1986 Act agricultural tenancies

1986 Act agricultural tenancies

Agricultural tenancies agreed before 1 September 1995 are known as 1986 Act tenancies, or are sometimes referred to as Full Agricultural Tenancies. Generally, tenancies granted under the 1986 Act have lifetime security of tenure. Succession rights for 1986 Act tenants 1986 Act tenancies granted before 12 July 1984 carry statutory succession rights, on death or retirement, provided the potential successor meets certain eligibility criteria. A close relative of a deceased tenant may apply for succession…

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6 tips to separate business and personal liability

6 tips to separate business and personal liability

1. Incorporate your business If you currently run your business as a sole trader or a partnership, it is possible to set up a limited company and transfer the trade and assets of the business to the company. When small, owner-managed businesses incorporate, the owner or owners become the shareholders. Or with a family business, various family members may become the shareholders. The owner/manager of the business (or all of them, if there are several)…

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A beginners guide to filing your return online

A beginners guide to filing your return online

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has produced two beginner’s guides to help you use their free software to file your Company Tax Return online. The guides are aimed at customers who are filing online for the first time or who are unsure about how the Corporation Tax Online service works. The first guide – – is to help you get started using the Corporation Tax Online service. The second guide – – explains how to…

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A guide to filing your tax return online

A guide to filing your tax return online

What is Self Assessment? Self Assessment is the annual process of completing and filing a tax return, which contains such information as income, tax allowances and relief. Why send a tax return online? Completing an online tax return has the advantage of the figures being automatically calculated, enabling the user to instantly know how much they owe or how much HMRC owes them. Other benefits of sending a tax return online include: convenience, safety and…

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A new dedicated Business Support Service designed to meet the needs of businesses

A new dedicated Business Support Service designed to meet the needs of businesses

Since 24 November 2008 HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) introduced a new, dedicated Business Support Service designed to meet the needs of businesses affected by the current economic conditions. If you’re worried about being able to meet tax, National Insurance or other payments owed to HMRC, or you anticipate that payments coming due will cause you problems, you can get in touch with them to discuss payment options to help you deal with temporary cashflow difficulties. You…

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A new dedicated Business Support Service designed to meet the needs of businesses >> Business Payment Support Service

A new dedicated Business Support Service designed to meet the needs of businesses >> Business Payment Support Service

Since 24 November 2008 HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) introduced a new, dedicated Business Support Service designed to meet the needs of businesses affected by the current economic conditions. If you’re worried about being able to meet tax, National Insurance or other payments owed to HMRC, or you anticipate that payments coming due will cause you problems, you can get in touch with them to discuss payment options to help you deal with temporary cashflow difficulties. You…

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A reduction in your turnover or your international trade

A reduction in your turnover or your international trade

If your turnover drops, or the volume of goods you trade with the European Union (EU) falls, you may be entitled to voluntarily cancel your VAT registration. When to register for UK VAT A drop in turnover You can ask HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to cancel your VAT registration when your annual VAT taxable turnover falls, or you expect it to fall in the next 12 months, below the threshold for deregistration – currently…

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A summary of common legal structures for businesses

A summary of common legal structures for businesses

Each legal structure for businesses has advantages and disadvantages. Being a  is the simplest structure, with the fewest rules. However, it leaves the owner most exposed if something goes wrong. It is generally not suitable for raising capital. share the burden of ownership, allowing two or more people to set up in business together. Like a sole trader, a standard (unlimited) partnership does not have a legal identity separate from that of the partners, so does not…

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Abbreviated accounts for medium-sized companies and limited liability partnerships

Abbreviated accounts for medium-sized companies and limited liability partnerships

The abbreviated accounts of a qualifying medium-sized company or limited liability partnership (LLP) don’t have to include the full profit and loss account that larger companies and LLPs have to file at Companies House. But you must include: An abbreviated . Note that medium-sized LLPs are no longer exempt from disclosing turnover in abbreviated accounts for accounting periods that began on or after 1 October 2008. However, the exemption from disclosing detailed particulars of turnover…

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Abbreviated accounts for small companies and limited liability partnerships

Abbreviated accounts for small companies and limited liability partnerships

The abbreviated accounts of a small company or limited liability partnership (LLP) don’t have to include the full balance sheet, profit and loss account or director’s report normally required by Companies House. But you must include: explaining in more detail the make-up of the figures in the balance sheet. A special auditor’s report – unless you’re also claiming an audit exemption. If you are claiming an audit exemption, you are not required to appoint an auditor….

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About Free Zones

About Free Zones

are officially-defined areas of land in the UK and throughout the European Community (EC) where customs duties, including CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) charges, are suspended on goods imported into the Free Zone from outside the EC. VAT and excise duties are also suspended until the goods are removed from the Free Zone or used or consumed within the Free Zone. Free Zones can provide a number of important benefits to firms importing goods into the…

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About recommended daily allowance (RDA)

About recommended daily allowance (RDA)

A recommended daily allowance (RDA) is set for certain vitamins and minerals. The RDA is the minimum amount needed by the body to remain healthy. The following table from the Annex to Council Directive 90/496/EEC – (amended by Directive 2008/100/EC) – on nutrition labelling of foodstuffs sets out the RDA for a range of vitamins and minerals. However a transition period will apply for the new RDAs until 31 October 2012.     Vitamin A 800 micrograms…

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Acas conciliation

Acas conciliation

Acas may be able to help you resolve the matter before it reaches an employment tribunal hearing. This is a process known as ‘conciliation’. This is an impartial and confidential service that is free to users and entirely voluntary – it can only go ahead if both you and the claimant (or potential claimant) agree. You and/or the claimant may decide at any stage of the process that you want to be independently advised and/or…

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Accept and make payments in euros

Accept and make payments in euros

Providing euro-denominated price lists can be an important first step for businesses selling to the eurozone. It’s possible to quote prices in euros and then accept payment in sterling, but this makes the transaction more complicated for your potential customer – they have to accept the cost and risk of exchanging euros for sterling with which to pay you. For further information on setting euro prices, see the page in this guide on how to price your…

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Acceptable use of the internet by staff

Acceptable use of the internet by staff

Effective use of the internet and email can bring significant benefits to your business. However, you should be aware that there are potential problems with giving your employees free rein. Some of these are relatively minor matters, such as employees wasting time surfing the internet, sending personal emails, or clogging up the system with large attachments. Others are potential risks to the security of your data or the image of your business, such as: opening…

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Acceptance and rejection messages when you file online

Acceptance and rejection messages when you file online

After you file your Employer Annual Return online, you’ll get an acceptance or rejection message through the software or service you use. If you have provided HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) with an email address, you’ll also get an email message. These messages are usually issued within a minute of filing, but it can take longer if your return covers a large number of employees. If your return is successful, you’ll get the following messages:…

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Accepting card payments: the key steps to take

Accepting card payments: the key steps to take

Setting up the necessary bank account and equipment to enable you to accept card payments is a quick and straightforward process. In most cases your system can be up and running in less than a month. The main things you need to do are: to process card payments. See the page in this guide on how to set up a merchant account. You can also read about pricing and the card types available on the…

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Access sources of business support

Access sources of business support

Business Link is a and support service. No matter what the business issue, we can fast track you through to the expert help you need. Find your local Business Link through our Contacts Directory. Grants and loans are available to some businesses and the government’s Solutions for Business portfolio has been designed to provide help for businesses. To find out if you can benefit from these products and for more options search our Grants and…

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Access to sources of starting-up finance

Access to sources of starting-up finance

If you need to raise money to start up your business, there are various options, including: – such as savings, redundancy payments or a pension windfall. – this may be more difficult during a credit crunch. Any lender will want to review a detailed business plan before loaning any funds. See our guide on how to use your business plan to get funding. – there are many business grant schemes nationwide, geared to different industry…

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Access to your Economic Operator Registration and Identification information

Access to your Economic Operator Registration and Identification information

Your Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number is held on both a national and European Commission database. Data is exchanged between member states and the European Commission. Member states may also share the information with their customs, veterinary, sanitary, statistical and tax authorities, as well as authorities for trade policy, the fight against fraud or authorities responsible for border control. The general public can also access limited data via a searchable website. When you…

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Accessibility issues

Accessibility issues

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) makes it illegal for a website provider to discriminate against a disabled person by refusing to provide a service that is generally available, providing a service of a lower standard, or failing to comply with a duty to make reasonable adjustments. Accessibility guidance The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has produced a number of accepted guidelines, which are divided into three priorities: priority 1 – websites comply otherwise some…

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Accessing and protecting data held in a digital tachograph

Accessing and protecting data held in a digital tachograph

You can use a company smart card to protect or ‘lock’ data you have recorded in your digital tachograph Vehicle Unit (VU). By doing this, all subsequent data is protected. In order to download the full details from a protected tachograph, you must use the same numbered company card. Locking your data prevents another operator from looking at it. This is necessary to ensure that any personal information about your company and your drivers is…

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Accident prevention

Accident prevention

The majority of accidents in the workplace are slips, trips and falls. Fewer accidents in your workplace will lower costs, improve production and reduce the chances of early retirement and insurance pay-outs. To prevent accidents in the workplace, you should establish a safety management system that includes risk assessment and monitoring procedures. For more information, see the page in this guide on risk assessment. The key European Directive for health and safety at work requires…

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Accidents and emergencies on farms

Accidents and emergencies on farms

Accidents with farming vehicles and machinery aren’t the only causes of injuries and fatalities. Falls from or through fragile roofs are common. All injuries on your farm should be taken seriously. It can be vitally important to administer first aid when an accident occurs. Read more about first aid in our guide to first aid. As back and muscle problems can be a major problem in the farming industry, you should become aware of the main…

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Accounting for VAT on goods supplied for permanent private use

Accounting for VAT on goods supplied for permanent private use

You’ll have to account for VAT on goods taken out of your business permanently for private use. These goods might include: items from stock that you would normally sell to customers goods that your business makes or produces materials that your business uses to make things business supplies – like office supplies and protective clothing that you keep in your stores business assets – like computers, tools and machinery that your business uses Private use…

