Crowdfunding and Alternative Finance Going Mainstream

There were two news items of interest today for small businesses seeking funding. The first was an update from The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) on their investigation into business banking in which they indicate that the big high street banks may be hindering rather than helping small businesses. The second development was the launch …

How to save £2,000 in tax for your business

The Chancellor is going to be writing to all small businesses and charities in April to tell them about a new tax allowance. They will be able to claim a £2,000 allowance on Class 1 National Insurance contributions. Basically this means that if you employ someone on £22,000 per year you will not have to …

Banks and Small Businesses Out of Sync on Lending?

The latest figures from the Bank of England show that the availability of loans and finance to small business increased during 2013. However they also show that the demand for this finance from small businesses is flat or decreasing. Since the financial crash and credit crunch of 2008 a major concern has been the availability …

What is the Regional Growth Fund?

The Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is designed to provide money to SMEs who cannot access funding from other sources. The money comes from central government but is partly distributed by around 100 regional and national partners. These vary from big banks to local councils and non-profit organisations. Some of the money is also being given …

New Changes to Charity Gift Aid Rules

On the 3rd of July 2013 the Government announced reforms to the Gift Aid rules. Gift Aid is a way for charities to claim back the tax on donations made by eligible donors. Though the Treasury reported that “last year over £1 billion was paid to charities through Gift Aid,” charities still need more help. …

Simplified Expenses for Sole Traders

The second part of HMRC’s new Simpler Income Tax scheme is Simplified Expenses. It aims to make the way unincorporated businesses (sole traders and partnerships) work out their businesses expenses more straight forward. Though the practical application of the process is as the name suggests and is simple, there is quite a lot to get …

Income Tax Changes for Sole Traders

The Government have introduced yet another change at HMRC which affects small businesses. Unlike most of the new schemes, using Simpler Income Tax is optional, and small businesses that qualify can choose whether or not to use it. There are two parts to Simpler Income Tax: Cash Basis and Simplified Expenses. Despite what the scheme’s …

Funding for Lending Extended and Expanded

Funding for Lending is the latest in a series of government initiatives to get the banks to lend to small businesses. As we have reported before, serious doubts have been raised about the effectiveness of this scheme, with the Bank of England reporting that it has left the availability of funds for SMEs “little changed”. …

New RTI Exemption for Some Small Businesses

The new Real Time Information (RTI) PAYE requirements are due to roll out to all PAYE registered business from April 6th. There have been worries about how small businesses will cope with this scheme as it brings major changes to way businesses do their payroll. These worries were increased by recent research conducted by the …

What Age to Start Your Start-up Business?

The popular image of an entrepreneur tends to either be an old white man like Richard Branson or Alan Sugar or a young white man like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Much of the conversation around startups tends to focus on the young face of entrepreneurs and in particular on tech start-ups. The UK government has …