HMRC R&D tax relief proposals ‘detrimental’ for start-ups

HMRC’s consultation on preventing abuse of R&D tax relief for SMEs, which closes on 28 August, must “balance the fight against abuse with the right support for start-ups”, MHA MacIntyre Hudson has said.

Jay Bhatti, research and development tax manager at the firm, said current HMRC proposals “fail to consider” the nuances of operations within smaller companies, which often have major research outlays, but a very low wage spend.

He added that a key aspect is to limit Cash Credit available from R&D relief to three times PAYE and national insurance liability, as this risks “stifling” the growth and development of the small entrepreneurial businesses that drive the UK economy.

The proposals aim to prevent overseas companies using UK shell companies to disproportionately benefit from R&D tax reliefs. Bhatti said while fraud must “obviously be addressed”, he noted that a blanket approach is “completely inappropriate”.

Bhaati said: “The mitigation steps

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Start-ups get cash injection of £25m without risk of personal guarantee

As Companies House data shows a rise in start-ups born during the pandemic, new data has revealed that savvy entrepreneurs in the UK collectively secured £25m of funding for a new venture in the past three years through personal guarantee backed loans that were protected by Personal Guarantee insurance.

That means if the business does fail, 80% of the loan will be settled by the insurance rather than the business owner’s home, savings and other personal assets being called on to settle the debt.

As access to small business funding is increasingly expected to depend on signing a Personal Guarantee, Purbeck is urging start-ups to factor Personal Guarantee Insurance into their thinking when shopping for finance.

Todd Davison, MD of Purbeck Insurance Services said: “For many, borrowing money is their only way of starting and growing a business.  Creating a business is risky enough without taking on a personal guarantee

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Why you should treat your employees like customers

It’s an age-old adage that the customer is always right. Everyone has heard someone in management say this at one point in our lives.

It’s a tenet that many businesses follow dogmatically. But why then, do they never extend the same faith to their employees?

Treating your employees like your most loyal customers could prove to be the best thing you ever do. This simple shift in outlook could see productivity, employee retention and general staff wellbeing skyrocket. It could also see your company receive the additional bonus of a better reputation.


Every businessowner wants to be known as someone that treats their employees well. It provides numerous benefits that will enhance the other factors mentioned in this article. Word of mouth spreads quickly. You wouldn’t treat a customer in a way that might cause stress or make them feel undervalued, which is why you absolutely cannot do the

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Mattress sales soar in lockdown, Business Matters finds out how

With staggering sales, one marketplace that has literally boomed during covid is the ‘bed-in-a-box’ mattress concept. As business owners it’s important to understand the strategies they’ve employed to begin, capitalise and maintain epic rates of growth. 

I’ve spoken to some of the top providers in the marketplace to understand how they’ve managed to adapt and conquer despite rigorous changes to their systems to ensure their business model could survive the sheer rise in mattress demand spurred on by the virus. Ready to take notes?

So how did lockdown effect the data and trends of buying mattresses?

Simba Sleep found that data from their consumer sleep app, used nightly by 50,000 people in the UK alone revealed that people were wrestling with their sleep in lockdown. This level of stress could be one of the reasons for the upturn in sales. People have been searching for self-care solutions at a time

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Three simple questions to test your business’s organisational design

If you want to evaluate whether or not your business’s organisational design is as effective and efficient as it could be, there are 3 simple questions you should ask yourself.

The answers to these questions will inform you, if your organisational design is what it should be, if it would benefit from adjustment or if you need to pull it apart and start again. The questions are,

Question 1: To what extent is your organisational design driven by legacy culture and practices?

This question is designed to challenge the status quo thinking about your organisational design.

Are your people organised in a particular way because they’ve always been organised in that manner, regardless of changes to your processes, the market you operate in and/or competitive forces? Moreover, was it historically designed to accommodate (now redundant) processes, but hasn’t been updated due to a resistance to change from the people within

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