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Accounting for VAT on the private use of motor fuel

Accounting for VAT on the private use of motor fuel

There are special rules for dealing with the VAT on fuel used for private motoring. These give different options for dealing with the VAT, depending on your business circumstances. You and your employees might use either your own vehicles or those owned by the business for a mix of business and private motoring. If your business pays for the fuel then you can usually reclaim all of the VAT you pay on it as long…

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Accounting for VAT under the Retail Export Scheme

Accounting for VAT under the Retail Export Scheme

VAT should be charged and accounted for at the time of sale in the normal way. When you get back the completed and stamped refund document from the customer and you have refunded the VAT you can zero-rate the sale in your records. If you have already accounted for VAT, you can zero-rate the sale by reducing the amount of output tax shown in box 1 of your next VAT return. Use our interactive tool…

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Accounting periods

Accounting periods

A balance sheet normally reflects a company’s position on its (ARD), which is the last day of its accounting reference period. The accounting reference period, also known as the financial year, is usually 12 months. However, it can be longer or shorter in the first year of trading, or if the ARD is subsequently changed for some reason. Companies House automatically sets the first ARD. Thus the end of the first financial year is the…

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Accounting rate of return

Accounting rate of return

The accounting rate of return (ARR) is a way of comparing the profits you expect to make from an investment to the amount you need to invest. The ARR is normally calculated as the average annual profit you expect over the life of an investment project, compared with the average amount of capital invested. For example, if a project requires an average investment of £100,000 and is expected to produce an average annual profit of…

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Accounting timetables

Accounting timetables

Companies are automatically fined if they submit their accounts to Companies House late. The table below will help you find out when your accounts are due. Public company filing its first accounts Within 18 months from the date of incorporation (19 months for accounts starting before 6 April 2008) Private company filing its first accounts Within 21 months of the date of incorporation (22 months for accounts starting before 6 April 2008) Public company Within…

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Accounts and accounting periods for limited companies and limited liability partnerships

Accounts and accounting periods for limited companies and limited liability partnerships

Every limited company or limited liability partnership (LLP) must prepare annual accounts that report on its performance and activities during the year. The accounts must include a balance sheet, a profit and loss account and certain other information. The period reported on in the accounts is called the accounting period or financial year, and is used by HM Revenue & Customs to work out tax due or owed. Accounting periods for existing businesses The date…

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Acquiring and disclosing communications data

Acquiring and disclosing communications data

Note: This is our original regulation update text, published on 11 October 2007. Unlike the rest of our site, this archived material is not updated if the law changes. Relevant toCommunications service providers in the UK Took effect on1 October 2007 From 1 October 2007, new rules will apply to the way in which public authorities acquire communications data from communications service providers under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA). They will also…

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Acquiring another contractors business

Acquiring another contractors business

If you’re a multiple contractor and you take over all or part of another contractor’s business, you might bring some or all of that business’ subcontractors into your own business. To do this, you’ll need to tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) within 90 days of the acquisition how you want them to treat these subcontractors. HMRC can treat them as being separate to your existing divisions or as new additions to your existing divisions…

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Acquiring IT skills

Acquiring IT skills

There are many ways in which a business can gain IT skills, each with advantages and disadvantages. These depend on factors such as the size of your business, what skills you are trying to acquire and the time available for employees to become proficient. You can hire new employees with the necessary IT skills. This avoids the need to train people on joining the business, but: you need to specify exactly what skills are needed…

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Acquiring or creating a capital asset

Acquiring or creating a capital asset

If you’re a VAT registered trader and you acquire or create an expensive capital asset, or you have one when you first register for VAT, you may have to use the Capital Goods Scheme to adjust how much input tax you initially reclaim in future years. The scheme applies when you spend, net of VAT: £250,000 or more on land or buildings, or on building or civil engineering works £50,000 or more on a single…

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Acting on Energy Performance Certificate recommendations

Acting on Energy Performance Certificate recommendations

Recommendation reports provided with your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will detail ways to improve your property’s energy performance. There is no legal obligation on you to act on these recommendations, but doing so may help you attract prospective tenants keen to cut energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint. Recommendations are split into low-cost improvements (eg insulating the hot-water tank) and high-cost improvements (eg cavity wall insulation). Each improvement will show the typical cost savings…

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Acting on your environmental review

Acting on your environmental review

Having completed the environmental review and established targets for improvements, you need an action plan which will address the issues and enable you to meet the targets. Your action plan should highlight: specific tasks the person responsible for each task the deadline for completing each task The plan should be signed off by senior managers, so that the decision-makers in the business buy into the objectives, and accept both the possible costs and benefits. However,…

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Action you must take at the end of your VAT accounting period

Action you must take at the end of your VAT accounting period

At the end of your VAT accounting period, calculate the net value of all the errors you have found during the period that relate to returns you have already submitted – that is, add together any additional tax due to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), and subtract any tax you should have claimed back. Don’t include any deliberate errors – these must be separately disclosed to HMRC. What you do next depends on whether the…

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Activities at trade fairs and exhibitions that fall within scope of the trade controls

Activities at trade fairs and exhibitions that fall within scope of the trade controls

There are certain activities which are likely to impact on trade fairs and exhibitions of military goods, because of trade controls. Controls on Category A goods Category A is one of the three tiers of goods categorised under the trade controls legislation and administered by the Export Control Organisation (ECO). Controls on Category A goods are the main area of impact, under trade control legislation, for those involved in trade fairs and exhibitions. There is…

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Activities that are eligible for funding from the Rural Development Programme for England

Activities that are eligible for funding from the Rural Development Programme for England

The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) supports eligible activity to achieve a range of objectives, including: good stewardship of land to conserve, enhance and promote the countryside through management practices in Environmental Stewardship woodland projects that provide environmental and recreational benefits and/or improve the economic value of the woodland vocational training and information for people working in farming, food and forestry, including advisory services the setting up of farm management, farm relief and farm…

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Activities you can outsource

Activities you can outsource

Many businesses now outsource many of their non-strategic activities or more complex tasks in order to access industry best practice and cutting-edge technology. This enables the business to benefit from the outsourcing company’s economies of scale and investment in highly trained staff while it concentrates on core business activities. Processes you could consider outsourcing include: – you can outsource most IT functions, from network management to project work, website development and data warehousing. You may benefit from the latest…

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Adding further vehicles above the authorised maximum listed on your goods vehicle operators licence

Adding further vehicles above the authorised maximum listed on your goods vehicle operators licence

If the extra vehicles you want to use will result in you exceeding the total number of vehicles authorised on your licence, this would be considered a major variation to your licence. If you intend to keep more vehicles at an operating centre than your licence allows, you will also need to submit an application for a major variation. For more information about the procedure for making a major variation, see the page in this…

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Adding or changing operating centres on your goods vehicle operators licence

Adding or changing operating centres on your goods vehicle operators licence

If you want to use a new operating centre either instead of – or as well as – an operating centre already on your licence, you must complete a GV81 application form. Download the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency’s (VOSA’s) form GV81 – Application for major changes to your goods vehicle operator’s licence (PDF, 269K) – Opens in a new window. Where to send the GV81 form and application fee You should send the completed…

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Adding or changing operating centres on your public service vehicle operators licence

Adding or changing operating centres on your public service vehicle operators licence

If you want to use a new operating centre instead of, or in addition to, an operating centre already on your licence, this would be a non-chargeable variation. You can notify the Traffic Commissioner using the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency’s (VOSA’s) online self-service system, or by post using form PSV431A. Use VOSA’s online self-service system to add or remove an operating centre (registration required). Download VOSA’s form PSV431A to apply for a non-chargeable variation…

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Adding or removing companies from the group

Adding or removing companies from the group

Once you are registered as a group, you can make the following changes to the group: add additional members to an existing group remove members from an existing group change the representative member disband the group You can download the application forms to change a group of companies, but the registration cannot currently be completed online. The forms must be printed out for completion, and then sent to: HM Revenue & Customs Imperial House 77…

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Adding vehicles to your public service vehicle operators licence

Adding vehicles to your public service vehicle operators licence

If you want to add a bus, coach or minibus to your public service vehicle (PSV) operator’s licence, you can do this via the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency’s (VOSA’s) online self-service system. Alternatively, you can download form PSV430 and apply by post. Download VOSA’s form PSV430 to add or remove vehicles form your PSV operator’s licence (PDF, 24K) – Opens in a new window. If you need to add further vehicles above your authorised…

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Additional information on provisional licences for larger vehicles

Additional information on provisional licences for larger vehicles

For more information on age requirements for driving different types of vehicles, see our guide on the minimum ages for driving different vehicles. You must tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) if you have ever had, or currently suffer from a medical condition that may affect your driving. For more information, see our guide on how to tell DVLA about a medical condition or surrender your driving licence. You must also tell DVLA…

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Additional record-keeping for the Cash Accounting Scheme

Additional record-keeping for the Cash Accounting Scheme

Changing to cash accounting doesn’t mean you can just keep a record of your cash position – you must also keep track of debtors and creditors, so you know the real position with regard to what you owe and are owed. You need this information for Income Tax or Corporation Tax purposes. In addition to keeping all required VAT records and accounts for standard VAT accounting, you must also use the following procedures for sales…

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Additional requirements in markets for high risk groups

Additional requirements in markets for high risk groups

There are special provisions for the protection of animals at higher risk of welfare compromise – including young animals – in addition to the general provisions for animal welfare at shows and markets. See the page in this guide on general welfare provisions at market. These additional provisions relate to: the availability of covered accommodation and bedding for young animals the welfare of calves, lambs and kids the welfare of foals Covered accommodation and bedding…

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Additional requirements of Higher Level Stewardship

Additional requirements of Higher Level Stewardship

If you are a Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) agreement holder, you must comply with your chosen management options. You must also fulfil any obligations relating to Entry Level Stewardship and Organic Entry Level Stewardship options, and to cross compliance requirements. For full details of additional requirements, you should contact the Natural England Enquiry Service on Tel 0845 600 3078, or consult the HLS handbook, available on the Natural England website – Opens in a new…

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Additional rights for consumers when they make a complaint

Additional rights for consumers when they make a complaint

Customers who are also consumers and not other traders, have additional rights. These rights last for up to six years after sale. Consumers are entitled to ask for either a repair or a in addition to their right to a refund. For more information, see the page in this guide on what do I have to do if a customer complains? If they ask for a repair or replacement you should honour their request. But if it’s…

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Additional UK wine laws

Additional UK wine laws

In addition to European Union rules, there are various UK wine laws that govern: tax licensing trade marks trade descriptions weights and measures food safety consumer protection Find out about specific wine-related UK laws on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) website – Opens in a new window. You can find information on import duty, excise and VAT on the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) website – Opens in a new window.

