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Are UK business laws friendly?

May 5, 2018

There is good news for business owners or those looking to launch a new business this year – the UK was recently judged as the second most business-friendly major economy on the planet, according to the index released by the World Bank in 2016.

Ranked seventh overall, the UK was second only to the USA among G7 countries and above all other European nations barring Denmark. The index is compiled based on a number of different factors, including the availability of government grants, loans and subsidies, corporate tax infrastructure, red tape and more.

The announcement is welcome news for those who feared Brexit may have a detrimental effect on the British economy, since it appears to signal that the country could flourish after leaving the EU. But what exactly is the government doing to encourage small- and medium-sized businesses to grow domestically and internationally?

Here is a brief and by no means comprehensive rundown of some of the schemes and incentives available to UK entrepreneurs and business owners – a more complete list of financial aid can be found on the GOV.UK website.

  • Bank loans. The British Business Bank offer guarantees to private sector lenders to encourage banks to invest in small- and medium-sized businesses across Britain. In May 2016, the Bank unveiled its ‘Help to Grow’ programme, designed to allow smaller companies to raise the funds necessary to develop and meet their potential.
  • Start-up loans. Providing loans, counsel and mentoring to start-ups, the Start-Up Loans schemes aims to have given out 75,000 loans by the time the incumbent government reaches the end of their parliamentary term.
  • There are a variety of grants available to businesses which excel in innovation, environmental practices and job creation. These vary significantly depending on location, industry and level of expertise.
  • As well as providing potential employers access to free advice on how to locate apprentices in their area, the National Apprenticeship Service can also provide grants based on the number of apprentices in their service.
  • Tax relief. Depending on your sector, size and location, you may be eligible for capital allowance and other forms of tax relief which can greatly reduce the amount of tax your business has to pay.
  • Support and advice. From the Business Support Helpline (60 minutes of free support available Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm) to the network of 39 Local Growth Hubs which cover the length and breadth of the country, the government is actively seeking to provide help and support to fledgling businesses where possible.

The help provided by the government can prove invaluable to those looking to launch or grow their own business and the initiatives mentioned above are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to financial support and counselling on offer. If you’re looking for more bespoke advice on buying or selling a business, Hilton Smythe can answer your queries and provide impartial advice on where, when and how to complete the transaction.

Get in touch today – we’re waiting to hear from you.