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Independent Funeral Director?

On a lot of marketing material you will see funeral directors advertising the fact that they are an "Independent Funeral Director" (you certainly will on ours). What is the difference and why does that matter to families?

What is an independent funeral director?

An Independent Funeral Director is a privately owned business that is usually owned and run by a local family. With strong ties to their community and in a lot of cases a long history of serving the families around them, they hold well known names and are very much a part of the local community. They are not owned, or more importantly, governed by a National Chain.

What is a National Chain?

There are a number of National Chains that dominate the funeral industry in the UK. The big two are Coop & Dignity with Funeral Partners being a rising force.

How can you tell an Independent Funeral Director from a National Chain?

In most cases the name above the door and an independent will make it very clear that is what they are. It is not always that easy as some long term Independents have been purchased over the years by National Chains and they still bear the original Independent's name.

Do not get confused with Funeral Industry Trade Bodies

If you see a funeral director is a member of NAFD (National Association of Funeral Directors) or SAIF (The National Society of Allied Independent Funeral Directors) this is an indication of their membership to the trade organisation and not a National Chain.

What is the difference with an Independent Funeral Director?

We can only answer this as ourselves. Mainly there are the following differences;

  • We are a small family run local businesses

  • Service and client focussed

  • Close community ties

  • Local experience

  • Flexibility

What does this all mean for families who are arranging a funeral?

Small family run business

As an independent funeral director we are owned run by ourselves. Rob and I live in Paignton and are very much a part of the community. We have years of experience arranging and conducting funerals in the Torbay area. When you call us you will speak with Katie or Rob and we do not use call centres.

Service and client focussed & close community ties

We have the ability to tailor a funeral to suit that families needs. Essentially we can help in many ways without constraint from a higher power. We understand our local community and can adapt very quickly to local influences. As we make the decisions we can tailor funerals to suit each client rather than having to stick rigidly to national policies.

Local experience

Due to our local links we can advise our families all the way through on the best solutions for them.


We are local, if a family needs to see us at any time of day or night we are available. We do not charge for that service, it is just supporting our families that matters.


This is a sensitive subject for anyone arranging a funeral. We go into much more detail on how to compare funeral costs in another blog but all i will say on here is independent funeral directors have much lower overheads than National Chains so this does usually influence the cost.

Have a look at the link below for more information from The Money Advice Service.

Remember funeral prices are based on local prices and not nationally. We have done another blog covering this most sensitive subject.

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