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Companies that find themselves in trouble often make matters worse by paying for expensive advice that should be free, say small business experts.

This is one of the issues to be tackled head on in a wide-ranging online forum on insolvency to take place on October 11.

The conference is backed by The Insolvency Helpline, the debt and credit advice organisation, and will be hosted by Smallbiz UK, the leading website for promoting and assisting British small firms.

The aim is to give businesses an hour of schooled professional advice via a series of quickfire question and answers on issues that their accountants would not be likely to know about.

The forum is targeted towards limited companies and sole traders although anybody who feels that they might benefit from the discussions is welcome to attend.

Says Richard Sorsky, Chief Executive of The Insolvency Helpline: ”We really want to try and warn people away from the sort of insolvency companies that appear in the small ads. Far too many companies end up paying for the sort of advice that they are perfectly entitled to get for free.”

Topics that are due to be discussed include the actual cost of company liquidations, individual voluntary arrangements, and how best to avoid fee charging middlemen.

Sorsky, who will be chairing the forum, adds: “A central theme will be the need to deal with regulated, licensed practitioners. The forum should help to reduce the amount of bad decisions that result from the needless urgency companies tend to undergo in times of crisis.”

To supply attendees with the best possible advice, a leading insolvency lawyer and a top licensed insolvency practitioner will be on hand to answer questions and provide feedback.

MD of Smallbiz, Gerard Liston states: "Small firms are busy at the best of times. When difficulties arise, the last thing they need is advisors and experts trying to take advantage of their problems. This is just the kind of practical help that is of real value to business managers and owners - helping them cope with problems or avoid them in the first place. We are delighted to develop our partnership with the UK Insolvency Helpline who have demonstrated their knowledge and expertise in this critical area of business."

The forum is completely free to attend and takes place on October 11 at 2PM.

Those interested can gain access from either http://www.insolvencyhelpline.co.uk or from http://www.smallbiz.uk.com

ENDS



Additional information on The UK Insolvency Helpline

The UK Insolvency Helpline was established in the spring of 1997 with the remit to look at meeting a long-standing need for debt and credit advice. Its creation followed a recommendation of a national group of Insolvency Lawyers and Accountants which had been examining the effects of the huge influx of unregulated debt counsellors and debt management companies that had began trading in the last decade.

The UK Insolvency Helpline is totally independent and funded via donations and subscriptions from a nation-wide network of professional practices in the United Kingdom. It is the UK’s only personal and business debt consultancy offering free advice to consumers on financial problems.

The UK Insolvency Helpline’s recovery team have extensive commercial experience in business and personal insolvency procedures and undergo regular professional training and updates, ensuring that the highest standards of practice are maintained at all times.

For more details please contact.

Ian Richards

788-790 Finchley Road

London

NW11 7TJ

Tel: 020 8553 6399

e-mail: ian.richards@insolvencyhelpline.co.uk



Additional information on Smallbiz UK

Smallbiz UK Limited was established in November 1999 to create a web portal, located at www.smallbiz.uk.com. Promoted under the slogan “big ideas for small firms”, the site aims to provide products, services and information of practical value to small British firms. Smallbiz.uk.com is completely independent and works in partnership with some of the most respected and trustworthy organisations around. The web site went "live" during May 2000.

Smallbiz UK Limited is backed by a small group of private investors. The decision to seek private funding (rather than venture capital) was largely based on a desire to retain control over strategic direction and reflects the company's "shirt-sleeves" approach to managing its business. Importantly, the investors bring considerable business experience - particularly in the IT and Internet business - and are represented on the board by a non-executive director.

For more details please contact:


Gerard Liston

Smallbiz UK Limited

Tel 0113 209 5762

E-mail gerard@smallbiz.uk.com




Rob Trowbridge LIVEpr

Tel 0207 630 1100

E-mail smallbiz@livepr.net

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Tel: +44 (0)20 7630 1100
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