New Company Reporting Thresholds now in place

Business Diagram

The new regulations came into force on 6th April 2015 setting the following thresholds for small companies

Turnover  £10,200,000
Total assets  £5,100,000
Average no. of employees 50

Medium Company thresholds will now be

Turnover  £36,000,000
Total assets  £18,000,000
Average no. of employees 250

Micro Entities thresholds are unchanged

Turnover  £316,000
Total assets  £632,000
Average no. of employees 10

As before its a  2 out of 3 test. The Audit thresholds are unchanged.

Micro entities are no longer required to produce a directors report.

The new thresholds will apply to financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2016. However, early adoption is permitted.

Further details in SI2015/980

steve@bicknells.net

 

 

 

 

 

Is Striking Off a company the best solution?

 

Closing down stamp

Companies House guidance states…
A company may apply to the registrar to be struck off the register and dissolved. The company can do this if it is no longer needed. For example, the directors may wish to retire and there is no one to take over from them; or
it is a subsidiary whose name is no longer needed; or it was set up to exploit an idea that turned out not to be feasible. Some companies who are dormant or non trading choose to apply for strike off. If you have
decided that you no longer want to retain your company and wish to have it struck off, the registrar will not normally pursue any outstanding late filing penalties unless you restore the company to the register at a later stage.
Form DS01 is used to apply for striking off and guidance GP4
An alternative, if the business has assets is to use an Members Voluntary Liquidation (MVL).
  1. The Insolvency Practitioner will ask your Accountant to confirm that the clients tax affairs are inorder and that appropriate advice has been given
  2. Final Accounts will need to be prepared and creditors paid
  3. A Declaration of Insolvency will be signed – The declaration of insolvency demonstrates that the company will be able to settle or secure liabilities and the costs of liquidation within 12 months
  4. A meeting of Shareholders will appoint the Insolvency Practitioner
  5. Notices will be posted at Companies House and in the London Gazzette
  6. Then the MVL can be a carried out and funds distributed
  7. Arrangements can be put in place to allow the directors access to funds during the process

Here are my top 5 reasons why an MVL might be a good choice:

  1. The change in 2012 capped capital distributions on striking off at £25,000 but this cap does not apply to liquidations
  2. You want to retire and close your business and extract the net worth
  3. You created a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for a specific project and the company is no longer needed
  4. Companies that are stuck off can be re-instated but that’s not the case with liquidated companies
  5. Entrepreneurs Tax Relief may be applicable meaning the capital distribution is taxed at 10%
You may also consider disincorporation.
steve@bicknells.net

 

Top 15 points in the Small Business Bill

Business teamwork for success

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill is going through parliment now

The Bill will open up new opportunities for small businesses to:

  • compete
  • get finance to create jobs
  • grow
  • innovate
  • export

Here are my top 15 key points:

  1. For every piece of legislative brought in two pieces will be removed
  2. Prompt Payment
  3. Changes to Childcare Early Years and Child Minder Registrations
  4. Cheque imaging from smart phones (Presentment of Cheques)
  5. Banks will share data on Small Businesses with other Lenders
  6. Invalidating restrictive terms in business contracts to increase access to Invoice Discounting
  7. Company Transparency – Register of People with Significant Control
  8. Accelerated Strike Off
  9. Company filing changes
  10. Directors Disqualification – tougher rules
  11. Schools, Colleges, Higher Education to track students into the labour force
  12. Penalties for employers who fail to pay an Employment Tribunal award
  13. Penalties for non compliance with National Minimum Wage increased to 100% or upto £20,000
  14. Improved access to alternative finance
  15. Streamlined Company Registration

These are major changes that will affect us all!

steve@bicknells.net

When will your company stop being small?

48791f6f-dee7-452d-ba09-68ab8852395a

Back in June 2013 the EU passed a directive 2013/34/EU which changed the thresholds for small companies.

 

Present Proposed
Turnover  £6,500,000  £10,200,000
Total assets  £3,260,000  £5,100,000
Average no. of employees  50 50

As before its a  2 out of 3 test. The Audit thresholds are unchanged.

The UK was required to transpose this into UK Law no later than 20th July 2015.

