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The latest small business news updates…

Nearly a third of workers have admitted using drugs at work, and virtually every employee say they’ve been drunk in the workplace.

These are the incredible figures from a new survey carried out for Protecting.co.uk, which also found significant numbers of staff are “under the influence” every working day.
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Are you a young entrepreneur, or do you think you have the potential to run a growing business?

If so, the New Entrepreneurs Foundation’s (NEF) annual Enterprise Programme could be the stepping stone you need, to turn your dreams into reality.

The 12-month programme, which starts in September, is the only one of its kind in the UK, and gives aspiring business owners a great head-start in their new venture.

Designed to teach young people the ropes of becoming a successful entrepreneur, the programme aims to give young talent the skills, experience and contacts needed to succeed in business.

And the NEF, which has already helped 100 young men and women through the programme, is now calling on the UK’s bright minds and aspiring entrepreneurs to apply to be one this year’s intake. Continue…

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Entrepreneur and psychotherapeutic executive coach, Bec Howard is giving 10 women leaders and entrepreneurs the chance to take part in her research study, “Therapy in the boardroom”.

As part of the research, the successful applicants will receive two, 3 hour one-to-one psychotherapeutic coaching sessions over the course of three months.

Any woman in business, anywhere in the country, who is serious about unlocking their own potential to accelerate her business growth or career can apply.
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HMRC are running a series of live webinars to help those that are new to, or considering; going self employed, starting a business, employing staff or becoming a limited company director.

Each webinar covers a distinct topic and will help you to understand the legal implications and the responsibilities involved with the steps you are considering. You can also submit questions to the presenter during a webinar.

The webinars that will be of interest to new business start-ups, both sole traders and limited company directors, and those thinking of employing staff for the first time are detailed here; Continue…

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The Angel CoFund, which provides investment capital for businesses with the potential for rapid growth, can now be tapped by companies from all over the UK.

Previously, only high-growth businesses in specific geographical areas of the UK were eligible for funding through the CoFund. However, a £50 million finance boost from the government’s Business Bank initiative sees the fund being opened to businesses from all parts of the UK.
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Vince Cable has launched the first phase of lending by the New Business Bank by announcing an initial £300m injection of public funds into the project, which will be combined with private investment.
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The Chancellor delivered his 4th Budget speech at 12.30 today. Here is a summary of the key points announced, with particular reference to the changes which affect small businesses.
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The number of businesses seeking funding via the Enterprise Investment Scheme has jumped by almost 50% over the past year. Experts believe the number will climb further due to the recent relaxation of the EIS eligibility rules.
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With just weeks to go before implementation, a a leading accounting body says that one third of small firms ‘have no knowledge’ of the upcoming RTI changes to the PAYE system.
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Data released by the Office of National Statistics this week shows that the total number of self-employed has reached an all-time high of 4.2 million, with almost 370,000 extra people working for themselves since the economic downturn started in 2008.
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Small businesses with outstanding tax liabilities are being warned that HMRC has doubled the use of its ‘power of distraint’, which allows its staff to make unannounced visits to firms’ premises in order to recover unpaid taxes.
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Every business needs insurance of some kind or another and many businesses have a multitude of different and complex insurance policies. But insurers have an unfair advantage when it comes to claiming against a policy.
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The Chancellor delivered his Autumn Statement this lunchtime. Here are the main points of interest to small business owners:
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Most small businesses believe that they can take on larger firms, and punch above their weight – even in a challenging economic environment.
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A new study into the entrepreneurial behaviour has found that many entrepreneurs are more prudent, and take fewer risks than the general public.
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A new study of 1,000 businesses owners shows that fear of failure is holding back many small businesses. Continue…

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New research published by a leading accountancy firm shows that HMRC has ramped up its investigation efforts into smaller enterprises, as the yield from compliance activities into SMEs soared by almost 40% in the last tax year.
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Figures released by the Department of BIS today show that there are now more private sector businesses in the UK than ever before – 4.8 million of them at the start of the year.
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A new report suggests that businesses that export see a positive impact on their finances within just six months, and will grown on average by one third within two years.
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A new legal procedure has been introduced to help small firms to protect their intellectual property rights without the need for legal representation or a formal hearing.
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Business Link website to be switched off on October 17th

September 17, 2012

Government business portal, Business Link, will be disbanded on October 17th, and replaced by a new service – GOV.UK.

Is it possible for business owners to genuinely relax on holiday?

September 12, 2012

Research carried out by Fasthosts has found that most of the country’s small business owners are too stressed to enjoy going on holiday – with many vacations ruined by business-related interruptions, or the knowledge that they may be losing money while sitting on the beach.

Useful software and apps for start-up businesses

August 29, 2012

An interesting survey of start-up companies, conducted last year, revealed some of the most popular software and apps on the market  – including many that are completely free to use.

Small businesses could save billions by going limited

June 27, 2012

A professional services site says that small businesses could be ‘wasting’ over £4bn each year in unnecessary taxes by setting up as sole traders and partnerships rather than taking the limited company route.

Small firms spend 130 hours each year chasing overdue invoices

June 7, 2012

A recent survey has found that small businesses spend an average 130 hours each year chasing late payments, and wait 30 days beyond the contractually agreed terms before payment is actually received.

New ‘cookie’ law will affect small business site owners

May 18, 2012

New regulations come into force on 25th May, which mean that websites of all sizes will be obliged to gain permission from their visitors to download cookies that collect information about their surfing habits.

How to deal with stress and anger in the workplace

April 13, 2012

For many of us stress and anger has become a normal part of our working lives. Longer working hours, difficulties with co-workers and bosses and the fear of losing our jobs due to job cuts caused by the economic downturn have become the norm. These factors are piling on the pressure and causing us to […]

Budget 2012 – Key points for small businesses

March 21, 2012

This page contains the key points from today’s Budget, including both personal and business tax changes:

Is the New Year the perfect time to start up a new business?

January 25, 2012

According to the ICAEW, the start of a new year is a good time to think about starting up on your own, and given the importance of SMEs to the community, the Government is currently conducting an enquiry into entrepreneurship.

Get your skates on and register with HMRC

December 13, 2011

We’re into December, which means there’s less than 2 months left until all self-assessment tax returns must be safely with HMRC, warns Emily Coltman ACA, Chief Accountant at FreeAgent.