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Adjustment on VAT returns

Administering union subscriptions and payments into union political funds

Administering union subscriptions and payments into union political funds

Some trade union members pay their union subscriptions by deduction from their wages. The employer passes these payments directly to their union. These arrangements are commonly known as the ‘check-off’. Administering the check-off Where check-off arrangements exist, you may lawfully make deductions only where the worker has given you their written consent and has not subsequently withdrawn that consent. The consent must be signed and dated and contain their authorisation to check-off deductions being made…

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Adoption leave and protection against detriment or dismissal

Adoption leave and protection against detriment or dismissal

Employees are protected from suffering a detriment or dismissal for taking, or seeking to take, adoption leave. Detrimental treatment and adoption leave You must not subject an employee to any detriment by acting, or deliberately failing to act, because they: took adoption leave sought to take adoption leave Examples of detrimental treatment include denial of promotion, facilities or training opportunities which you normally have made available to the employee. If an employee believes you have…

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Posted in Pay

Adoption pay

Adoption pay

Statutory adoption pay (SAP) is paid for 39 weeks and usually covers the first 39 weeks of an employee’s adoption leave. There are different eligibility criteria for SAP for UK and overseas adoptions. SAP eligibility – UK adoptions A person qualifies for SAP when adopting a child from within the UK provided they have: at least 26 weeks’ continuous employment with you extending into the ‘matching week’ – this is the week (beginning on Sunday…

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Posted in Pay

Advance funding for SMP

Advance funding for SMP

If you don’t have sufficient payroll deductions available to cover the Statutory Maternity Pay you’re entitled to recover, you may be able to apply for funding from HM Revenue & Customs. You can find more information in our related guide below. Get help with statutory payments funding

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Advance research and planning

Advance research and planning

Having as much of an overseas trip as possible enables you to make cost-efficient travel and accommodation arrangements. Make sure employees have and ensure you leave enough time to apply for a visa if necessary. Make sure you have , covering personal accidents, medical and emergency medical care, cancellations, delays, theft or loss of property, vehicle use, etc. It might be wise to insure your business against a becoming ill, injured or worse. Seek from…

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Advantages and disadvantages of buying an existing business

Advantages and disadvantages of buying an existing business

Here is a table setting out some of the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing an existing business (as compared with starting a new business from scratch). You will note, incidentally, that many of the comments in the disadvantages column underscore the importance of carrying out a thorough due diligence investigation when buying an existing business. Advantages Disadvantages Goodwill One of the major advantages to purchasing an existing business is that you get the benefit of…

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Advantages and disadvantages of employees working at home

Advantages and disadvantages of employees working at home

With increasing numbers of employees working at home – or using home as a working base for at least part of the week – it’s clear there are a number of for business, such as: improved of employees, eg home working can help retain working parents with childcare responsibilities a wider pool of applicants from which to recruit, eg disabled people who may prefer to work from home possible gains through staff having fewer interruptions…

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Advantages and disadvantages of equity finance

Advantages and disadvantages of equity finance

Equity finance can sometimes be more appropriate than other sources of finance, eg bank loans, but it can place different demands on you and your business. The main of equity finance are: The funding is committed to your business and your intended projects. Investors only realise their investment if the business is doing well, eg through stock market flotation or a sale to new investors. The right business angels and venture capitalists can bring valuable…

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Advantages and disadvantages of factoring

Advantages and disadvantages of factoring

There are numerous advantages to debt factoring, but also some potential drawbacks. Advantages Factoring provides a large and quick boost to cashflow. This may be very valuable for businesses that are short of working capital. A business that is owed £500,000 may be able to get £400,000 or more in just a few days. Other advantages: there are many factoring companies, so prices are usually competitive it can be a cost-effective way of outsourcing your…

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Advantages and disadvantages of flotation

Advantages and disadvantages of flotation

Even if your business is suited to flotation, it may not be the right choice for you. There are a number of key advantages and disadvantages to weigh up. You get access to new capital to develop the business. A float makes it easier for you and other investors – including venture capitalists – to realise their investment. You can offer employees extra incentives by granting share options. Being a publicly quoted company can provide…

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Advantages and disadvantages of switching bank accounts

Advantages and disadvantages of switching bank accounts

There are several ways you might benefit from switching your business bank account: A new account might offer more attractive interest rates or lower bank charges. If you’re unhappy with your relationship with your current bank, a new one might understand your requirements better. Many bank accounts come with introductory offers, such as free banking for an initial period. If your current bank does not offer 24-hour telephone or internet banking services you might want…

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Advantages and disadvantages of working from home

Advantages and disadvantages of working from home

Working from home can have many advantages. You may find it helps you to: save on start up costs, as you do not need premises save time that would be spent on looking for suitable property avoid becoming tied into long tenancy agreements arrange work around family commitments get help from family, eg they may help you with filing or general administration tasks save on time and money spent travelling to work avoid noise and…

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Advantages of a Group Payment Arrangement

Advantages of a Group Payment Arrangement

Simplified administration With a Group Payment Arrangement, you only need to make one payment of Corporation Tax to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), no matter how many companies are in the group. But you must make this payment using the special payment reference provided by HMRC, not the reference normally used by the individual companies. Reduced interest charges As some or all members of the group will normally have to pay Corporation Tax by instalments,…

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Advantages of family businesses

Advantages of family businesses

If you start or join a family business you’re likely to benefit from a range of advantages which you often don’t find in other enterprises. – you and your family are likely to share the same ethos and beliefs on how things should be done. This will give you an extra sense of purpose and pride – and your business a competitive edge. – building a lasting family enterprise means you’re more likely to put…

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Advertising and goods associated with donations

Advertising and goods associated with donations

Your charity can advertise VAT-free in any medium that communicates with the public, such as a newspaper or television, providing the advert is placed on someone else’s time or space. This means that if someone charges your charity for an advert, for example in their magazine or on a radio programme or for displaying a poster on their premises, they don’t have to charge you VAT. The VAT relief does not cover costs for advertising…

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Advertising on the internet and in online directories

Advertising on the internet and in online directories

Advertising on the internet can be cost-effective and gives national and international coverage you may otherwise be unable to afford. It will also allow you to compete with larger businesses in your industry on a level playing field. There are three main types of internet advertising. Your own website Ensure you design and position your website for maximum effect. Consider the internet user at every stage. Make it easy for them to find their way around…

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Advertising your goods vehicle operators licence application

Advertising your goods vehicle operators licence application

If you are applying for a goods vehicle operator’s licence, you need to advertise that application in a local newspaper that circulates where you intend to have an operating centre. This gives anyone who owns or occupies land or buildings near your proposed centre the opportunity to object on environmental grounds. The advert must: appear at least once within the period from 21 days before to 21 days after you make your application contain the…

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Advice and informal warnings from the health and safety inspector

Advice and informal warnings from the health and safety inspector

If you are breaking health and safety law, the inspector is likely to tell you what the problem is, advise you what you need to do to comply with the law and explain why you should do so. Inspectors may confirm their recommendations with a brief report issued at the inspection, or they may follow up any verbal advice given to you during their visit with a letter. You can ask the inspector to do…

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Advice for exporters of agricultural and food products

Advice for exporters of agricultural and food products

You can get sector-specific information about agricultural product exporting from the International Agri-Technology Centre (IATC). The IATC works with UK Trade & Investment to promote UK agri-businesses through UK Trade & Investment’s network of international contacts. It also helps overseas companies looking for UK agricultural products to find agri-businesses in this country. Exporters can get specific advice in areas such as: fish and fish products timber and wood products Find out about agricultural export support…

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Advice on complex transactions under the Intrastat system

Advice on complex transactions under the Intrastat system

While the reporting requirements for Intrastat are simple, there are occasions where the nature of your business may mean your responsibilities are more complex – such as when your VAT accounting periods don’t align with calendar months or goods have been returned. Most of these issues can be resolved simply. Location of goods It’s essential to remember that the movement of your goods is the most important element in completing your Supplementary Declarations (SDs) correctly….

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Advice on how to manage an office health and safety induction process

Advice on how to manage an office health and safety induction process

This guide will help you to create a high-quality health and safety induction for an . You’ll be able to check whether each employee has absorbed the information – and keep an audit trail. There are four steps to this process (the first of these is a one-off): Create a health and safety presentation relevant to your office environment and workforce. We supply a PowerPoint template that you should review and, where necessary, adapt. See…

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Advice on packaging

Advice on packaging

Because goods are being air freighted, this doesn’t mean they will be protected from the rigours of various handling processes that happen en route. It has been estimated that a package can be loaded/re-loaded/stowed up to 60 times during a typical international transit, so good quality packaging is essential. When planning to package your goods, you might want to consider the following: Will your product withstand damage if other, heavier packages are stacked on top of…

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AETR drivers hours rules on multi-manning and ferry or train journeys

AETR drivers hours rules on multi-manning and ferry or train journeys

If your vehicle is being driven by more than one driver, or your journey involves ferry or train transport, the European Agreement Concerning the Work of Crews of Vehicles Engaged in International Road Transport (AETR) sets out specific rules on rest periods. The AETR rules are different to European Union (EU) drivers’ hours rules. Multi-manning If you are continuously operating a vehicle with another driver, you must both take a daily rest period of at…

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AETR rules on drivers hours

AETR rules on drivers hours

The European Agreement concerning the work of Crews of Vehicles Engaged in International Road Transport (AETR) regulates the working and rest periods of professional drivers travelling to or through certain European countries. See a map showing the EU, AETR and EEA countries – Opens in a new window. The AETR rules apply to the whole of a journey, including any EU countries that you pass through. See our guide on AETR drivers’ hours rules.

