Potential clients of company formation agents such as London Registrars will be interested to read the news that on 26 March, Royal Assent was granted to the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act. Now law, the Act incorporates a series of measures designed to boost the United Kingdom’s attractiveness as a place to start and grow a business.
The Act aims to make it easier for businesses to access finance, create fairer provision for tied pub tenants and bring zero hours exclusivity clauses to an end. It has been conceived to give the UK’s smaller companies greater opportunity for innovation, growth and job creation.
Vince Cable, Business Secretary, commented: “Small businesses provide jobs for millions of people across the country and are driving the economic recovery. The Small Business Act will create the right environment for small businesses to continue to thrive by giving them greater access to finance to help them innovate and grow, and make it easier for them to export goods and services made in Britain.”
Cable added that the Bill’s measures left firms failing to play by the rules with “nowhere to hide”. He was supported by Business Minister Matthew Hancock, who said that the government had given small firms unprecedented support “to build a Britain where entrepreneurs can break the mould and take on the world.”
The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) has said that the Act will feature such measures as a tough new reporting requirement on the largest companies in the UK to increase transparency on payment practices and policies, as well as the cutting of red tape by ensuring that regulations affecting business are frequently reviewed.
Other provisions of the Act include the appointment of an independent Small Business Appeals Champion for non-economic regulators to ensure that the requirements of small firms are taken into account, in addition to an increase in the support available from UK Export Finance to assist small businesses wishing to expand overseas.
The Act will also attempt to make finance more accessible for small businesses, by opening up access to small business credit data so that small firms can more easily seek a loan from a lender other than their bank. Banks are also now required to pass on details of small and mid-sized businesses that they decline for a loan – with the permission of the firm – to online platforms that could help to match them with alternative funding sources.
Such measures are sure to be of benefit to a significant proportion of the more than five million businesses currently in the UK, as well as many of those contemplating starting a business – perhaps for the first time – with the assistance of London Registrars’ company formation services.