The Dept for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) have just concluded their consultation (24th October 2014) and the plan is currently to implement the change for financial years starting on or after 1st January 2016.

As pointed out by SWAT

This could mean that a company with a turnover between £6.5m and £10.2m will be required to prepare its accounts for year ended 31 December as follows:

2014 as a medium sized company under present UK GAAP;

2015 as a medium sized company under FRS 102;

2016 as a small company under the applicable accounting regime for small companies.

This might depend on whether the company could early adopt the new regulations for its 2015 accounts. The possibility of early adoption is one of the questions asked by BIS.

Surely BIS can see that not allowing early adoption will place an unnecessary reporting burden on Small Companies?

 

steve@bicknells.net

Will you be exporting in Export Week?

Export - Red Hanging Cargo Container.

Its the UK Trade and Investment’s 6th annual Export Week (10 to 14 November).

Previous Export Weeks have seen over 17,000 companies in the UK attend exporting focussed events. This week we will again have over 70 events across the UK; there will be at least one event per day in every part of the UK.

According to a recent survey by Barclays Corporate Banking, in new emerging markets 64% of consumers are more likely to buy a product which displays the Union Jack.

A survey by Exact back in June 2014 showed…

The survey of 453 SME leaders found that 54% of SMEs now sell products or services abroad. It found that exporting is the biggest growth area for 19% of the UK’s SMEs, and 68% of those who currently export saw export sales increase in 2013 over the previous year. For 18%, exports now account for over half their sales.

HMRC have a helpsheet TH/FS15 which has some helpful advice on importing and exporting.

So will your business be exporting this week?

steve@bicknells.net

Are you one of the third of workers with a part time business?

Business people group.

Almost a third of British workers run some kind of creative business outside their main job contributing an estimated £15bn to the UK economy, according to new research from Moo.com. Profitability among this group of enterprises has increased by 32% in the past year. One in ten part-time creative entrepreneurs plans to leave their job to focus on their business full-time within the next year. However, 60% said it was their passion for the business, and not making money, that motivated them. The most popular part-time creative ventures are in food and cooking, gardening, photography and knitting. (According to Law Donut)

So why are micro businesses taking off:

  1. You can start off working at home
  2. Your start up costs are low
  3. You can do it part time when it suits you
  4. With wages frozen and costs rising it can provide a useful additional income
  5. Its easy to be price competitive with low overheads
  6. The Internet makes it easy to sell your goods and services
  7. Your social capital can be used to generate sales ie use your contacts and connections
  8. There could tax advantages – employees generally pay more tax than sole traders
  9. Some clients prefer the personal touch
  10. It could be start of something big

Here are my top 20 home based business ideas:

  1. Get a lodger – Under rent-a-room a taxpayer can be exempt from Income Tax on profits from furnished accommodation in their only or main home if the gross receipts they get (that is, before expenses) are £4,250 or less
  2. Ironing and Laundry Services – Always popular and you can start with friends and family
  3. E Bay Trading – as E Bay say… The first task is to sort through those bulging drawers and messy cupboards, finding stuff to flog. Get a big eBay box to stash your wares in, and systematically clear out wardrobes, DVD and CD piles, the loft and garage. Use the easy 12-month rule of thumb to help you decide what to offload: Haven’t used it for a year? Flog it.
  4. Blogging – Blogging has taken off and many businesses are looking for people to write blogs for them
  5. Candle Making – You can sell the candles on line and its easy to buy the wax and things you need to make the candles
  6. Car Boot Sale – As with E Bay but without going on line
  7. Cake Making – Make sure everything is labelled correctly and you comply with Health & Safety issues
  8. Data Entry – The internet makes it easy to enter data from where ever you are
  9. Social Media – Similar to blogging, businesses need help to manage Twitter, Facebook and Linked In
  10. Website Design – If you have the expertise, go for it
  11. Sales Parties –  Cosmetics to Ann Summers, there is a long list of opportunities
  12. Sewing and Clothes Alterations – Perfect before and after Christmas
  13. Jewellery – Making and selling jewellery is always popular and great for Christmas presents
  14. Car Repairs – Assuming you have the skills needed and comply with legal requirements
  15. Pet Care – Walking dogs or grooming is popular
  16. Virtual Assistant – Also personal organiser or personal shopper
  17. Wedding Planner – You could start by creating a blog about your expertise
  18. Direct Sales – For example http://www.netmums.com/back-to-work/working-for-yourself/direct-selling-opportunities
  19. Computer Repair – Great provided you have the skills
  20. Marketing – Telesales to leaflet design and freelance writing

https://stevejbicknell.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/home-worker.jpg

 

steve@bicknells.net

Is your business ignoring Mobile?

