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Twelve reasons SME bosses should care about upcoming law changes

2. Our TV screens are overwhelmed by solicitors pleading with us to claim for any little mishap, it seems that there is no such thing as an accident in this modern age. Somebody is to blame and they need to pay!. Bearing this in mind, it would be a very brave (or maybe foolish) small business owner who made the decision that they didn't need public liability insurance. Clicking on the following link will answer any questions on public liability insurance.The Act places considerable requirements on the Government to slash red tape, similar to the current target which demands two regulations phased out for each regulation implemented. This is supported by new reporting and transparency requirements, and better analysis of regulation and secondary legislation to avoid unnecessary burdens on business.

3. It supports SMEs seeking to expand overseas by improving access to export financing and redefining how it is used.

4. SMEs struggling to raise finance will benefit from the Act's stimulus for competition in the banking sector by allowing alternative finance providers and new "challenger banks" to launch.

5. It will improve credit data sharing between banks and alternative lenders to assist companies turned down for funding from traditional banks, helping them to secure finance from other sources.

6. There are incentives to encourage better payment practices and reduce the impact of late payments, and ensure improvements in processing cheques. Changes to company filing requirements will remove duplication of some processes. Registering companies will be less complex and more accurate, and easier to update.

The Act includes measures to do away with some processes relating to company incorporations, and tax registration, which will be in force by May 2017. The Act also changes and modernises the Director Disqualification Scheme, including increased transparency over what can lead to disqualification.

7. The Act will give a statutory definition of a "small" and "micro" business to ensure the UK is finally compliant with EU recommendation 2003/361/EC, already widely used.

8. There were significant changes to public sector procurement policies, to ensure SMEs get better access to procurement markets, through streamlining and efficiency procedures which are consistent across the public sector. The Secretary of State now has powers of investigation of procurement practices to ensure consistency.

9. Companies face new transparency measures, particularly in share ownership, including keeping a register of people with significant control over a company, to deter illegal activity and foster better corporate behaviour.

10. Insolvency practices will be streamlined with improved oversight of Insolvency Practitioners, reduce abuse and strengthen regulation.

11. Protection for whistleblowers will be enhanced. The Act will penalise non-payment of employment tribunal awards, increase penalties for underpaying staff, make exclusivity in zero-hour contracts unenforceable, and recover exit fees from re-employed public sector workers.

12. It introduces an Adjudicator and a "Code" for the pubs sector to ensure best practice, and to give tenants obliged to be supplied by their Pub Company landlord the right to buy from other sources.


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