Measures to help small businesses become law

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Limited companies, sole traders and start ups are set to benefit from a new set of measures that will become law.

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act is intended to make the UK the best place in Europe for entrepreneurs to start and grow a business. It will also help to create two million more jobs over the next five years.

Business secretary Sajid Javid will set out the new measures in his first speech in his new role since he took over from Vince Cable. He will be speaking at the Engine Shed business centre in Bristol.

Mr Javid said: “Small businesses are Britain’s engine room and the success of our whole economy is built on the hard work and determination of the people who run and work for them. As Business Secretary I will always back them and, in my determination to get the job done, one of my first steps will be to bring forward an Enterprise Bill that helps them to succeed and create jobs.”

As part of the plans, the government aims to cut red tape by at least £10 billion. It will also go beyond Whitehall to target independent regulators for the first time.

A Small Business Conciliation Service will also be introduced with a view to dealing with disputes between small and large businesses. In particular, it will deal with the issue of late payment practices. The new service will build on the measures that are already in place when it comes to dealing with poor payment practices.

According to Bacs, small firms in the UK are currently owed more than £32 billion in late payments but many are reluctant to take these issues to court or are not sure about their legal rights.

Another way that the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act is set to offer support to firms is through extending and simplifying Primary Authority. This lets businesses go to a single local council for advice on regulation, which must then be respected by all other councils. Therefore, businesses will see less time and money attributed to making sure they are staying in line with different rules.

In Europe, it is also expected that the European Commission will announce proposals to cut red tape. This follows on from suggestions from the UK government for reform from a UK business-led taskforce. One of the measures that the UK has lobbied for is for small businesses to face lighter regimes under new EU legislation.

By Victoria McDonnell

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