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Affinity credit cards

Affinity credit cards

If your charity receives income in return for endorsing a credit card, this would normally count as income from a business activity (in return for marketing services provided to the financial institution) and would, therefore, be standard-rated for VAT. However, in some circumstances you should be able to treat part of the payment as standard-rated and the balance as a donation outside the scope of VAT. For more information about affinity card income that may…

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After the court reaches a verdict on charges of breaking the terms and conditions of your vehicle operators licence

After the court reaches a verdict on charges of breaking the terms and conditions of your vehicle operators licence

If the court reaches a ‘not guilty’ verdict, you do not need to do anything further and your case is complete. Will the media report your conviction and sentence? If you’ve been convicted and sentenced, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) will inform the Traffic Commissioner and the VOSA Press and Publicity Department. They may tell the media about the outcome of your case. How long will your conviction stay on record? Under the…

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After you apply for VAT

After you have passed the Driver CPC initial qualification tests

After you have passed the Driver CPC initial qualification tests

After you have passed all four modules of the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) initial qualification, you will be entitled to a Driver Qualification Card (DQC). This proves that you hold Driver CPC. You can view an example of a DQC here – Opens in a new window. If you hold a GB photocard driving licence, the DQC will be sent to you automatically once you have passed all four initial qualification tests….

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After your goods vehicle operators licence has been granted

After your goods vehicle operators licence has been granted

If the Traffic Commissioner grants your licence, the traffic area office will write and tell you what additional fees you need to pay. Once these have been paid, you will be sent your new licence and vehicle discs. You can then begin to operate. It is against the law to start operating until you have received your licence and discs. If the fee isn’t paid by the due date, the grant ceases to have effect….

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After your public service vehicle operators licence has been granted

After your public service vehicle operators licence has been granted

If the Traffic Commissioner grants your public service vehicle (PSV) operator’s licence, the traffic area office will write and tell you what additional fees you need to pay. Once these have been paid, you will be sent your new licence and vehicle discs. You can then begin to operate. It is against the law to start operating until you have received your licence and discs. If the fee isn’t paid by the due date, the…

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Age restrictions for driving medium-sized and large vehicles with or without trailers

Age restrictions for driving medium-sized and large vehicles with or without trailers

The minimum age requirement for driving a medium-sized vehicle with a light trailer in the UK is 18. To drive a medium-sized vehicle with a heavier trailer or a large vehicle with any type of trailer, you must be at least 21 – or 18 if the combination weight is under 7,500 kilograms. You must hold a category ‘C1′ entitlement, or a ‘C1+E’ entitlement for trailers heavier than 750 kilograms. Vehicles between 3,500 kilograms and…

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Age restrictions for driving minibuses with or without trailers

Age restrictions for driving minibuses with or without trailers

The usual minimum age for driving a minibus in the UK is 21. You must hold a category ‘D1′ entitlement, or a ‘D1+E’ entitlement for trailers heavier than 750 kilograms.     Vehicles with between nine and 16 passenger seats with a trailer up to 750 kilograms D1 21* Combinations of vehicles where the towing vehicle is in subcategory D1 and its trailer has a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of more than 750 kilograms, provided…

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Age restrictions for riding motorcycles and mopeds

Age restrictions for riding motorcycles and mopeds

The minimum age requirement for driving a moped is 16. Light motorcycles and motorcycle combinations can be driven from the age of 17, and heavier motorcycles with or without sidecars can be driven from the age of 21. You must hold a category ‘A1′ entitlement for light motorcycles and motorcycle combinations, and an ‘A’ entitlement for heavier motorcycles. Mopeds require a ‘P’ entitlement.     Mopeds with an engine capacity not exceeding 50cc and a…

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Age restrictions: other categories of vehicle

Age restrictions: other categories of vehicle

Minimum ages for driving other types of vehicles range from 16 to 21. See the table below for full details of age restrictions and entitlements that must be held.     Agricultural tractors F 17* Road rollers G 21** Tracked vehicles H 21*** Mowing machine or vehicle controlled by a pedestrian K 16 Mopeds P 16 *Age 16 for tractors less than 2.45 metres wide. It must only pull trailers less than 2.45 metres wide…

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Aggregates levy

Aggregates levy

The aggregates levy is a tax on sand, gravel and rock that is dug from the ground or dredged from the sea in UK waters. The tax addresses the environmental damage caused by these business activities in the form of noise, dust and loss of biodiversity. The tax is designed to: recognise the significant environmental impact of extracting aggregates encourage the use of alternative materials channel some of the proceeds into a sustainability fund to…

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Aggregates levy and Climate Change levy

Aggregates levy and Climate Change levy

If you extract aggregates or your business is energy-intensive, you need to be aware of how the aggregates levy and climate change levy may affect your business. Aggregates and mining If you extract aggregates, you must register with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and pay a levy, currently set at 2.00 per tonne. The aggregates levy is designed to minimise demand for primary aggregates and promote environmentally-friendly extraction techniques. Read further details about the aggregates…

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Aggregates Levy payment deadlines

Aggregates Levy payment deadlines

You are responsible for calculating how much Aggregates Levy is owed and for paying this levy on time. Your Aggregates Levy payment is due on the same date as the due date for your Aggregates Levy return. If your completed return or payment are not received by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) by the due date shown on your Aggregates Levy return you may be liable to a penalty of £250. Interest may also be…

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Agreeing objectives

Agreeing objectives

When agreeing performance objectives with your employees, first look at the aims of the business as a whole. Some businesses make a distinction between goals, which apply to the whole business, and objectives, which apply to individuals. A goal might be to increase sales by a certain percentage over a 12-month period. An employee’s objective might be to bring in, for example, one new client per month over that 12-month period. You may find that…

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Agricultural employment disputes

Agricultural employment disputes

As an employer, you can avoid most potential conflicts and disputes by: providing a good working environment providing safe working conditions implementing fair policies and practices offering a reasonable remuneration package to your workers maintaining good communication with your workers to minimise the chances of misunderstandings and disagreements It is also good practice to establish procedures – preferably in writing – for dealing with disagreements and disputes so that they can be handled quickly and…

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Agricultural health and safety and environmental management

Agricultural health and safety and environmental management

Health and safety is a key concern for agricultural businesses. The nature of agricultural work – and farms in general – means there are many hazards with the potential to cause serious accidents. These could result in significant injury or death, as well other consequences such as significant financial or environmental costs. As an employer, you are legally obliged to take measures to protect the health and safety of your workers. This duty of care…

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Agricultural Land Classification and soil types

Agricultural Land Classification and soil types

Land quality varies from place to place. The Agricultural Land Classification (ALC) provides a method for assessing the quality of farmland to enable informed choices to be made about its future use within the planning system. It helps underpin the principles of sustainable development. The ALC system classifies land into five grades, with Grade 3 subdivided into Subgrades 3a and 3b. The best and most versatile land is defined as Grades 1, 2 and 3a…

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Agricultural pest control

Agricultural pest control

Some wild mammals and birds are considered pests and may need to be controlled in order to: prevent the spread of disease prevent damage to livestock or crops prevent damage to feedstuffs preserve public health and safety You also have a duty to control the populations of rats and mice under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949. This law states that you must take reasonable steps to keep your land free of rats…

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Agricultural wages and working conditions

Agricultural wages and working conditions

When you employ someone to work on your farm, you must ensure that you pay them at least the . The minimum wage rate due to each worker varies depending on the grade or category of work involved. These graded, hourly rates are decided by the Agricultural Wages Board (AWB) and set out in the Agricultural Wages Order (AWO) 2008. For further information on the agricultural minimum wage and other terms and working conditions for…

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Agriculture and climate change

Agriculture and climate change

Climate change – caused by an increase in greenhouse gases mainly from human activities – is the most serious long-term challenge facing the world today. Because of the threat it poses to the natural environment, farming will be one of the first sectors to feel its effects. The potential threats include: changes in rainfall distribution prolonged and more frequent droughts more storms and other extreme weather events rising sea levels flooding low-lying land changes in…

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Aid for dehydrated fodder

Aid for dehydrated fodder

The European Union’s aid for dehydrated fodder scheme pays aid to processors who dry and market ‘green fodder’ within guaranteed national quantities and quality requirements. ‘Green fodder’ includes products intended for animal feed such as lucerne, sainfoin, clover, lupins, and vetches. The aid rate is fixed at €33 per tonne. It is granted for processed fodder, provided that its maximum moisture content is between 11 and 14 per cent and its crude protein content in…

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Aids for people with disabilities

Aids for people with disabilities

If your charity is purchasing certain goods and services to make available to disabled people for their personal or domestic use they can be zero-rated. You can find out more in VAT Notice 701/7 Reliefs for disabled people, VAT Notice 701/59 Motor vehicles for disabled people and Notice 701/6 Charity funded equipment. Find VAT Notice 701/7 Reliefs for disabled people on the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) website – Opens in a new window. Find…

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Aims of Environmental Stewardship

Aims of Environmental Stewardship

Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) is one element of Environmental Stewardship (ES) delivered by Natural England on behalf of the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs as part of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE). The scheme encourages effective environmental management across a range of farmland, providing funding to farmers and other land managers in England. The main objectives of ES are: conserving wildlife and maintaining biodiversity maintaining and enhancing landscape quality and character…

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Aims of Environmental Stewardship >> Environmental Stewardship

Aims of Environmental Stewardship >> Environmental Stewardship

Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) is the basic level of Environmental Stewardship (ES) scheme delivered by Natural England. The scheme encourages effective environmental management across a range of farmland, providing funding to farmers and other land managers in England. The main objectives of ES are: conserving wildlife and maintaining biodiversity maintaining and enhancing the quality and character of the natural landscape protecting the historic environment and natural resources promoting public access and understanding of the countryside…

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Airfreight documentation

Airfreight documentation

For customs clearance and delivery at destination – and to fulfil HM Revenue & Customs requirements before export – freight forwarders should have a detailing the description, quantity and value of the goods being sold. This is attached to the air waybill and forwarded to the destination airport. Air waybills Blank air waybills are issued by individual airlines to freight forwarders appointed as agents by the airline. The completed air waybill acts as a document of carriage….

