The SBEE Act 2015 (Small Business, Employment & Enterprise Act) will soon roll out across Britain, bringing significant change to 11 key areas of business. Small businesses are expected to benefit from improved access to finance as a result of the new act, while the vast-ranging attributes covers directors disqualifications, zero hour contracts and finance start ups.
But, how does it affect you? While it will take time to witness all the major changes and while the intentions are good, we will need to see how they will work in practice.
SBEE – How It Will Affect Small to Medium Enterprises
• Firstly, there is the already well-declared pledge to cut the red tape around regulation. For every fresh regulation, two older regulations will need to be binned, potentially reducing burdens of compliance for Small to Medium Enterprises.
• The ‘Small Business Appeals Champion’, which the government says will make it easier to challenge the regulators decision, is also aimed at improving regulatory processes.
• The SBEE Act will see improved sharing of information between banks and alternative finance providers in order to help Small to Medium Enterprises with increased potential access to finance.
• New “Challenger Banks” will help improve competition for businesses, claim the Government.
• An overhaul of the insolvency system is to be implemented with industry professionals hopeful of a reduction in abuse by insolvency practitioners.
• New incentives are being introduced to get larger firms paying on time and make late payments less damaging to small companies. This impact will remain to be seen, as previous Governments have also tried to implement this plan.
• With increased export finance access, Small to Medium Enterprises will find assistance to grow overseas.
• Access will also be given to procurement processes for Small to Medium Enterprises, as currently only 10% of government contracts go to smaller firms.
• In line with recommendations from the European Union, new definitions are to be introduced to outline what constitutes a ‘micro’ or ‘small’ business.
• While a huge majority of changes are being applied to seek ease for owners of small businesses, the changes also affect SME’s. Whistle-blowers who catch and call employers out on rule breaking will have increased legal protections. For example, if an employer continue to defy the enforced banning of exclusive zero hour contracts.
• New transparency rules are also covered within the act, with SMEs needing to be clear on who owns shares and who controls their business. This is to ensure any tax dodging, illegal activity and “corporate shell” systems are flushed out and caught.