Mobile phone in the wallet

A OnePoll survey commissioned by AppsBuilder reveals that £52.6 billion of potential revenue to be gained via mobile is being ignored by over 3.2 million UK SMEs. It found that 65.8% of the nation’s 4.9 million SMEs don’t currently have a mobile presence, equating to potential lost revenues of £52.6 billion in the next 12 months alone. The number of consumers in the UK using mobile phones to access the internet has doubled over the past three years and about 5% of all UK retail sales come via mobile phones. (Law Donut)

Its not just about Apps, websites too need to be optimised…

With only 10% of the UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) having a mobile optimized website, businesses could be missing out on £77 billion in annual revenue a study has found. And only 13% of those without a mobile optimized site plan to have one by the end of 2014.

The survey, conducted by Impact Research for hibu, asked 900 UK SME owners and IT leaders about their companies’ websites, revenues and future plans for the mobile web. It showed that 45% of UK SMEs do not have a website, yet believe their annual revenue could rise by 5.4% if they had a website that was optimised for mobile transactions, equating to an average of £11,155 extra turnover annually.

http://internetretailing.net/2014/02/ignoring-the-move-to-mobile-is-costing-uk-smes-77bn-a-year-study-find/

I find it incredible that 45% of SME’s do not have a website? how will customers find them?

The days of looking yellow pages and printed directories are long gone, most people search google to find the goods and services they need.

steve@bicknells.net

 

Would you like to borrow against a single invoice?

Close-up picture of an invoice

In August 2013, the UK Government became a Buyer of invoices on the MarketInvoice Platform, investing directly in UK SMEs looking to access working capital and grow their businesses.

Why is the Government investing funds through MarketInvoice?

The UK Government, via the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (‘BIS’) and as part of the ‘Business Finance Partnership’, has committed to using alternative finance providers to channel much needed growth funding to UK SMEs.  The scheme is investing £1.2 billion into increasing lending to small and medium sized businesses from sources other than banks.

How does it work?

Any company can use MarketInvoice provided its sells goods or services to other large businesses.

Its a ‘pay as you go’ service and you can see the estimated costs by using their calculator

Companies are vetted and the invoice must be to a large corporate not to other SME’s.

Its confidential so your customer will not know you have used MarketInvoice, if the customer doesn’t pay you will have to refund the investor.

So far £163m of invoices have been funded by MarketInvoice.

Of course it would be better if customers always paid quickly!

steve@bicknells.net

65% of SME’s rejected for a loan want to try alternatives… would you

Bank loan

A government consultation ended last week into whether legislation should force banks to refer rejected loans to alternative sources of finance.

At present the largest four banks account for over 80% of UK SMEs’ main banking relationships. Many SMEs only approach the largest banks when seeking finance. Although a large number of these applications are rejected – in the case of first time SME borrowers the rejection rate is around 50% – a proportion of these are viable and are rejected simply because they don’t meet the risk profiles of the largest banks. There are often challenger banks and alternative finance providers with different business models that may be willing to lend to these SMEs.

Although the largest banks will sometimes refer these SMEs on, in many cases challenger banks and other providers of finance are unable to offer finance as they are not aware of their existence and the SMEs are not aware of the existence of these alternative sources of finance.

SME’s most trusted advisors are Accountants, according to Accountancy Age a fifth of SME’s are more open with their accountant than their bank manager and half believe that their Accountant is the most valuable source of business advice and just under half turn to their Accountant first for advise.

So why aren’t banks working more closely with accountants? I think its because its hard to work with individual accountants and build multiple relationships, its much easier to work with groups of accountants on a national basis such as www.business-accountant.com

Would you ask your accountant if you were looking for finance?

steve@bicknells.net