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Airfreight industry regulations

Airfreight industry regulations

You can import and export the majority of products to and from the UK without a licence. However, certain goods are restricted, so you need to be aware of which industry regulations you comply with. Commonly sensitive products, such as armaments, drugs, products originating from endangered animal species and certain high-tech computer products, require a licence before they can be exported. See our guide: do you need an export or import licence?  You should also…

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Airfreight logistics

Airfreight logistics

Buying airfreight and organising other requirements can be a complex process. If you prefer not to organise an airfreight shipment yourself, you can use a . Usually, the most economical way of shipping small- to medium-sized consignments is through a . Freight forwarders buy and pre-book airline capacity in bulk, in advance, and sell this to exporters who want to ship consignments to the same airport of destination on the same day. Make sure you…

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Airfreight rates

Airfreight rates

It is perhaps not surprising that airfreight is generally more expensive than other modes of international transport. However, the upside is that door-to-door transit times can be minimised and, where consignment sizes are small, it is frequently more cost-effective than other modes. Airlines offer different freight rates so, in conjunction with guidance provided by your freight forwarder, you can choose which cost, route, service levels and particular airline options best suit your business needs. The…

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Alcohol licensing laws

Alcohol licensing laws

In order to sell alcohol in the UK you must have a licence. The Government has the right to take away that licence if it is not used responsibly and in accordance with the rule of law under the Licensing Act 2003. In keeping with this aim of ensuring a responsible supply of alcohol, in order to sell alcohol an individual must have a personal licence to do so, or be authorised by a person…

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Aligning IT with the business

Aligning IT with the business

In order to identify the mix and type of IT systems that can support and add value to your business, you should begin by defining the overall objectives of your business, which could include the following: a mission statement or overall goal the functional structure of the business that supports your main activities – eg finance department, sales department, etc goals for each of these functional areas, consistent with the overall goal – eg an…

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Allocate environmental costs to specific processes

Allocate environmental costs to specific processes

Allocating costs to processes or products is an important element in preparing management accounts. It enables you to identify the key areas that you should focus on to cut costs. You should produce a flow chart showing the main activities of the business, breaking down the processes into enough detail to allow you to allocate an estimate of the environmental costs to each . The flow chart should not be overly detailed, but should have…

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Allows you to prepare your online SDLT return in advance

Allows you to prepare your online SDLT return in advance

When you file your Stamp Duty Land Tax return online, you can prepare the return online in advance at a time that suits you, then submit it once the transaction is complete – there’s no rush to get the forms in the post. You can save on paper too – you won’t need to keep stocks of forms or paying-in slips because each transaction filed online receives a Unique Transaction Reference Number, which you use…

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Alterations to a disabled persons home

Alterations to a disabled persons home

Some alterations you make to a disabled person’s private home can be VAT zero-rated. These are shown below. If you’re doing this work as part of building a new home, it may qualify for zero rating anyway. Building trades: VAT when constructing new houses and flats Ramps, doorways and passageways As long as the work you do is to help a disabled person go in and out of their home or move around inside it,…

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Alterations to the property

Alterations to the property

is not always required if you wish to make alterations to the property – for example if you want to make changes to the inside of the building or minor alterations to the outside. Also, a specific application is not needed if you want to put up low walls or fences, although you should always check whether building regulations are required by contacting the building control section at your local authority. However, planning permission is…

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Alternative agricultural products

Alternative agricultural products

As part of your diversification strategy, you may want to develop alternative agricultural products, for example: fish farming alternative livestock or livestock produce non-food crops Different rules and regulations may apply to your new business options. Generally, diversifying into other forms of agricultural activity does not require planning permission. If in doubt, you can contact your local authority for advice. You may also have to consider new health and safety, and employment issues that do…

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Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)

What is ADR? ADR is the collective term for the ways that parties can settle civil disputes without going to court or, if proceedings have been started, without going to trial. There are a number of different ADR options. Parties may wish to use a process where a neutral third party makes a decision (arbitration, expert determination, ombudsmen and regulators). Alternatively they may prefer to use a process where the neutral agent offers an opinion…

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Alternative ways to pay VAT

Alternative ways to pay VAT

If you are having problems paying VAT, you might want to take a look at schemes that offer alternative methods of payment. Some of these schemes change when you pay, and some change how much you pay: – this allows you to pay in monthly or quarterly instalments based on an estimate of your total VAT bill for the year. – this allows you to pay VAT only on the payments you receive from your…

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Alternatives to an employee buyout

Alternatives to an employee buyout

There are several possible alternatives to an employee buyout. You may want to keep your business in the family. You need to be sure that you have a suitable successor. See our guide to selling or passing a business to a family member. You could decide to carry on yourself – but this only postpones the succession problem. And working on after you want to retire is unlikely to be in the best interests of your…

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Alternatives to dismissal on grounds of ill health

Alternatives to dismissal on grounds of ill health

You may be able to make changes so that you can keep an employee who has a long-term illness or disability. It is good practice to ask the employee what reasonable adjustments might help them to remain in work. You could consider: reorganising the work or redesigning the job reallocating certain non-core duties to other workers or a transfer to a job or location with easier access offering retraining altering their hours of work eliminating…

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Alternatives to paying statutory sick pay

Alternatives to paying statutory sick pay

How is sick pay funded? Employees’ sick pay can come from one of two potential sources: a) Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) b) Occupational (or contractual) Sick Pay (OSP). What is occupational sick pay? As an alternative to SSP, an employer may elect to pay OSP – basing employees’ earnings whilst off sick on a proportion (or all) of their regular earnings. Who decides qualification for occupational sick pay? The rules regarding entitlement to SSP are…

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Ambulance services

Ambulance services

The supply of transport services for sick or injured persons is exempt from VAT subject to the following conditions: the passengers being transported must be sick or injured the transport must form part of a journey to or from a place of medical treatment the vehicle in which the person is transported must be specially designed for the purpose of providing such transport For more information on what qualifies as ‘specially designed’ see section 5.4…

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Amending an SDLT return if a formal enquiry has been opened

Amending an SDLT return if a formal enquiry has been opened

If HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) needs more information to understand the figures in your Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) return, or to check that they’re correct, they will make an enquiry into it. You can still amend your return after HMRC has started to make an enquiry into it, but your amendment can’t take effect until after the enquiry has been completed. If at the end of their enquiry they find that your return…

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Amending orders

Amending orders

Amendments to Export Control Order 2008 The original legislation has been amended by the following amending orders. Read the full text of the Export Control (Amendment) Order 2010 (S.I. 2010/121) on the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) website – Opens in a new window. Electro-statically powered explosive detectors are added to the list of Dual-Use goods in Schedule 3 to the 2008 Order which are goods subject to UK export control for strategic purposes….

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Amendments made under the Export Control Order

Amendments made under the Export Control Order

The Export Control Order 2008 consolidates previous controls which are now summarised for historical purposes only. Find a list of revoked orders and amendments on the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) website – Opens in a new window. You can view a summary of the current export legislation in our guide on current UK strategic export control legislation. To keep up to date with legislation and sanctions changes, you can read the Export…

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Amendments to Open General Licences

Amendments to Open General Licences

You should be aware that there are frequent updates to Open General Licences (OGLs). Notifications of any amendments to OGLs can be found in the Notices to Exporters. You can read Notices to Exporters on the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) website – Opens in a new window. You can find contact details for the Export Control Organisation (ECO) on the BIS website – Opens in a new window. All OGLs remain in…

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Amusement Machine Licence Duty applications and payment deadlines

Amusement Machine Licence Duty applications and payment deadlines

You will need to apply for an Amusement Machine Licence using the necessary application or renewal forms. These forms will provide you with the rates of duty for each type of machine. If HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) receives your application and payment for licence(s) after your requested start date, your licence will start from the date of receipt by HMRC. You can only make machines available for play from this day. If paying by…

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An example of avoiding overtrading

An example of avoiding overtrading

Karen’s business is three years old. Her annual turnover is £200,000 and her annual profit is £18,000. She operates with a bank overdraft of up to £25,000. Her working capital is sufficient for her to steadily expand the business. Karen wins a contract to supply Business B. The order is for £40,000 a month for two years. She will be paid 75 days after delivery. Karen’s plan Karen asks Business B to pay her in…

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An overview of the commercial mortgage

An overview of the commercial mortgage

You may need to take out a commercial mortgage to buy premises to start or expand your business, or if you are buying a business that is directly linked to property, eg a hotel or retail outlet. Mortgages are usually for 15 years or more and the property itself is at risk if payments are not made on time. Meeting the lender’s criteria Most banks and building societies offer commercial mortgages, but you must satisfy…

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An overview of the different ways to keep business accounts

An overview of the different ways to keep business accounts

In order to run any business you need to keep accounts or pay someone to do this for you. Keeping accounts is a legal obligation, but keeping good records is vital to run your business effectively. There are many ways of keeping accounts. Traditionally, with handwritten entries. Many small businesses still use the traditional methods of bookkeeping, often using specially printed books to organise records. However, handwritten accounts can take a significant amount of your…

