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.

Government to strengthen Prompt Payment Code

2 October 2018

Government to strengthen Prompt Payment CodeBusiness secretary Greg Clark has announced a new package of measures to safeguard small firms against late payments.

The Government says it is committed to ending "the unfair treatment of small businesses by companies who abuse their position by paying late for products and services".

The new protections include a strengthening of the Prompt Payment Code which, to date, has not done enough to stop late payment to small businesses in the UK.

A new "tough and transparent compliance regime" is being promised; a new consultation will consider the best way to ensure company boards put in place responsible payment practices throughout their supply chain. New rules could include an obligation for company boards to give one non-executive director specific responsibilities for prompt payment.

Indeed, the Government has said it will appoint a non-executive director with responsibility for the supply chain within each of its departments. Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), described the move as a "really positive example to set, and one which large companies must now follow".

The Government has also pledged to pay 90% of undisputed invoices from small and medium-sized businesses within five days. In addition, it has announced that Paul Uppal, the small business commissioner, will join the Prompt Payment Code's Compliance Board to support his role in tackling late payment.

The FSB's Mike Cherry, said: "Late payment is the biggest challenge affecting small businesses and it is good to see the Government getting serious about this issue. The voluntary Prompt Payment Code is not working when it allows signatories like Carillion to pay on terms of over 120 days, so we want to see a new tough and transparent compliance regime being proposed.

"It's particularly positive to see the Government has listened to our proposal to make company boards appoint non-executive directors with responsibility for supply chain practice. This is the only way to transform boardroom culture in the UK, where it has become acceptable to pay small firms late if it helps cashflow, as we saw in the case of Carillion prior to its collapse."

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