Can I get out of my Personal Guarantee? Find Out Now!

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In the world of business finance, personal guarantees are a common yet significant undertaking, often required by lenders to secure funds for company operations. If you’re a company director who has signed a personal guarantee (PG), you understand the weight of the responsibility that comes with it.

A PGbinds you, the business owner, to take personal responsibility for your company’s debt, should it be unable to fulfil its repayment obligations. This means that your personal assets, such as your home or savings, could be at risk if your business encounters financial difficulty. The gravity of this obligation is not lost on us, and that’s why this article aims to explore the concept of personal guarantees and discuss the options available to those who have signed them.

This article is specifically tailored for company directors who have committed to personal guarantees and are now contemplating their next steps. With an emphasis on UK regulations and practices, we will navigate through the complexities of personal guarantees and provide actionable advice for those seeking professional help to manage these daunting commitments. Let’s start by unravelling what a PG actually means

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The Concept of Personal Guarantee

A PG is a legally binding commitment where an individual, typically an owner or company director, agrees to be liable for the financial obligations of a business. Essentially, signing a PG means that if the business is unable to repay its debt, the guarantor must step in and take care of the debt personally. The commitment is often a prerequisite for securing business loans, particularly for small businesses or early stage companies with limited trading history or assets.

In the UK business environment, personal guarantees are quite common. Most banks and other lenders require them as a way of mitigating the risk associated with lending money to businesses. They are usually requested when a business doesn’t have sufficient assets or security to cover the value of the loan. In such cases, a personal guarantee provides the lender with the additional comfort that their risk is covered.

One of the key aspects to understand here is the connection between personal guarantees and the responsibilities of a director in a limited company. On one hand, the corporate veil and limited liability partnerships protect individual directors from being personally responsible for the company’s debts. However, when a PG is signed, this protection is effectively bypassed.

If the company enters financial difficulty, the PG can be called upon, putting the director’s personal assets at risk. This is a considerable responsibility, as it might jeopardise the director’s personal finances and credit rating. It’s crucial, therefore, that anyone asked to sign a PG gets legal advice before doing so.

In the next section, we’ll discuss the possible options for getting out of a personal guarantee.

Unravelling Personal Guarantee Insurance

While personal guarantees present an inherent risk for the guarantor, there are mechanisms in place that can offer a layer of protection. One such solution is personal guarantee insurance.

Personal guarantee insurance is a relatively new type of cover available in the UK designed to offset the risks involved in signing a PG for a business loan. The insurance policy covers a portion of the risk, should the company fail to meet its obligations and the PG is called upon.

PGs, business loans, and personal guarantee insurance are interconnected, forming a risk-management triad. When a owner or company director signs a personal guarantee for a loan, they are making a personal commitment to the lender to cover the debt if the business defaults. However, this can put personal assets, like one’s home or savings, at risk.

This is where personal guarantee insurance steps in. The policy can provide protection for a percentage of the PG, decreasing over time as the business loan is repaid. This means that the guarantor’s risk is significantly mitigated, as they know that, even if the worst were to happen and they become liable, a percentage of the liability would be covered by the insurance.

It’s worth noting that, just as with any other type of insurance, the cost and availability of personal guarantee insurance will depend on a range of factors. These may include the financial health and cash flow of the business, the amount of the loan, and the terms of the PG. It’s always recommended to seek professional advice to fully understand the terms and conditions and to assess if PG insurance is the right solution for your specific circumstances.

In the next section, we’ll talk about the scenarios when a PG can be enforced and its potential consequences.

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Risks and Implications of Personal Guarantees

Signing a personal guarantee is not a decision to be taken lightly. It carries significant risks, and the consequences can be quite severe. One of the most daunting risks is the potential for personal bankruptcy if the business defaults on its loan and the director is unable to satisfy the guarantee from personal assets.

When you sign a PG, you are becoming “personally liable” for the business debt. This means that if your company is unable to repay its loans, the responsibility to cover the shortfall falls on you, the guarantor. The legal term ‘personally liable’ signifies that the obligation to repay is not limited to the business, but extends to your personal assets.

A PG can have considerable implications for individual directors. It effectively pierces the corporate veil, bypassing the protection usually afforded to directors through limited liability. Personal assets, including your home, savings, and other investments, could be seized to repay the debt if the business is unable to fulfil its financial obligations. This reality underscores the gravity of the decision to sign a personal guarantee.