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An overview of the oil, gas, refining and petrochemical sector

An overview of the oil, gas, refining and petrochemical sector

The oil, gas, refining and petrochemical industries generally fall into either the or category. Upstream This relates to and from natural resources and includes the: exploration of potential new oil and gas reserves using seismic and geophysical surveys and prospective drilling development of oil or gas fields, including constructing the well head and production facilities Downstream This relates to into products that your business can market. It includes: the transportation of crude oil and gas,…

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An overview of the PEACH system

An overview of the PEACH system

The Procedure for Electronic Application for Certificates (PEACH) system helps you comply with pre-notification requirements for certain consignments being imported into the European Union (EU). PEACH can be used for consignments of fruit, vegetables, nuts and other goods covered by the European Community (EC) Marketing Standards and consignments of goods covered by plant health regulations. PEACH and the EC Marketing Standards Two distinct sets of EC Marketing Standards stipulate quality and labelling requirements for consignments of fresh produce…

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An overview of the recreation, leisure goods and services sector

An overview of the recreation, leisure goods and services sector

The recreation and leisure sector comprises a wide range of business activities, covering both goods and services. Goods include games, toys and sporting equipment, while services include activities from sports coaching to video game design. The UK market in this sector is well developed and growing strongly. Rising levels of disposable income and leisure expenditure in Western Europe and North America have created an increasing number of export opportunities for UK firms. The emergence of…

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An overview of the various employee share schemes

An overview of the various employee share schemes

Employee share schemes can involve giving free shares to employees, granting them options to buy shares at a specified price after a specified period of time, or allowing employees to buy shares, and sometimes matching these with free ones. To tailor a share scheme to the needs and goals of your business, you can: Make the award of shares or grant of options dependent on reaching certain milestones, eg in sales. Structure the scheme so that…

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Anaerobic digestion

Anaerobic digestion

Anaerobic digestion (AD) is the breakdown of organic matter by bacteria in the absence of oxygen. This natural process can create: biogas – renewable energy source for heat and power biomethane – natural gas supply and transport fuel digestate – nutrient rich organic fertiliser or soil conditioner You can house an AD system on-farm or use a larger, centrally located facility known as a Centralised Anaerobic Digestion facility. How AD works Organic material is stored…

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Analyse and present your environmental data

Analyse and present your environmental data

Once your business begins to collect significant quantities of data about its environmental impact, you can easily become overwhelmed by the raw data itself. Make sure you accurately record all the data you have collected, eg using a spreadsheet. Presenting your data When you need to present your data – eg in an annual report or when discussing key environmental performance indicators (KEPIs) – you may want to use a number of methods including: –…

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Analyse the health of your business

Analyse the health of your business

Regularly assessing your business by looking at key performance indicators enables you to identify areas you need to improve. Addressing issues early on could prevent more severe consequences later. How you organise and run your business affects your ability to manage the risks you face. For example, relying too heavily on too few customers is a strategy you will regret should one or more cease buying from you due to adverse financial conditions. See our…

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Animal by-products as feedstuffs

Animal by-products as feedstuffs

A very limited number of animal by-products (ABPs) can be used as feedstuffs for farm animals, subject to certain conditions. Milk and milk products You can use unprocessed milk and milk products as feed for farmed animals if specific conditions are met. Products include raw or pasteurised milk or milk products, whey from non-heat treated milk, or cleaning water used in contact with pasteurised or raw milk. They also include dairy former foodstuffs such as…

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Animal feed, feeding stuffs and livestock diets

Animal feed, feeding stuffs and livestock diets

There is no positive, restricted list of what farmers can feed their animals. This is partly because of the likely length of such a list and partly because research into animal nutrition is continually revealing new uses for potential crops. It is essentially your choice what to feed your animals based on the species you farm, their produce, and their nutritional needs. Genetically modified (GM) materials in animal feed As the UK cannot supply all…

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Animal protection at markets

Animal protection at markets

The market operator is responsible for overseeing the welfare of animals sold at markets and ensuring that they are cared for and treated humanely. It is the owner and market operator’s responsibility to ensure that no unfit animal is exposed for sale at market. Animal Health and local authorities can remove animals from sale that are unfit and take further enforcement action, including the humane destruction of animals unfit for onward transport. Poor animal treatment…

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Animal transportation documents

Animal transportation documents

You must have a valid if your business transports vertebrate animals on journeys longer than 65 kilometres – about 40 miles. The type of authorisation you need depends on the total duration of your journeys. Download information about transporter authorisation from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) website (PDF, 74K) – Opens in a new window. Journeys over 65 kilometres and under eight hours If your livestock’s journey time will be under…

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Animal welfare legislation and enforcement

Animal welfare legislation and enforcement

The main legislation that governs animal welfare at shows and markets includes the: Animal Welfare Act 2006 Welfare of Animals at Markets Order 1990 (WAMO) Welfare of Animals at Markets (Amendment) Order 1993 Welfare of Horses at Markets (and Other Places of Sale) Order 1990 (WHAMOPSO) Welfare of Animals (Transport) (England) Order 2006 Specific market legislation ensures a high standard of welfare for all animals passing through markets and creates specific rules that you should…

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Annual Accounting Scheme

Annual Accounting Scheme

Using the Annual Accounting Scheme, you pay VAT on account throughout the year in nine monthly or three quarterly instalments. These instalments are based on the VAT you paid in the previous year. If you have been trading for less than a year, the instalments are based on an estimate of your VAT liability. You only need to complete one VAT return at the end of the year. If you have not paid enough VAT…

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Annual return deadlines

Annual return deadlines

Company directors – and the company secretary, if one is appointed – are responsible for filing their company’s annual return within 28 days of the made-up date. See the page in this guide on the made-up date. You can get regular reminders of important tax dates with our Tax deadline email alerts. Penalties It is a criminal offence not to deliver the company’s annual return within 28 days of the made-up date, for which company secretaries…

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Annual tests for commercial vehicles

Annual tests for commercial vehicles

Most lorries, trailers and buses must have annual tests from one year after the date of first registration. For more information on annual tests, see our guide on annual tests for lorries, buses and trailers. To find the locations of testing stations and to book a test, see our guides on booking annual and special tests for commercial vehicles and booking commercial vehicle tests online. Buses, coaches and minibuses All buses with more than eight passenger seats used for…

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Annual update of rules and fees for veterinary medicinal products

Annual update of rules and fees for veterinary medicinal products

Note: This is our original regulation update text, published on 19 September 2008. Unlike the rest of our site, this archived material is not updated if the law changes. Relevant toThe following in the UK – veterinary pharmaceutical manufacturers and marketers, wholesalers and retailers such as pet shops; veterinary surgeons; suitably qualified persons who supply veterinary medicines; registered pharmacists and pharmacies; owners and keepers of food-producing animals, including farmers and beekeepers; agricultural merchants and saddlers;…

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Anti-dumping duty measures

Anti-dumping duty measures

The anti-dumping Agreement is one of three World Trade Organisation (WTO) principal trade defence Agreements. The UK and the European Community (EC) are party to the agreements, which are applied across all European Union (EU) member states. Anti-dumping duty (ADD) is imposed in addition to any normal customs duty for which the goods being imported are liable. It enables the EC to take action against goods sold at considerably less than their ‘normal value’. This…

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Anti-subsidies and countervailing measures

Anti-subsidies and countervailing measures

The Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (ASCM) is one of three World Trade Organisation (WTO) principal trade defence Agreements. The UK and the European Community (EC) are party to all the agreements, which are and can be applied across all European Union (EU) member states. ASCM covers two separate but closely-related topics: Anti-subsidy measures allow importing countries to take banning action against certain kinds of subsidised imports. ‘Subsidies’ are defined as financial assistance from…

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Anti-trust law

Anti-trust law

What is competition? Competition is a natural and healthy component of any free market economy. It encourages companies to offer consumers products and services on a favourable basis. For competition to be effective, two seemingly contradictory features must be present: 1. companies must act independently of other companies 2. companies must react to the competitive pressure applied by other companies. Competition law regulates anti-competitive practices. What is anti-trust law and how does it relate to…

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Appealing a county court decision

Appealing a county court decision

If you do not agree with the judge’s decision in your case, you can . This will involve a more senior judge looking at your case to see if the original decision was correct. You must have proper reasons, or ‘grounds’, for your appeal. If your appeal fails, you may have to pay the costs of the other party, so it is advisable to consult a solicitor before you begin the process. Notes made during…

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Appealing against a guilty verdict or a sentence

Appealing against a guilty verdict or a sentence

You have the right to appeal against: a – if you pleaded ‘not guilty’ at the trial the – if you pleaded ‘guilty’ at the trial and feel the sentence is unjust On appeal, a sentence can be increased as well as reduced. You need to seek legal advice immediately if you decide to appeal and: you were not legally represented in court the case was considered in your absence When should you appeal? You…

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Appealing against a penalty notice

Appealing against a penalty notice

If you don’t agree with any penalty notice you receive, you have the right to appeal against it. You can find out how to do this from the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) link below. Find out how to appeal against an HMRC decision on direct tax on the HMRC website – Opens in a new window.

