Posts Tagged ‘SMEs

11
Nov
15

Insolvency fees rise but the number of insolvencies drop

Hart Shaw Business Recovery is reminding SMEs that revised fees for bankruptcies and company insolvencies will come into force on 16 November 2015.

Fees and charges are reviewed annually and the revised fee structure ensures that the cost of insolvency processes is paid for by those who use them.

The company winding up deposit – which needs to be paid to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment – is set to rise by eight per cent to £1,350, whilst the company winding up administration fee will climb by five per cent to £2,520.

Christopher Brown, Business Recovery & Insolvency Partner, at Hart Shaw, a founder member firm of the UK200 Group said: “These changes will be subject to Parliamentary scrutiny, but the rise in fees is disappointing for SMEs. However, it is promising to learn that according to the latest figures from the Insolvency Service, there has been a fall in the number of company insolvencies in England and Wales over the last quarter.

“Some 3,539 companies entered insolvency in Q3 2015; a drop of more than ten per cent compared to Q3 2014. The decrease in compulsory liquidations mark a drop to the lowest level since 1989. In fact, the estimated liquidation rate in the 12 months ending Q3 2015 was less than half of one per cent of active companies, which is the lowest level since comparable records began in 1984.

“However, if you’re an SME owner that is worried about bankruptcy, insolvency and the associated fees, talk to an expert.”

Hart Shaw Business Recovery has a team of professionals that can assist in this area. To find out more, please contact Christopher Brown on 0114 251 8850 or chris.brown@hartshaw.co.uk.

 

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08
Oct
15

Do not bury your head in the sand

Sheffield based accountants Hart Shaw is urging business not to be complacent if they receive accelerated payment notices (APNs), after new figures reveal that the government has collected more than £1 billion through their use.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) recently announced that it has collected more than a billion pound using APNs, since it was granted the new powers in 2014/15.

Under the accelerated payment rules, HMRC is able to make taxpayers pay disputed tax in advance, rather than waiting for the outcome of a tax tribunal ruling.

Once an APN is received taxpayers have 90 days to pay the outstanding tax, whether they feel it is due or not or face additional penalties. If the taxpayer wins the case the money is reimbursed to them with interest.

During the first year HMRC issued more than 10,000 notices to businesses or individuals who had used a disclosable scheme under the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTAS) rules.

Christopher Brown, Business Recovery & Insolvency Partner at Hart Shaw said: ““Receiving an APN should not be taken lightly, as it can have a serious effect on the liquidity and reputation of you and your business.

“The fact that HMRC have collected more than £1 billion, shows that they are serious when it comes to potential tax avoidance.”

Earlier this year, it was revealed in HMRC’s annual report on tax avoidance, that of the £596m received from APNs during 2014/15, some £28m was refunded after legal challenges.

“While many of those targeted by these new powers may have legitimately avoided paying tax, there will be some individuals and business who have been unfairly targeted and this is evident in the number of refunds already issued by HMRC,” added Christopher.  “Seeking professional advice sooner rather than later is critical.”

For more information please contact Christopher Brown on 0114 251 8850 or chris.brown@hartshaw.co.uk.

 

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21
Jul
15

Business confidence remains high

Sheffield based Chartered Accountants, Hart Shaw has commented on news that, according to the latest Business in Britain report from Lloyds Bank, overall business confidence remains strong and stable.

This positive attitude is largely underpinned by companies’ expectations of an improvement in exports, as well as an anticipated increase in investment levels.

The twice-yearly Lloyds Bank report gathers the views of 1,500 UK companies – predominantly small to medium sized businesses, or SMEs – and tracks the overall balance of opinion on a range of important performance and confidence measures.

The report’s overall key confidence index, which looks at businesses sentiment over the coming six months, has remained stable at 43 per cent compared with January 2015. Although the latest reading is down from the survey’s high of 53 per cent recorded 12 months ago, it remains above the long-term average reading of 23 per cent. Expectations of employment growth and a resurgent export market suggest strong economic prospects for the second half of the year.

Christopher Brown, Business Recovery & Insolvency Partner at Hart Shaw said: “Some 29 per cent of the firms surveyed said that weaker UK demand poses the greatest threat to their business in the next six months. This could explain why firms expect to increase their sales in global markets.”

The net balance of exporters expecting an increase in total exports across the globe has risen to 46 per cent. This has been boosted by firms’ intentions to export to growing regions such as the Middle East and Africa. In particular, the increase in total exports has been driven by the number of exporters expecting an increase in trade with Europe in the next six months.

“Business confidence has remained relatively strong with encouraging expectations for sales, orders and profits for the rest of the year,” noted Christopher. “This has been underlined by a bounce back in exports to Europe as well as companies’ intentions to grow their presence further on the international stage. However, we’ll be keeping an eye on how the situation in Greece affects British SMEs,” they concluded.

For further details contact Christopher on 0114 251 8850 or chris.brown@hartshaw.co.uk.

 

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23
Jun
15

Is your business experiencing financial difficulty?

