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New Year – New Business ‘Tis the Season to Be Entrepreneurial by the Rt Hon Mel Stride Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General

Blog post   •   Jan 09, 2019 15:39 GMT

Fans of The Apprentice will know that Swimwear designer Sian Gabbidon was chosen as the winner of The Apprentice 2018 by Lord Sugar earlier this month. The 26-year-old, from Leeds, beat nut milk entrepreneur Camilla Ainsworth, to win a £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar in her swimwear company.

If you’ve been inspired by her story, you are not alone. British entrepreneurs are more likely to kick start a new business in January with new and niche ideas than any other month of the year. Last year, nearly 60,000 new companies were set up this month, with many more as sole traders. So whether you’ve found a gap in the market for new food products or IT software responding to market trends, it’s a good time to think about the New Year with a New Business.

So having come up with your idea and deciding to take the plunge, you need to check out what help and support is out there. And there’s plenty on hand, including government advice to help new entrepreneurs, and those just a year into running a business. Advice on everything from registering your company for tax and getting funding, to help with exporting and even writing a business plan. Everything to make it easier.

In 2018, there were 2.2 million more British businesses than in 2000 – a 63 per cent increase – so you will be in good company. When I started my own business 30 years ago, I had to deal with red tape and endless paperwork, so I know how much this can put off potential entrepreneurs. But now it’s never been easier to set up a business in the UK thanks to this government’s commitment to support small business growth. I would encourage anyone thinking of launching an enterprise to use the government support that’s available to start their business.

Like anything worth doing in life, a new business requires work and dedication. But with the range of support out there, 2019 could be the year you start your new business.

Government Help to Start and Grow Your Business in 2019

There are six simple and easy ways entrepreneurs can get government support in 2019, from just starting up to being a year in.

1.Streamlined Company Registration Service

In 2017, the government launched a new one-stop service between both HMRC and Companies House that eases burdens on new businesses by enabling entrepreneurs to set up a company and register for tax at the same time.

More than 200,000 new companies have already used this service, reducing their red tape and leaving more time to focus on what they do best – getting on with producing their goods and services.

2.Business support services

There is a range of support available including Growth Hubs, New Enterprise Allowance,

and the British Business Bank, to help you with free advice on writing a business plan, tax, and with exporting. Details are on GOV.UK.

3.Tax reliefs for inventions

If you’re planning to invent a product, you may be able to claim research and development tax credits. The relief supports companies that work on innovative projects in science and technology. It can be claimed by a range of businesses that seek to research or develop an advance in their field. Check if you can claim.

4.Ensuring you get paid on time

The Small Business Commissioner (SBC) is an independent public body that was set up to tackle late payment and unfavourable payment practices in the private sector. The SBC covers the whole of the UK and could help entrepreneurs who struggle to get payment out of larger companies.

New businesses can also check when large businesses pay their suppliers on GOV.UK.

5.Business Tax Account

Join over 3 million others and deal with your tax affairs simply all in one place by registering for a Business Tax Account.

6.Tax-free allowances

Not all companies set out to become global. If you’re just planning to dip your toe in business waters, you can do so without having to worry about facing any burdens thanks to the tax-free trading and property allowance.

The allowance lets you earn up to £1,000 from casual business activity without having to notify HMRC. This means if you had a part-time pottery business or let out your property, as long as you earn under £1,000 during a year, you can keep it all.