2017 has already shown signs that it is going to be one that produces financial trends not seen in many years, or even ever before, for obvious Trump related reasons. Because of this, as a business owner, it’s vital that your finger is always on the pulse of the ever changing business world, and all the legal requirements that go with it — that is, if you don’t want a big business sized headache to have to deal with.
Keeping a Finger on the Pulse Economy
Your business must be compliment with all the current relevant regulations that are imposed on it; to do so, firstly, you must know what they are. There were over 3,000 new regulations set in 2016 for businesses to adhere to, such as: limits on retirement options that small businesses can offer; an increase in the numbers of workers that were eligible for overtime; and a regulation regarding light pollution.
Not adhering to the rules set in place by the national government, or even local governments, could result in any number of things happening to your business that could include fines or even a winding-up order. And it’s not just the government that can initiate these woes: disgruntled ex-employees or even customers can too. For instance, when it comes to making an employee redundant, you must be aware of their legal rights at all times, even up to a year after the redundancy has taken place.
The minimum notice period that can be given to any employee you plan on making redundant has to be 12 weeks’, if said employee had been employed for 12 years or more. And then, the role cannot be made active again and then filled for a year after the ex-employee was forced to leave. Knowing the rules and regulations that are set in place is vital in maintaining a healthy business, and in truth is just as vital as making money.
And if you jump over the pond from America to Britain, you will see that the British business economy is in just as much uncertainty and unknowing as the US when it comes to their future regulations. April 6th is not only the start of the new tax year in the UK, but it is also one of the two common commencement dates (CCDs) in the calendar year — the other being October 1st.
This means that new legislations and laws are implemented by the government on this day, meaning that there is set to be a shake up in the business world in Blighty yet again in just under a month’s time. If you are a British business owner, then it is pivotal that you take notice of the significant changes that are anticipated to take place — they are set to be even more significant this year than they have been in many years due to the Brexit result.
However, it is highly important for any British business owner that they don’t focus all of their attentions on the future legislations that are set to be put in place; they have to make sure that they are complying with the ones done so last year, even though they were put in place by another regime. For instance, the new compulsory ‘living wage’ of £7.20 was put in place for all employees over the age of 25 — if your business is not paying this, then you are liable to be prosecuted.
Also in the 2016 April 6th shake-up, it was announced that UK-registered businesses are now required to maintain a Register of People with Significant Control (PSC Register). Now, although you may not have any idea as to what this is, even to this day nearly a year on, then one, you should check this guide to the PSC register, and two, be aware that not knowing about a compliance such as this register is not a good enough excuse for not executing it in your business.
So, in relation to this query, if there is a person in your company that holds more than 25% in shares or holds the right to directly or indirectly appoint directors and shareholders, whether they want to disclose their information to your or not, you must seek it and register it.
However, as well as making sure you are complying to all the regulations put in place, you can also use new ones or ones that you weren’t previously aware of to your advantage. As well as keeping your finger on the regulation pulse to stay on the right side of the law, you can do also do it to find glorified loop-holes, that weren’t necessarily there in the past, to help your business grow. For instance, President Trump has recently signed an executive order that is designed to cut the number of rules and regulations that are in place that are affecting small businesses.
This new legislation means that for every time a new regulation is put in place, two must be knocked out, which Trump asserts will mean that the opening and expanding of small businesses will be made easier than ever. Similarly, in Britain, if yours is a business that takes on and trains apprentices, you should be aware that you now longer have to pay employer National Insurance Contributions for those apprentices at your firm that are under 25 years of age and earn a limit of £827 a month.
Optimising this new rule could mean that you are saving a heap of money that can then be invested in getting in even more apprentices, which benefits the business both now, in regards to cheaper labour, and in the future when the apprentice is fully trained and willing to stay at the place that has trained them out of a sign of respect.
So, in order to both keep your business in a healthy position where it is doing nothing lawfully wrong, as well to find opportunities for it to grow, expand and even save on money — as a business owner you should be fully aware every time a new regulation or legislation comes into play. 🙂