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VAT: 5 common small business queries answered

<b>1. VAT registration limit</b><p>The VAT registration threshold is £81,000 from 1st April 2014. This means if your taxable income has gone over this limit …

Small Business

Mastering The Balance Sheet Can Make Or Break A Startup

When I see something happen again and again in Silicon Valley, I use the phrase “Prevailing Pattern of Practice in the Valley” to describe it. When things work well here, they get copied broadly.<p>Over the last twenty years, recruiters and VCs have actively turned to VPs of Marketing and VP/GMs in …

6 top tips for carrying out a thorough competitor analysis

Every business owner recognises the importance of knowing their market, and many will keep as close an eye on what their competitors are doing as …

15 Things That Could Cause Small Business Failure

It’s sad. 8 out of 10 businesses fail. And many of the causes can be prevented. This list can help you put together a plan to make sure your business …

Lessons from National Apprenticeship Week

In French <i>apprendre</i> means “to learn”. It was National Apprenticeship Week last this week, a chance to focus on the benefits of apprenticeships to …

50% of Small Businesses Not Using Technology and Working in Stone Age

According to a newly released GoDaddy survey, even with all of the affordable and easy to use apps available today, there is a large number of small …

Seven ways to reduce waste and increase profitability

It has become accepted that many businesses are increasingly focusing on the top line and the desire to grow the turnover figure, but this does not …

How to chase debts without pushing your customers away

Cash is king for all businesses, but late payment is a growing problem: research published earlier this year found that more than half (57 per cent) …

Workplace pensions: What every SME owner needs to know

Automatic enrolment launched on October 1, 2012 and affected the largest employers in the UK first. NEST is currently working with over 840,000 …

How to move your business to the cloud

“Why bother?”<p>… is the first question many managing directors will ask themselves or their IT supplier. The cloud by its very nature is a nebulous, …

Middle class families denied £2,000 nanny allowance

Hard working middle class families who hire nannies are excluded from a generous Government allowance that eases the burden of national insurance costs for other small scale employers<p>The exclusion has lead experts to warn that, in effect, parents are being encouraged to keep their nannies and other …

HMRC publishes new guidance ahead of £2k cashback on jobs

The forthcoming allowance, available from 6 April 2014, is worth up to £2.000 off the employer’s NIC contribution bill for over 1.25m businesses …

Employers don't know enough about pensions auto-enrolment, say accountants

95 per cent of those asked in the survey by NOW Pensions said that more needed to be done to educate employers, of which three quarters said this …

“Plan your exit 5 to 10 years in advance"

For those wishing to sell your business in the future, the paramount guidance I can give is to plan way in advance. I developed my company into a …

From unemployment to skills shortage

Many more people are now in employment so that the unemployment rate has come down to seven per cent. However, it seems that we do not have the right …

Bank account complaints jump 155pc in nine months

Thousands of customers paying up to £300 a year for extras that they either did not know existed or did not want<p>Complaints from bank customers over paid-for accounts have soared 155pc in just nine months, the Financial Ombudsman Service has said.<p>Thousands of customers are angry they are paying up …

10 Strategies for Surviving a Cash Flow Slump

Maybe you haven’t had the earnings you projected you would this year. Maybe some key invoices are still unpaid and you’re getting panicky.<p>Fear not — …

Britain's creative businesses are the unsung heroes of the economy

This is to be greatly applauded. Britain’s creative industries, which encompass a wide range of areas from theatre, film and dance to art, music and …

Wowwee MiP balancing robot wants to be your gesture-controlled friend - Pocket-lint

MiP is the balancing robot that zips about on two wheels doing the bidding of your every gesture. It can also carry its own weight and fight other …

Pension Auto Enrolment: How are UK employers doing so far?

The Pensions Regulator has issued 32,000 letters to organisations with staging dates from January 2013 to September 2014. From January 2014, small to …

Improve Your Cash Flow Now With These Five Tips

During the 1992 presidential election, there was a sign that was reportedly hung by James Carville, Bill Clinton’s campaign manager in their Little …

The business benefits of outsourcing HR and payroll services

Paying your employees correctly is crucial, and mistakes could cost you far more than respect. It’s their prerogative to get paid what they earn; on …

HMRC revenues from investigations into SMEs jump 31 per cent

Compliance investigations into SMEs raked in £565m for HMRC in 2012-13, up from £434m in 2011-12 (year ending March 31).<p>In the 2010 Spending Review, …

Small firms spend £500m per year on tax admin

Britain’s small businesses spend half a billion pounds a year on tax admin, research revealed today shows.<p>The findings from the Federation of Small …

A third of SMEs will "refuse to comply" with auto-enrolment

IBut a recent survey suggests that one third of SMEs plan on ignoring the new rules. The research by Clarity Surveys for Second Sight, found that two …

How to find the right non-exec directors

Finding the right Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) is one of the biggest challenges SMEs face according to a recent member survey we conducted. Why? …

Auto-enrolment: 90% of SMEs have yet to start preparing

The vast majority of business owners are still unprepared for Auto-Enrolment (AE), according to Clifton Wealth research. Half of business owners …

Is your business ready for auto-enrolment?

Around 38,000 British businesses will need to auto-enrol their employees in company pensions next year. By 2018 it’s expected that 11m more workers …