The Autumn Statement – What’s in it for small businesses?

In a year that has seen some real highs and lows, between the Olympic and the Jubilee and the double dip recession businesses have had a very bumpy ride. In this years Autumn Statement George Osborne really needed to confront his critics and give some real ideas on how to get growth up and help SME’.

So for all those smaller businesses out there are these new changes really going to help boost their balance sheets’ At a first glance the statement appears to be geared for individuals, like the additional increase in the personal tax allowance and the IHT threshold increase. But this was a “budget” for businesses and entrepreneurs, the SME’ in particular, however the biggest wins for them will take some time to come to fruition making the impact even further down the line.

One of the top things to be announced is the official establishment of the Business Bank. The bank was first mooted in September 2012 and this Autumn Statement has promised £1bn to it coiffures. This investment will help finance SME’ and formalise the government finance scheme, giving small businesses a dedicated pot of funding and increase the availability of finance. However, businesses should perhaps not get too excited as the bank will not be fully operational until the autumn 2014. In addition, corporation tax, currently very topical, will now be cut by an extra 1% reducing the rate to 21%, but only from April 2014.

The question remains then, what did this Autumn Statement do for the here and now. For one thing, the Annual Capital Allowance is to be increased dramatically from £25,000 to £250,000 for the next two years. This will encourage businesses to further invest in assets as they can claim the full cost against tax.

The very smallest business, with properties up to £6,000, will see the doubling of their rate relief continuing at 100% until April 2014, under the extension of the Small Business Rate Relief scheme. This covers the rates that businesses have to pay on their properties, and are in line with residential council tax; paid to the local council for services such as the police and rescue. This extension of the relief scheme is estimated to capture 350,000 small businesses who will pay no rates at all.

Setfords has wide experience of helping small businesses, as well as those that are growing. Our experts have a wealth of knowledge in corporate and commercial law including extensive experience in dealing with the buying and selling of businesses as well all matters concerning commercial property. We offer all businesses a Free Health Check assessing all aspects of a business offering free no-obligation advice. If you would like to take advantage of this service or would like any further information on how the Autumn Statement could impact your businesses legally please contact a member of our team on 0845 450 6135.