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The latest small business news updates…

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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Freelancers and small businesses are getting an even rougher deal than usual, as figures from Experian show they are currently the only individuals and companies in the UK to be making strides on prompt payment.
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A technology entrepreneur says that start-up businesses can only be effective if they embrace cloud computing, rather than investing in their own computer hardware.
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Useful research, published this week, has unveiled the optimum times of day to launch email marketing campaigns to prospective customers. Email open rates vary enormously according to when they are received.
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Following criticism that the Funding for Lending scheme has done little to extend credit for small firms, the Bank of England has announced an extension to the current scheme, with further incentives for lenders.
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A leading accountancy firm has urged company owners to check if they are due a Corporation Tax refund from HMRC at the end of each year, as delays are not uncommon.
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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 introduction of the Late Payments Directive on March 16th gives you new powers to chase overdue invoices – and makes it more important than ever to pay your own bills on time.
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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 would-be entrepreneurs who have been granted funding via the Start-Up loan scheme has passed the 2,000 mark, with 1,000 businesses receiving assistance over the past month alone.
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Announcing the interim results of its Company and Commercial Law Red Tape Challenge, the Government says that half the regulations dealing with the day-to-day running of limited companies are to be scrapped or modified in some way.
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A leading law firm has warned that the retirement of the so-called ‘baby-boom generation’ could cause a crisis in business succession planning, and businesses may need to look for alternative funding solutions as traditional lending options continue to be difficult to access.
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HMRC has embraced social media this week by hosting a week-long Twitter Q&A session aimed at prospective start-ups. Over 20 new start-up videos have also been posted to help fledgling businesses with tax-related issues.
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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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In a move that has been criticised by some, HMRC have decided to ‘name and shame’ people who have received penalties for making deliberate tax return errors, where the total penalties total more than £25,000.
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The Business Secretary has finalised an agreement to bring a new patent court to London, designed to protect business owners’ ideas in Europe.
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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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Many company owners miss out on preferred domain names

February 11, 2013

A recent survey found that many limited company owners do not research the availability of domain names during the formation process, which could cause problems for marketing their brand online in the future.

Surge in number of self-employed since 2008

February 7, 2013

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.

Entrepreneur immigration rules tightened to prevent abuse

February 4, 2013

Immigration minister, Mark Harper, has made changes to immigration rules following evidence that the Entrepreneur migration entry programme has been abused.

Start-up loans scheme expanded

January 31, 2013

The Start-Up Loans scheme has been extended with a further £30m cash injection from the Government, and an increase in the age limit for applicants.

Self Assessment a concern for many small businesses

January 30, 2013

A poll of over 500 small businesses shows that a significant number of business owners found the self assessment process worrying – and in some cases, terrifying.

Self-employed will benefit from universal state pension changes

January 25, 2013

A leading specialist accounting firm says that the introduction of a flat-rate state pension will act as an incentive for would-be entrepreneurs to start new businesses, as the current system is biased towards ‘traditional’ permanent workers.

HMRC using distraint powers to collect taxes from late-paying businesses

January 23, 2013

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.

Tax body: Capital Allowance hike ‘well-intentioned but confusing’

January 22, 2013

A leading tax body says that the constant changes to the capital allowances regime (including the latest ten-fold rise in the Annual Investment Allowance limit) is likely to cause confusion for small companies, and lead to accounting errors.

Maintaining a healthy cashflow over the festive period

December 14, 2012

With the festive period being the most important time of year for many small businesses – particularly those in the retail sector, there are some fundamental measures firms can take to ensure that they maintain a healthy cash flow.

Material changes coming to business insurance – but will they make a big difference ?

December 11, 2012

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.