Guiding you to a better future

For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

It is likely you will need funding to start your business unless you have your own money. Discover some of the main sources of start up funding.

Businesses and individuals must account for and pay various taxes. Understand your tax obligations and how to file, account and pay any taxes you owe.

Businesses are required to comply with a wide range of business laws. We introduce the main rules and regulations you must comply with.

Learn why business planning is an essential exercise if your business is to start and grow successfully, attract funding or target new markets.

Marketing matters. It drives sales and helps promote your brand and products. Discover how to market your business and reach your target customers.

Some businesses need a high street location whilst others can be run from home. Understand the key factors from cost to location, size to security.

Your employees can your biggest asset. They can also be your biggest challenge. We explain how to recruitment and manage staff successfully.

It is likely your business could not function without some form of IT. Learn how to specify, buy, maintain and secure your business IT.

Few businesses manage the leap from start up to high-growth business. Learn what it takes to scale up and take your business to the next level.

Auto-enrolment hailed a "success" by CBI

19 December 2017

Auto-enrolment hailed a "success" by CBIA review of workplace pensions by the Department for Work and Pensions has found that auto-enrolment "has worked" and "the financial behaviour of millions of people has changed".

David Gauke, secretary of state for work and pensions, said: "For an entire generation of people, workplace pension saving is the new normal. And my mission now is to make sure the next generation of younger workers have the same opportunities."

The review has recommended that auto-enrolment should be offered to those aged 18 and over, introducing 900,000 young people into saving an additional £800 million through a workplace pension.

In addition, it says workplace pension contributions should be calculated from the first pound earned, rather than from a lower earnings limit, simplifying the way employers assess their workforces and calculate contributions. The earnings trigger will remain at £10,000 for 2018/19, subject to annual reviews.

Neil Carberry, managing director of the CBI, said: "Automatic enrolment is a success story. Across the country, more lower earners are saving for their retirement, based on an innovative approach designed and delivered in partnership by businesses, employees, Government and the financial services industry."

However, he warned against making changes too quickly. "Today's report … makes some sensible suggestions about how to evolve the system in future. But much of the original plan is still to be delivered, with contribution rates rising over the next two years. For firms who are facing rising costs across the board - and employees with other legitimate calls on their income - it is right to complete this first phase and let it bed in before making further changes. A timeline of the mid-2020s for new proposals would be sensible and enjoy business support."

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has also urged caution about future changes. Mike Cherry, FSB national chairman, said: "Employers are already seeing the cost of employment rising significantly and by 2019 employer contributions for pensions will triple to 3%.

"Requiring employers to contribute from the first pound of earnings, will mean that, by 2019, hundreds of thousands of small employers will have to pay up to £180 more per employee each year. For employers in certain sectors … where margins are tight , this will really add up."

However, Cherry welcomed the review's commitment to addressing pension needs for the self-employed. "Auto-enrolment has clearly helped employees to start saving for their retirement, but the self-employed have been left behind and have not been incentivised to do the same. So it's good to see the Government testing savings solutions for the self-employed. Just a third of our self-employed members are saving into a private pension scheme, so we hope to see new flexible savings options that work for the changing workforce."

News type:

Stay up-to-date with business advice and news

Sign up to this lively and colourful newsletter for new and more established small businesses.

Contact us

Make an enquiry