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.

Slowdown in self-employment growth causes concern

29 January 2018

Slowdown in self-employment growth causes concernThe latest labour market statistics suggest that self-employment growth in the UK is slowing down after a long period of sustained growth in the number of people that work for themselves.

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that while there are 415,000 more people in work today compared to this time last year, the level of self-employment has not changed.

Also this week, the Centre for Entrepreneurs has highlighted the fact that the number of start-ups launched in 2017 fell more than 10% compared to the year before. This is the first drop in business launches since 2010, according to the ONS.

The slowdown in self-employment should "ring alarm bells for the Government", said Tom Purvis, economic policy advisor at IPSE, the professional body for freelancers. IPSE has identified a number of key factors that are putting pressure on self-employed workers - including changes to tax rules and the introduction of Universal Credit.

Purvis said: "Self-employed people are facing many challenges at the moment, not least because of problems with Universal Credit. This flawed system is leaving self-employed people up to £3,000 a year worse off than employees earning the same money. This is just one of the areas where the Government should be striving to create a better environment for the self-employed."

Jordan Marshall, IPSE's policy development manager said: "At root, the issue is that UC actively penalises the self-employed for having a volatile income. Despite earning the same over the course of a year, a self-employed person can end up £3,000 worse off than an employee … This system of monthly assessment simply does not work for the self-employed who often have uneven income across a year."

IPSE has also warned that the new rules regarding IR35 status mean that many self-employed contractors are now being taxed as if they are employees.

Marshall said: "Whether it's IR35, National Insurance, Making Tax Digital or Universal Credit, there seems to be a wilful lack of understanding of what it means to be self-employed. As well as hitting individuals who want the freedom to work for themselves, this approach also hurts the UK economy which benefits hugely from the flexible expertise that the self-employed deliver."

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