent legal advice?
When Independent Legal Advice (ILA) is required, it indicates that you’re assuming legal responsibility or relinquishing certain rights, and you may not make any personal gain. In such a situation, you need to understand the repercussions of what you are agreeing to and acquiring appropriate legal advice from an independent legal advice ILA Solicitor.

Understanding legal documents or agreements can be complex and intimidating, particularly when it involves significant financial decisions or risks. Whether you’re a director signing a personal guarantee, or a small business owner involved in corporate loans, mortgages, or equity release, understanding your obligations and the implications of these documents is crucial. This is where Carter Bond’s independent legal advice (ILA) services can make all the difference.

When do I need to take Independent Legal Advice?

The need for Independent Legal Advice can arise in several situations, including but not limited to:

  • where you live at a property that you do not own and are not listed as a borrower on the mortgage. The lender will require an Occupier’s Consent Form that waives your right to remain in the property if they repossess and any financial interest you have in the property. Please see our FAQ on Occupier’s Consent Form above.
  • where you are acting as a guarantor for a limited company’s borrowing. Please see our FAQ on Personal Guarantees above.
  • where you act as a supporting borrower for a mortgage (Please see above); or
  • an employment settlement agreement.
How much will it cost me to obtain Independent Legal Advice?

Unfortunately, there is no single answer to this as it depends on factors like:-

  • Where you live
  • What you require Independent Legal Advice for

However, by contacting us at Carter Bond Solicitors, we will be able to provide you with a fixed fee quote.

How long does it take to obtain Independent Legal Advice?

Independent Legal Advice can be organised quickly. If you reach out to us, we can arrange a time slot with one of our solicitors which will usually take place in the same week, provided we have received your documentation and had time to review it.

Can I waive the requirement for Independent Legal Advice?

The short answer is no, if you want to satisfy the lender’s requirement and allow the transaction to proceed.
You can refuse to take this step, but in all likelihood, your lender will simply refuse to proceed unless you comply with its requirements.

Why choose Carter Bond Solicitors for your independent legal advice (ILA) requirements?

Expert ILA Solicitors for Director’s Personal Guarantee

Our team of expert ILA Solicitors specialise in advising directors on the full range of implications tied to personal guarantees. We offer:

  • Same-Day Appointments: Time is of the essence. Our swift ILA service ensures that you receive the necessary advice without any delays.
  • Online or In-Person Consultations: Flexibility to suit your situation. You can choose the mode of ILA consultation that best fits your schedule and preference and also the requirements of your lender.
  • Fast Turnaround Time: Understanding the urgency, we prioritise a quick review of your ILA documents and advise you accordingly. We can offer same day appointments.

The need for correct Independent Legal Advice (ILA)

The complexity and potential repercussions of a Director’s Personal Guarantee require professional guidance from a Solicitor who has experience of this area of legal work. Our ILA service is designed to:

  • provide comprehensive understanding of the ILA documents and their implications;
  • protect clients from assuming obligations without a clear understanding of the risks;
  • offer a detailed overview of the personal and financial liabilities in the agreement; and
  • issue an Independent Legal Advice Certificate post-consultation, confirming that you have been apprised of the significance and consequences of your actions.

Legal and Financial Safeguards

Engaging with our Carter Bond’s ILA team offers not only peace of mind, but also a layer of financial and legal protection. By thoroughly understanding your obligations, you can make informed decisions that safeguard your personal and business interests. Further, our advice may reveal critical limitations and conditions within the guarantee that could be pivotal in your decision-making process.


    Preea Jutla

    Commercial Solicitor

    t: +44 0203 649 9016

    Hammad Naveed

    Senior Associate Solicitor

    t: +44 020 3475 2729
    m: +44 07377 190 406

    Reena Popat

    Managing Partner

    t: +44 020 3475 2724 
    m: +44 07931 347 854

    Kate Beech

    Partner, Corporate Commercial

    t: +44 020 3093 0872
    m: +44 07908 078 025

    Paul Harris

    Senior Associate Solicitor

    t: +44 020 3093 0873


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