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Appealing against a Stamp Duty penalty

Appealing against a Stamp Duty penalty

You have the right to appeal against any Stamp Duty penalty that you disagree with. You must do this in writing within 30 days of receiving the formal adjudication notice. You should include any reference number you have in your appeal letter, mark your letter ‘Stamp Duty’ and send it to: Birmingham Stamp Office 9th Floor City Centre House 30 Union Street Birmingham B2 4AR Most appeals are settled by reaching an agreement with HM…

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Appealing against a Stamp Duty Reserve Tax penalty

Appealing against a Stamp Duty Reserve Tax penalty

You have the right to appeal against any Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT) penalty that you disagree with. You must do this in writing within 30 days of receiving the penalty notice. Include any reference number you have in your appeal letter. Mark your letter ‘Stamp Duty Reserve Tax’ and send it to: Birmingham Stamp Office 9th Floor City Centre House 30 Union Street Birmingham B2 4AR Most appeals are settled by reaching an agreement…

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Appealing against a surcharge

Appealing against a surcharge

If you think you should not have been surcharged, or if you think that the amount you have been surcharged is too high, you can ask HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to take another look at the charges and/or your ‘default liability’. You must do this within 30 days of receiving your surcharge notice or extension. You can also appeal against the surcharge or the default liability to a VAT tribunal. Find HMRC contact details…

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Appealing against an employment tribunal judgment

Appealing against an employment tribunal judgment

You may only appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) on a . Broadly, a point of law is one which concerns the interpretation of the legislation and its application to the facts of the case. Where the employment tribunal has made findings of fact based on the evidence it has read or heard, eg where the tribunal sets out what they believed actually happened, or why someone acted as they did, you cannot challenge…

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Appealing against delayed or refused planning permission

Appealing against delayed or refused planning permission

If an application takes longer than you hoped, contact your local authority and ask when a decision is likely. Non-determination If your local authority can’t decide your application within , it may seek your written consent to extend the deadline. If you decide not to wait longer than eight weeks, you can make an appeal. This is called an ‘appeal on grounds of non-determination.’ Refusal of planning permission Your local authority must give you written…

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Appealing against Gangmasters Licensing Authority decisions

Appealing against Gangmasters Licensing Authority decisions

You have a right to appeal against a decision made by the Gangmasters Licensing Authority (GLA) if: your application for a licence is refused you are granted a licence with additional licensing conditions your licence is taken away If you believe the GLA has made a factual mistake which has led to them refusing your licence, you should contact the GLA Helpline on Tel 0845 602 5020. For enquiries about other GLA decisions, or for information…

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Appealing to the tribunal

Appealing to the tribunal

If you want a tribunal to consider your appeal or application you must send it to the tribunal within 30 days of: the date on the decision letter (if you do not want a review) the date on the review conclusion letter (or the letter telling you that the review conclusion is treated as upholding the original decision) the date HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) refused to do a review which was requested late You…

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Appeals against disciplinary decisions

Appeals against disciplinary decisions

An employee has the right to appeal against your decision following the disciplinary hearing. You must notify them of this right when you write to give them the decision. Give them a deadline to notify you of their intention to appeal, eg within ten working days. If the employee does appeal, you must try to hold the appeal hearing without unnecessary delay. Preparing for an appeal hearing Before you hold an appeal hearing: Familiarise yourself…

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Appeals against grievance decisions

Appeals against grievance decisions

An employee has the right to appeal against your decision following the grievance hearing. You must notify them of this right when you write to give them your decision. Give them a deadline to notify you of their intention to appeal, eg within ten working days. If the employee chooses to appeal, you must try to hold the appeal hearing without unnecessary delay. Preparing for an appeal hearing Before you hold an appeal hearing: Familiarise…

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Appeals against health and safety enforcement notices

Appeals against health and safety enforcement notices

If you are served with an or you will be told in writing about your right to appeal and provided with the appropriate form. Appeals must be made to an employment tribunal – or an industrial tribunal in Northern Ireland – usually within 14 days, although deadlines in Northern Ireland may differ. You are most likely to want to appeal if you disagree with the inspector’s opinion that you are breaking the law, or you…

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Appeals for rejected products of animal origin

Appeals for rejected products of animal origin

Occasionally your products of animal origin (POAO) may not be cleared at the Border Inspection Post (BIP). See the page in this guide: what happens if my product of animal origin goods aren’t cleared?  If you wish to for entry of your goods, your first step is to check the back of the control notice, as this will show you the reasons for the refusal. This will also tell you the organisation to which you…

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Application procedure and fees

Application procedure and fees

When making an application for Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR), you must submit the following to the Plant Variety Rights Office (PVRO): an application form a completed technical questionnaire for the correct species of the plant variety for ornamental species – a colour photograph of the representative features of the variety All applications and documents must be in English or be accompanied by an English translation. When making payments, you must also submit an RAS 1…

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Applications for customs intervention on intellectual property rights infringements

Applications for customs intervention on intellectual property rights infringements

Your application to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for action on intellectual property rights (IPR) infringements will be considered as soon as possible, and you will be advised within 30 working days whether it has been accepted. You may be asked to provide financial security for future action. If your application is accepted, this will be confirmed in writing. HMRC will then use the information in your application to target trader declarations and check consignments suspected…

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Applications for Iran – the Iran List

Applications for Iran – the Iran List

Despite the guidance available about the types of goods and destinations which could potentially be of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) concern, it is recognised that exporters will often not be in a position to know that an end user or other party to an export transaction may be involved in a WMD programme. Given the current concerns about Iran in particular, the Export Control Organisation (ECO) feels it would be useful to provide more…

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Apply for a compulsory licence

Apply for a compulsory licence

For a two-year period after Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) are granted, the PBR holder is free to decide who they will grant licences to, and any other terms and conditions. After this time, compulsory licences may be granted. Any person who has applied for a licence to use a protected species, and feels that the PBR holder has unreasonably refused to grant the licence or has imposed unreasonable terms, can apply for a compulsory licence….

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Apply for and manage your company and driver smart cards

Apply for and manage your company and driver smart cards

If you operate vehicles equipped with digital tachographs, you’ll need to apply for driver and company smart cards. As a business, you can have up to 2,232 company smart cards. You can have as many driver cards as you want, based on how many depots you have and the number of drivers you use. Driver and company smart cards Your smart card is valid for five years. If it is lost, stolen or faulty, a…

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Applying for a Certificate of Initial Fitness

Applying for a Certificate of Initial Fitness

An application for a vehicle’s Certificate of Initial Fitness (COIF) is made to the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) using form PSV417. After you have submitted your application, it will then be sent to your nearest certifying officer who will make arrangements for the vehicle COIF examination to be carried out. You can download VOSA’s form PSV417 to apply for a Certificate of Initial Fitness (COIF) (PDF, 38K) – Opens in a new window….

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Applying for a Common Agricultural Policy export licence

Applying for a Common Agricultural Policy export licence

There are three ways to submit your licence application – by post, fax or email. If you choose to send a handwritten application, it must be completed in black ink and block capitals. To ensure clarity and accuracy, it’s recommended you complete the form on your computer. If you intend to submit your application by post, you must address it to the relevant commodity department at the Rural Payments Agency (RPA). You should check with…

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Applying for a Common Agricultural Policy import licence

Applying for a Common Agricultural Policy import licence

You can apply for an import licence by email. However, before you can do this, you need to be approved and to accept the terms and conditions of use set out by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA). You can find terms and conditions for the submission of licences by email on the RPA website – Opens in a new window. You can download the application for submitting licence applications by email from the RPA website…

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Applying for a duty suspension and tariff quota

Applying for a duty suspension and tariff quota

You can apply for a duty suspension or tariff quota if the product – or similar products – you are importing cannot be sourced – or supplied in sufficient quantity – from within the European Union (EU). If the imported product is to be further processed, the level of duty saving must be at least €20,000 per year. Duty suspensions allow quantities to be imported into the EU. Tariff quotas allow the importation of quantities….

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Applying for a Liberia export control licence

Applying for a Liberia export control licence

If you are an exporter, you can apply for an export control licence for your goods. All applications will be considered by the government on a case by case basis in line with the provisions of the Consolidated Criteria for UK and European Union (EU) Arms Exports. For more information read our guide on assessment of export licence applications – criteria and policy. See our guide on licences – export, trade control and transhipment. All…

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Applying for a new public service vehicle operators licence due to a change to your business

Applying for a new public service vehicle operators licence due to a change to your business

Licences are not transferable. If changes are made to your business that affect in law the identity of that business, you must apply for a new public service vehicle (PSV) operator’s licence using form PSV421. Download the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency’s (VOSA’s) form PSV421 to apply for a PSV operator’s licence (PDF, 145K) – Opens in a new window. If there’s a change in the control of your business The Traffic Commissioner must be…

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Applying for a Standard Individual Export Licence

Applying for a Standard Individual Export Licence

You must apply for a Standard Individual Export Licence (SIEL) through SPIRE – the electronic licensing system operated by the Export Control Organisation. Original end-user documentation – such as End-User Undertakings (EUUs) – be included with your application. This helps prevent UK exports being diverted or re-exported to undesirable end users. Find out about documentation requirements for SIEL applications in our guide on End-User and Consignee Undertakings for SIELs and OIELs. Apply for an export…

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Applying for an export control licence to Armenia and Azerbaijan

Applying for an export control licence to Armenia and Azerbaijan

Armenia and Azerbaijan – do you need an export licence? Exporters can apply for an export licence for their goods. All applications will be considered by the government on a case-by-case basis in line with the provisions of the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. For more information, read our guide on assessment of export licence applications – criteria and policy. For details on different export licences available, see our guide on licences…

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Applying for an export licence to Burma

Applying for an export licence to Burma

Exporters can apply for an export licence for their goods. All applications will be considered by the government on a case-by-case basis in line with the provisions of the Consolidated Criteria for UK and European Union (EU) Arms Exports. Read our guide on licence decision making – the consolidated criteria. For details on different export licences available see our guide on licences – export, trade control and transhipment. All licence applications should be made via…

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Applying for an export licence to China

Applying for an export licence to China

China export licences – do you need one? Exporters can apply for an export licence for their goods. All applications will be considered by the government on a case-by-case basis in line with the provisions of the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. Read our guide on assessment of export licence applications: criteria and policy. For details on different export licences available see our guide: licences – export, trade control and transhipment. You…

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Applying for an export licence to Iran

Applying for an export licence to Iran

Do you need a licence to export to Iran? Exporters can apply for an export licence for their goods. All applications will be considered by the government on a case-by-case basis in line with the provisions of the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. Read this guide on assessment of export licence applications – criteria and policy. For details on different export licences available see our guide on licences – export, trade control…

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Applying for an export licence to Iraq