Moreover, if a personal guarantee is invoked, it could have a profound impact on the director’s personal credit rating. If you’re unable to honour the guarantee and the lender reports this to credit reference agencies, it could severely damage your credit score. This could make it more difficult for you to secure finance, such as mortgages or personal loans, in the future.

It’s important to remember that PGs represent a legal obligation. If you find yourself in financial distress, it’s advisable to seek professional help. A proactive approach could potentially lead to a mutual agreement with the lender or exploring other funding options that might ease the pressure.

Next, we will explore strategies for managing PGs, and how to seek help if things start to go wrong.

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Seeking Professional Help: The Role of Company Doctor

Financial distress can strike even the most seasoned business owners. If you find yourself facing the repercussions of a PG, it’s essential to understand that you’re not alone and that help is available. One such lifeline is Company Doctor.

At Company Doctor, we specialise in helping directors navigate the complex landscape of financial hardship. We recognise that every business, like every director, is unique – and so are the challenges they face. That’s why we offer a broad range of options to help you weather the storm, including exploring asset-based lending, arranging a negotiated settlement, or guiding you through the process of liquidation.

Asset-based lending might be a viable option for companies with significant tangible assets, while a negotiated settlement could provide a way to reduce the amount owed under the PG. In more extreme cases, liquidation might be the only viable option. Regardless of your situation, we’re committed to working with you to find the best solution.

We understand that dealing with PGs can be a daunting prospect. The potential ramifications on both your personal and business life can be profound. Seeking independent advice is paramount in such circumstances, helping you fully comprehend your position, and informing you of the potential legal and financial consequences.

Struggling with your personal guarantees? At Company Doctor are here to help. Our team of experts is dedicated to assisting you through these challenging times, offering professional advice tailored to your situation. Don’t let financial hardship turn into a crisis. Give us a call today at 0800 169 1536. We are ready to help you reclaim your financial stability and peace of mind.

In the next section, we will explore some frequently asked questions about PGs.


What is a Personal Guarantee?

A personal guarantee is a legally binding commitment made by an individual, often a business owner or director, to cover a debt or obligation. If the business cannot meet its obligations, the individual signing the PG becomes personally responsible for covering the debt, which can potentially lead to personal bankruptcy.

How do Personal Guarantees Relate to Business Loans?

When securing business finance, most banks and financial institutions may require a PG, especially for small businesses. This offers them greater security, ensuring they can recover their money if the business fails to repay the loan. It shifts the risk from the lender to the person providing the guarantee.

What is the Liability of Company Directors?

In a limited liability company or partnership, directors are generally not liable for the company’s debts. However, signing a personal guarantee changes this. If the company cannot fulfil its obligations, the director who signed the personal guarantee becomes liable, and their personal assets could be at risk.

What is a Remedy Period?

A remedy period is a timeframe within which the guarantor can rectify a default under the personal guarantee. This period may vary depending on the terms of the guarantee. It allows the guarantor an opportunity to address the default before legal action is taken by the creditor.

What Happens if I Can’t Fulfil a Personal Guarantee?

If you find yourself unable to fulfil a personal guarantee, it is advisable to seek professional advice immediately. The consequences can be severe, affecting your personal assets, credit rating, and potentially leading to bankruptcy proceedings. Company Doctor can assist you in exploring your options, which may include negotiated settlement or liquidation.

For more information on liquidations please see our page.

Can a Personal Guarantee be Modified or Discharged?

Yes, but this requires negotiation with the creditor, and typically the assistance of a legal professional. It’s crucial to seek independent legal advice if you’re considering this route. It may also be possible to insure against the risk of a personal guarantee with personal guarantee insurance.

What is the Early Stage of a Personal Guarantee?

The early stage of a personal guarantee refers to the period immediately after it has been signed, before any default occurs. This is the best time to secure personal guarantee insurance, explore funding options, and get independent legal advice to fully understand the implications of the guarantee.

Remember, if you are dealing with issues around a personal guarantee, you’re not alone. We at Company Doctor are here to help. Contact us on 0800 169 1536 for professional advice tailored to your unique situation.


The primary sources for this article are listed below.

Personal guarantee and indemnity – GOV.UK (

Details of our standards for producing accurate, unbiased content can be found in our editorial policy here.

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