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Regulation

How Do People See the Work of Enforcement Officers?

Traditionally, people have always been terrified of “the bailiffs”. They’ve been seen as people who can descend on you and use strong-arm tactics to seize your property and leave you destitute. That’s a very Dickensian picture, and while it may have once been true, enforcement officers (as they’re more correctly called) are carefully regulated today. And a recent survey showed that 83% o
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Buy Now Pay Later — An Opportunity or a Trap?

In difficult times like these, resorting to Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) can seem like a lifesaver. Used carefully and with full understanding, it can be a good way of spreading costs for items you can’t immediately afford. The problem is that many consumers don’t fully understand the terms and, as recent research by TotallyMoney shows, repayments can very quickly build up. What Is Buy Now Pay Later? BNPL is
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Are You Ready for the Changes in Employment Law?

If you employ people in your business, you already have plenty of things to remember for their terms of employment. Well, since 6th April there are two more — and not being ready for them could land you in trouble. Changes to Flexible Working Rules The Covid lockdown finally put paid to the already dying traditional model of working, where everyone came into a workplace and stayed from nine till five. Depending on th
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Mixed Forecasts from London Businesses

After a year that’s been bad for both businesses and consumers, it might be assumed that business forecasts are going to be negative. However, a survey of London businesses late in 2023, gives mixed signals. Most expect difficult times in the first half of 2024 — but a surprisingly large number also expect to increase their profits this year. Fears for Economic Activity in 2024 In a survey of 500 London-based b
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Small Businesses Are Confident About 2024

The Federation of Small Businesses reported that, for the 4th quarter of 2023, 40% of small businesses reported a fall in revenue, and confidence had also plummeted. Which makes it more surprising that, according to research by three separate organisations, optimism is high among small businesses for 2024. Expectations for Growth in Turnover In a recent poll by lender Iwoca, 47% of small businesses were expecting an
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Risks of Debt Among Financially Vulnerable People

The cost-of-living crisis is hitting us all, to some extent, but it’s hardly a surprise that the worst hit are the most financially vulnerable people. For many, the only way out seems to be taking on debt, which can lead them into a debt spiral it’s hard to break — and this is especially a risk over Christmas. Debt Patterns in 2023 Recent figures show that, on average, 22% of people in the UK have fallen
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Late Payments — What Difference Will the Autumn Statement Make?

Small businesses doing business with giant corporations have traditionally had no choice but to put up with accepting the customer’s payment terms — sometimes having to wait months before getting their money. This can leave their cashflow in a dangerous condition, even threatening their ability to continue trading. The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, on 22nd November, addressed this issue. The measures he
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Do You Need to Pay HMRC First if You’re Insolvent?

If a company enters into any form of insolvency, whether it’s a company voluntary arrangement, a pre-pack administration or a restructuring plan, it’s likely that one of the major creditors will be HMRC. It’s often believed that any taxes owed have to be paid first, before any other debts have to be considered. However, the situation is far from simple. Some recent cases have supported HMRC’s claims, while others hav
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Good News and Bad News for International Business

During the pandemic, SMEs worldwide assumed this was as bad as it got, and by this time things would have improved. In fact, 2023 seems to be even worse than the height of lockdown — in fact, the worst the economy has been since 2008. Strangely, though, this doesn’t appear to be causing gloom among business owners. A recent survey suggested that the vast majority of SMEs in the international business community are op
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Business Insolvencies Soared in May

There have been many signs recently that the economy is in trouble, most obviously the most recent announcement of interest rate rises. Another troubling sign, though, has been given less publicity — a sharp rise in business insolvencies in May. What’s behind this, and what does it mean for you as a business owner? The Rise in the Figures Business insolvency figures have been rising for a while, but it’s been possibl
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