Applying for an export licence to Iraq

Exporters can apply for an export licence for their goods. All applications will be considered by the government on a case-by-case basis in line with the provisions of the Consolidated Criteria for UK and European Union Arms Exports. Read our guide on assessment of export licence applications – criteria and policy. You can also read our guide on licences – export, trade control and transhipment for information on different export licences you may be able…

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Applying for an export licence to Somalia

Applying for an export licence to Somalia

Exporters can apply to the UK government Export Control Organisation (ECO) for an export licence for their goods. The ECO considers all applications on the basis of the Consolidated European Union (EU) and UK Arms Export Licensing Criteria. The first criterion requires the government to identify whether the proposed export would contravene the UK’s international commitments. For more information, see our guide on licence decision making – the consolidated criteria. For details on different export…

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Applying for an export licence to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea

Applying for an export licence to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea

Exporters can apply for an export licence for their goods. All applications will be considered by the government on a case-by-case basis in line with the provisions of the Consolidated Criteria for UK and European Union (EU) Arms Exports. Read our guide on assessment of export licence applications – criteria and policy. For details on different export licences available see our guide on licences – export, trade control and transhipment. All licence applications should be…

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Applying for an export licence to the Democratic Republic of Congo

Applying for an export licence to the Democratic Republic of Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo – licences to export Exporters can apply for an export licence for their goods. All applications will be considered by the government on a case-by-case basis in line with the provisions of the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criterias. Read our guide on assessment of export licence applications – criteria and policy. For details on different export licences available see our guide on licences – export, trade control and…

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Applying for an export licence to the Ivory Coast

Applying for an export licence to the Ivory Coast

How to find out whether you need a licence to export to the Ivory Coast, and how to apply Exporters can apply for an export licence for their goods. All applications will be considered by the government on a case-by-case basis in line with the provisions of the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria.Read our guide on assessment of export licence applications – criteria and policy. For details on different export licences available…

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Applying for an export licence to the Republic of Guinea

Applying for an export licence to the Republic of Guinea

Exporters can apply for an export licence for their goods. All applications will be considered by the government on a case by case basis in line with the provisions of the Consolidated Criteria for UK and European Union (EU) Arms Exports. Read our guide on Assessment of Export Licence Applications – Criteria and Policy. For details on different export licences available see our guide on Licences – Export, Trade Control and Transhipment. All licence applications…

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Applying for an export licence to Zimbabwe

Applying for an export licence to Zimbabwe

You can apply for an export licence for your goods. All applications will be considered by the Government on a case-by-case basis in line with the provisions of the Consolidated Criteria for UK and European Union (EU) Arms Exports. Read our guide on assessment of export licence applications – criteria and policy. For details on different export licences available see our guide on licences – export, trade control and transhipment. All licence applications should be made…

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Applying for Approved Tachograph Centre status

Applying for Approved Tachograph Centre status

Whether you are making a first application for approved Tachograph Centre (ATC) status or you are applying for an additional class of approval, i.e. to become a digital centre as well as analogue, you will need to submit form GV207 to the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA). Download VOSA’s form GV207 to apply for approval as an ATC (PDF, 72K) – Opens in a new window. Applications to become an approved centre can be…

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Applying for driver smart cards

Applying for driver smart cards

If you need or are going to need to drive a vehicle subject to the EU drivers’ hours regulations, you will need to apply for a driver smart card. This is your responsibility as a driver, although your company or agency may pay for your card and send off your application form. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) issues digital tachograph smart cards for the UK. You can request an application form (Form ST1A)…

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Applying for end-use authorisation

Applying for end-use authorisation

You need to be authorised by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to import or receive end-use goods. Authorisations are issued to the person importing or having the goods imported. There are five types of authorisation for which you can apply. End-use authorisation within the UK You will need to have end-use authorisation if you import or process, or intend to import or process, end-use goods on a regular basis using form C 1317. This type…

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Applying for Entry Level Stewardship

Applying for Entry Level Stewardship

Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) is open to farmers and land managers who are: freehold owners tenants contractual licensees Any land entered into an ELS agreement must first be registered on the Rural Land Register (RLR) – a digital record of all farmed land in England – and must be part of the farmed environment. You can register land on the RLR by contacting the Rural Payments Agency (RPA). You also need a RPA vendor number…

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Applying for Higher Level Stewardship

Applying for Higher Level Stewardship

To apply for a Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) agreement, you will need to contact your local Natural England office. Technical advice and support will be provided by Natural England advisers. The Farm Environment Plan A farm environmental plan (FEP) holds information about the current environmental value and interest of your land, including the condition of environmental features. An FEP will help to decide on a suitable level of management that could be achieved through HLS….

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Applying for National Lists

Applying for National Lists

The Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) is a new executive agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Through its component unit, the Plant Variety Rights Office and Seeds Division (PVS), Fera is responsible for maintaining the National Lists of agricultural and vegetable varieties. You can contact the PVS Helpline on Tel 01223 342 379, or write to them at the following address: Plant Variety Rights and Seeds Office Fera White…

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Applying for passenger carrying vehicle entitlement

Applying for passenger carrying vehicle entitlement

If you do not drive a minibus but want to learn, you need to apply for provisional passenger carrying vehicle (PCV) entitlement to be added to your driving licence. For more information, see our guide on how to apply for a provisional licence to drive lorries, buses or minibuses. If you currently hold a valid full paper licence and want to add provisional entitlement to drive minibuses, you can request an application form (form D2)…

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Applying for permission to appoint a delegated examiner

Applying for permission to appoint a delegated examiner

The Secretary of State for Transport can authorise a number of organisations and companies to appoint delegated examiners. Employees, employees of a sister company, intended employees Employees, employees of a sister company, intended employees Employees, employees of another fire and rescue service Employees, employees of another police service A delegated examiner may act for both a police force and a fire and rescue authority, providing they each appoint the delegated examiner separately and both pay…

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Applying for registration as a social landlord

Applying for registration as a social landlord

Once your board or governing body has checked that your organisation meets the statutory requirements for registered social landlords (RSLs), you will need to take the following steps: Ask the Tenant Service Authority (TSA) about filling in a preliminary application form to become an RSL. Arrange a registration assessment timetable with the TSA. Conduct a pre-registration assessment – this includes sending information to the TSA and showing that your organisation meets the Registration Criteria and…

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Applying to carry out works to trees protected by a tree preservation order

Applying to carry out works to trees protected by a tree preservation order

Note: This is our original regulation update text, published on 30 September 2008. Unlike the rest of our site, this archived material is not updated if the law changes. Relevant toArboriculturists, tree consultants, tree surgeons, gardening and landscaping service businesses, and all those offering tree work; agents working on behalf of insurance companies and others who might apply for consent to fell or prune trees in England Took effect on1 October 2008 From 1 October…

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Applying to exchange your European Community or European Economic Area vocational driving licence

Applying to exchange your European Community or European Economic Area vocational driving licence

If your vocational licence was issued in a European Community (EC) or European Economic Area (EEA) country and you will be 45 years old or more on exchange, you need only submit an application form (D2) and a medical report (D4) form. This applies even if your EC/EEA licence is current. You can request an application form (form D2) for a driving licence for a lorry, minibus or bus. You need to enclose original documentation confirming…

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Appointing a company secretary

Appointing a company secretary

Under the Companies Act 2006 private companies are no longer required to have a company secretary. However, if you have decided to appoint or retain one since 6 April 2008, their responsibilities remain unchanged. You don’t need any qualifications to be the company secretary of a private limited company. However, you must not be: the company’s auditor an undischarged bankrupt – unless given court permission The rules for a public limited company are more complex. See guidance…

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Appointing a Dangerous Goods Safety Adviser

Appointing a Dangerous Goods Safety Adviser

To comply with the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR), companies engaged in carrying, packing, filling, loading and/or unloading of dangerous goods by road, rail or inland waterways may have to appoint a Dangerous Goods Safety Adviser (DGSA). The cases in which this requirement applies are set out in Chapter 1.8 of ADR, which also explains the role of the DGSA. In the UK, the ADR requirements for appointing a DGSA…

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Appointing and remunerating directors

Appointing and remunerating directors

The details of the appointment of directors are typically set out in a company’s . These may impose restrictions on, for example, the number of directors or the length of their service. If your business’ articles do not cover directorial appointments, you should nevertheless have written procedures for appointing directors. You also need to comply with certain legal requirements when making appointments and check that the candidate is not disqualified. For information on who can be a…

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Appointing new directors

Appointing new directors

Every limited company must have at least one director. If a limited company only has one director, that director must be an actual person – as opposed to another company. A public limited company or plc must have at least two directors. In general, it’s up to shareholders to appoint whom they want as director. But there are , namely: you must not have been disqualified by a court from being a director – if…

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Approach potential buyers

Approach potential buyers

Most sellers prefer to approach potential buyers through their adviser to help maintain confidentiality. Knowing that the business is for sale could upset your customers and employees. Competitors may also try to use the sale to find out your trade secrets. Using your adviser also leaves you free to concentrate on running the business. Remember that the time taken up making initial contact with and providing further information to buyers can be significant. The adviser…

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Approaches to innovation

Approaches to innovation

Innovation in your business can mean introducing new or improved products, services or processes. Analyse the marketplace There’s no point considering innovation in a vacuum. To move your business forward, study your marketplace and understand how innovation can add value to your customers. For more information on analysing your marketplace, see the page in this guide on planning innovation. Identify opportunities for innovation You can identify opportunities for innovation by adapting your product or service…

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Approval and testing for horticultural goods

Approval and testing for horticultural goods

Many horticultural goods need to be inspected and approved before they can qualify for a and then released into free circulation. The process depends on your type of goods and their destination. It’s carried out through the Procedure for Electronic Application for Certificates (PEACH). Inspection and approval for goods imported or exported under PEACH Whether your goods will be inspected before they’re granted a Certificate of Conformity depends on how the RPA Inspectorate grades them in…

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