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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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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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Business Loans and Personal Guarantees

Loans can be essential for the growth of small businesses, and as long as they’re managed carefully, they’re entirely positive. Investing for growth is a way that SMEs can lead the economy out of its current stagnation — but there’s a problem. Banks are increasingly asking directors of small businesses to provide personal guarantees for loans, often putting their homes on the line. The Federation of
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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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Director’s Loan Account — What Happens if the Company Is Liquidated

In my last post, I talked about the effect of liquidation on a company’s directors, mentioning that one potential problem arises if a director has a Director’s Loan Account with the company. So, what exactly is a Director’s Loan Account, and what are the dangers if the company is liquidated? What Is a Director’s Loan Account? A director is entitled to draw funds from the company as a loan, and
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Company Liquidation — How Does It Affect a Director?

In any time of economic uncertainty, there’s likely to be an increase in companies going into liquidation. The recent collapse of Wilko has focused our attention on this issue, and no doubt many company directors are feeling nervous. The position of a director of an insolvent company can be problematic in certain circumstances. In general, however, there shouldn’t be too much to worry about. Insolvency fo
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New Technology and SMEs — Boosting Efficiency

Eighteen months after the last Covid restrictions were lifted, it might be expected that SMEs would be relying less on new technology, especially technology allowing their employees to work from home. However, a survey last month suggests this is far from the case. SMEs Are Still Relying on Technology A study in September by Novuna Business Finance shows that 67% of small business owners consider technology to be hav
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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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