Do you need to know what options are available to your business in troubling times? Companies in financial difficulty - Hart Shaw Business Recovery

Watch our service insight to gain more understanding of the options that can be available and how you can start taking the right steps to safeguard the long term future of your business.

The team at Hart Shaw Business Recovery & Insolvency have helped to turn around and keep trading over 60% of the troubled businesses that have sought help and advice from us.

Watch our ‘Companies in financial difficulty’ video here.

 

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19
Jun
15

More UK start-ups survive first year of business than European counterparts

Sheffield based Hart Shaw has commented on a recent study that shows more of Britain’ start-ups are surviving their first year of business than their European peers.

The research conducted by Rosseau Associates highlights that of the 234,000 UK businesses launched in 2011, 93 per cent of start-ups survived their first year of business. This compares to an average survival rate of 83 per cent across Europe.

Britain’s start-up scene has enjoyed considerably more robust health than Europe’s other major economies of France (79 per cent) and Germany (78 per cent), and has experienced the strongest economic growth in Europe as a whole.

Christopher Brown, Business Recovery & Insolvency Partner at Hart Shaw said: “This is very encouraging news for Britain’s SMEs and shows that we really are leading the way. Despite the tough economic conditions of recent years, the recession appears to have created innovation and entrepreneurs, so Britain’s start-ups are clearly flourishing. Add to that the recent Enterprise Bill and perhaps we will see an even higher survival rate in the coming years.

“Business Secretary Sajid Javid said last month that small businesses are ‘Britain’s engine room’ and at Hart Shaw, we’re proud to be able to assist SMEs and offer a range of services for business owners.”

If you would like advice on how to grow your business and achieve success, please contact Christopher on 0114 251 8850 or chris.brown@hartshaw.co.uk.

Christopher Brown of Hart Shaw

Christopher Brown, Business Recovery & Insolvency Partner at Hart Shaw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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22
May
15

SMEs face barriers to growth

46 per cent of SME owners believe that a lack of access to skilled workers is the main obstacle to growing their business. The figure comes from research conducted by the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and Populus in which 500 directors, senior leaders and SME owners were polled.

A similar number (43 per cent) believe that cutting so-called ‘red tape’ would be the quickest way to stimulate growth among mid-market businesses.

For smaller companies – those with 10-49 employees – access to credit is a wide concern, with 26 per cent citing this as the biggest barrier to expansion.

According to the BIBA and Populus survey, the biggest barriers to growth are:

  • Lack of talent/skills: 46 per cent
  • Red tape: 43 per cent
  • Rising supplier costs: 36 per cent
  • Lack of tax breaks for small business: 24 per cent
  • Lack of business opportunities/sufficient network: 23 per cent
  • Availability of credit: 23 per cent
  • Knowledge of overseas markets: 13 per cent
  • Protective overseas markets: 11 per cent
  • Lack of cost-effective transport: 10 per cent

One of the biggest obstacles to growth is a lack of effectively skilled staff, so more needs to be done to encourage SMEs to take on apprentices.

Interestingly, availability of credit is seen as a barrier for nearly a quarter of those polled. Clearly, banks need to review their lending policies.

Hart Shaw is experienced at assisting SMEs and can offer a range of services to help owners facing any of the problems highlighted in the survey. For more details, please Christopher Brown, Business Recovery & Insolvency Partner on T: 0114 251 8850 or email: chris.brown@hartshaw.co.uk.  

 

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26
Mar
15

The TTIP of the iceberg

The future of the UK’s SMEs could be threatened if the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is introduced.

TTIP would bring benefits to big business, but SMEs seem set to lose out. A huge majority of UK firms are SMEs and they have been behind the economy’s growth for a long time. At the last Autumn Statement, the Government recognised this and rewarded them with a raft of measures designed to help. Now, their very existence could be hanging in the balance.

The aim of TTIP is to create a free market on both sides of the Atlantic and remove regulations, but a good many of these currently work in favour of SMEs. The European Commission’s Centre for Economic Policy Research has said that the agreement will boost EU economic output by 0.5 per cent by 2027. Export predictions are slightly more positive and put growth at 5–10 per cent over a 10–20 year period. However, given the current rapid rate of growth among SMEs, it’s hard to see why such a potentially disruptive move is a necessary intervention.

If you’re a small business in Europe that creates products adhering to EU rules, you may well find that under TTIP, your products are more expensive to produce than their US equivalents, due to their use of cheaper labour and materials that are not permitted under EU legislation. If some of the EU’s regulations are scrapped, a lot of US products that were previously banned are likely to flood the market and undercut prices.

A further problem for SMEs is the damage that TTIP could cause to local and home-grown businesses. In the UK, some councils operate schemes that aim to strengthen communities and help small local suppliers. In fact, the government recently pledged support to smaller businesses by setting a target for 25 per cent of its supplier contracts to be fulfilled by SMEs by May 2015. However, these arrangements would be deemed illegal under TTIP; further compromising the growth prospects of the UK’s SMEs.

For further details please contact Christopher Brown, Business Recovery & Insolvency Partner on 0114 251 8850 or chris.brown@hartshaw.co.uk.

 

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