“Quick Question”: If my PSV business is struggling financially – can I sell the O Licence as a Business Asset?
An operator’s licence is NOT an asset that can be sold or transferred. Each licence is granted to a particular legal entity – whether an individual, a partnership, or a company – and only that entity may ever hold that licence. So how can the use of an operator’s licence be transferred?
If the correct agreement is in place, partners may resign from a partnership and new partners join without the partnership being dissolved, so it is possible for the members of a partnership to change, without the partnership itself ceasing to exist. More commonly, there are many limited companies that hold operator’s licences. The shares in these companies can be brought and sold without the company ceasing to exist, and so the use of an operator’s licence can effectively be transferred from one owner to another, if shares in the company that holds the operator’s licence are brought or sold.
Where a controlling interest in a company’s shares are purchased, that fact must be notified to the Traffic Commissioner, as must the appointment and resignation of statutory directors. The delivery of undertakings given by a company are the responsibility of the statutory directors. Traffic Commissioners need to know who it is that is running a company that holds an operator’s licence, and who (i.e. the shareholders) owns that company.
The fact that a company which holds an operator’s licence fails commercially, is not necessarily a bar to the directors and owners of that business applying to obtain a new operator’s licence, but the history of being involved in businesses which have held operator’s licences and which have failed will need to be disclosed.