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SMEs

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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Crisis in Private Rentals — Bad News for Landlords and Tenants

Figures just out show that private rents increased in the past 12 months at a rate well above inflation. At the same time, as prospects seem to be diminishing of the renters reform bill passing before the election, record numbers of tenants are being forced to move. It might seem at a casual glance that this is all great news for buy-to-let owners, but it’s actually not that simple. If you’re a private la
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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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Late Payments and Finance Problems — Optimism Falling Among Small Businesses

The last quarter of 2023 saw the UK going formally into recession, and that’s bound to affect the mood among small businesses. It’s not a coincidence that a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that businesses felt more pessimistic during Q4 than Q3. Lower Levels of Optimism Among Small Businesses The FSB’s Small Business Index for the final quarter of 2023 found a reduction in s
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Directors of Companies Facing Insolvency — The Four Deadly Sins

None of us like to think of our companies facing insolvency, but unfortunately that can be the reality of business, especially at the moment. Record numbers of business insolvencies are being recorded, so it’s vital for Directors to be clear what they should and shouldn’t do — preferably before they’re faced with the choices. What Is Insolvency? Section 123 of the Insolvency Act 1986 sets out variou
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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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