The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment act was first drafted and then declared at the Queen’s speech on 4th June 2014. This was then given a Royal Assent on the 26th March 2015, becoming an Act of Parliament. The Act has been constructed with the intention of building the United Kingdom into a more efficient place to start business, grow business and improve finance, thus giving reign to small businesses and entrepreneurs, allowing them to overcome progressive obstacles.
The Act covers a broad range of topics from the Pubs code, insolvency, public sector procurement and corporate transparency. The main areas of which the Act fixates on are: Public sector procurement, regulatory reform, access to finance, company filing requirements, company transparency, insolvency, director’s disqualification, childcare and schooling, education evaluation, employment, Pubs code adjucator and Pubs code.
There are three sections of this Act which are particularly relevant to the majority of ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) members, and they are company transparency, insolvency and access to finance.
Access to finance incorporates the enforcement of swift payment ability changes, obligating large and established organisations to submit their payment process on to a digital program, twice a year. This includes average payment time, proportion of invoices paid beyond terms, any kind of late payment interest and the proportion of invoices paid within 30 days, over 30 days, over 60 days and over 120 days. To actively harbour these plans into effect, the government aims to set secondary legislation during the beginning of next parliament, and will deliberate with stakeholders and enterprises what best way to report this information.
Corporate transparency has introduced the need for organisations to register and identify people with notable control over companies in the UK. In addition, they have also introduced:
- Abolition of bearer shares
- Restricted use of corporate directors and a broader range of duties for shadow directors
- Changes to filing requirements and appointment of directors
- Shorter duration for striking off organisations
- The option for private companies to use the central register such as Companies House, to retain its own register of members.
- Changes to the disqualification of director’s regime, introducing a brand new compensation strategy.
- Methods for improving register in relation to the organisation’s registered office.
Insolvency has incorporated the ability for the secretary of state to give direction to Recognised Professional Bodies (RPB’s), launch investigations into Individual Insolvency Practitioners (IP’s) and manage enquiries. If you are a small business and need financial advice regarding anything introduced in the act, contact us at Andrew Keates, your local Liverpool accountants.