L-R: David Gorton (PM+M), David Buskey, Katie Hardiman, Oliver Bagnall (all WHN Solicitors) and Jane Parry (PM+M)
On 17 September, we brought together the Lancashire professional community for our annual charity quiz which took place at Ewood Park.
70 people attended on the evening with 23 teams taking part from a cross section of professional sectors. The quiz covered history, geography, science & nature, sport & leisure, art & literature and entertainment.
The night raised £740 for East Lancashire Hospice, a very important charity that continuously provides special care for people suffering life-limiting illnesses throughout East Lancashire.
The winning team for the second year running was WHN Solicitors who notched up 78 points. In second place was Clough & Willis Solicitors (72 points), with Southerns Solicitors (70.5 points) in third.
Jane Parry, managing partner at PM+M, said; “Our second quiz was a real success and it was great to see everyone really getting into the competitive spirit. The event is an enjoyable way of getting the local business community together and being able to raise so much money for such a worthwhile cause made it even more special.”
Back in April, we blogged about legislation being introduced in January 2016 that will require public disclosure of major interests in UK companies. This has now been postponed until April 2016, and additionally, companies will have until June 2016 to file the information with Companies House. This information will then have to be updated at least once every 12 months.
The information that will need to be submitted in compliance with The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 (the Enterprise Act) will be available to the public and must include details of anyone with an interest of 25% or more in the business.
The Government’s target of clamping down on money laundering and tax evasion may have significant commercial issues for many businesses in the UK. Companies may be reluctant to disclose this seemingly sensitive information. It is not uncommon to seek to keep an investment confidential, especially in an early stage business which may shake up a market or upset existing customers or suppliers.
Come June 2016, anyone who doesn’t take reasonable steps to comply with the new rules or anyone who hasn’t filed the information with Companies House may be convicted of a criminal offence, with the penalties including a possible prison sentence and disqualification from being a director. Persons of Significant Control will also be responsible for disclosing any interests or shares they may have in a directly or indirectly competing company to their current employer or fellow directors.
If you have business interests which could be affected by the impending Enterprise Act, please contact David Gorton (Senior Partner & Head of Corporate Services), who specialises in business structuring, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01254 679131.
We are very pleased to announce the recent appointment of Andrew Cowking (Run My Business Partner). Andrew will be bringing his many years of experience advising SMEs and family owned businesses to help grow our Run My Business service.
As well as conventional accountancy services, Run My Business offers all-inclusive, menu driven and fixed fee service that covers bookkeeping, accounts, payroll, VAT and tax returns.
Andrew said of his new role: ‘I’m really excited about joining the firm as I feel it is the right fit for my clients and my own way of working. The firm also boasts a high level of expertise and a culture that is firmly focussed on delivering a first class client service.”
Jackie Fisher, head of Run My Business, added: “Andrew’s appointment is a great addition to the team as he brings with him years of experience and knowledge. The last 12 months have seen Run My Business grow month on month so I’m sure he will help to further expand our client base across the North West and beyond.”
In the video below, Andrew talks about his role at PM+M:
We are all aware of the major curve balls that were announced in George Osborne’s Post-Election budget this summer. One of the biggest losers from the announcements are buy-to-let property investors who could potentially see their tax bill more than double.
The major issue that has emerged from the announcements is that the landlords’ ability to deduct the cost of their mortgage interest from their rental income when calculating their tax has been removed. The wealthiest investors, who do not have any mortgages, are unaffected.
The change is due to be introduced in 2017 and fully implemented by 2020. The new rules will wipe out any profits for landlords with mortgage interest being 75% or more of their rental income, net of other expenses. Those paying additional-rate taxes will see their returns on investment disappear once mortgage costs reach 68% of rental income.
Looking into the future, it will become very difficult for middle-income borrowers to get into the buy to let market and those that have just entered the buy to let scheme face some issues in the next couple of years.
One solution for buy to let landlords might be to operate their business via a limited company. However, this option won’t be beneficial for all investors, individuals will need to take advice to determine which structure will be most appropriate for them.
If you are worried about the tax changes and if you would like any advice on what to do next, please contact Jonathan Cunningham at email@example.com or call 01254 679131.
East Lancashire is an area blessed with great businesses and proud lively communities.
The businesses have strong roots in many directions: the world class advanced engineering specialisms driven by the BAE sites at Salmesbury and Warton; textile and engineering businesses born in the nineteenth century which have evolved and prospered; high value knowledge based businesses run by people who live in the Ribble Valley as they consider it the best place in the world to live; and businesses started from the local entrepreneurial community, including many from families recently arrived from Asia.
The vibrant local communities do not fit easily into local authority boundaries and the centres of the local towns have not adjusted to the changes in retail and leisure over the last 50 years, let alone the last 20. Heroic efforts are being made to improve central districts, but the real sources of pride for the region are the people: their energy, their entrepreneurship, their international links and their businesses.
The future looks particularly bright for the advanced engineering sector, but manufacturing is strong across the region. There are also a lot of design and creative companies with massive potential.
The challenge for local leaders is to make it clear to potential business partners, investors and residents how great the area as a whole is, and what potential it has, without legacy issues such as town centres, fragmented local government and poor reputations distracting them.
The good news is that this challenge is being met, with improving links between the business world and government and a real focus on showcasing success, especially business success.
David Gorton – Senior Partner & Head of Corporate Services
Ever felt like telling the Government what it’s REALLY like being in business in 2015? Well, here’s your chance. The Quarterly Economic Survey conducted by the British Chambers of Commerce is a highly respected snapshot of economic conditions for business. It is taken seriously by Central Government, is one of only three national surveys regularly used by the Bank of England when setting monetary policy and is reported widely in the media.
Each quarter, businesses from across the UK are asked to take part in the survey. Whilst almost 7,500 companies completed the last survey we need more East Lancashire businesses to complete the survey.
Your input is crucial in helping us understand the local economy and beyond. From this quarter we are also keen to provide a local picture for East Lancashire. In order to do this we need as many local businesses as possible completing the survey. The East Lancashire of Commerce Chamber will publish the results each quarter in the Business Life magazine. Your support is gratefully appreciated.
You can complete the survey by clicking the button below:
Many SMEs have been held back by Britain’s late payment culture for far too long and, as a result, the Government’s plans to relax invoice financing rules early next year are highly anticipated.
From early 2016, The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is banning contractual “non-assignment” clauses used by bigger businesses which effectively prevent SME suppliers from accessing funds through invoice finance.
Currently 44,000 businesses have access to invoice financing. This means that they are able to fund working capital and gain access to the cash they need straightaway instead of waiting to receive payment for an invoice, which can often be beyond agreed credit terms.
Unpaid invoices are often the biggest asset an SME has and invoice financing is an important means of funding working capital. Any restriction on access to funding, intentional or not, hampers growth and when combined with a late payment culture still prevalent in many large businesses, the effects can be devastating for an SME.
Although invoice financing isn’t right for every business, SMEs have found it incredibly difficult to establish reasonable terms with larger companies. The Government plans to introduce a new Late Payments Commissioner to deal with supply chain bullying as well as a conciliation service designed to assist small businesses in settling late payment issues and disputes.
Larger businesses should start to ensure that they’re compliant with the new rules and take this opportunity to be more transparent and open about their payment terms. SMEs will soon have new options to help them grow and plan ahead with greater confidence by knowing they will have the cash in place to move their businesses forward.
For more information on how your business can raise alternative finance, please contact Jim Akrill at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01254 679131.