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Small Business Act becomes law

31st Mar 2015
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The first ever Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act (SBEE) 2015 has now become an official law after receiving Royal Assent.

The expansive act paves the way for businesses to get improved access to finance and puts an end to zero hours exclusivity clauses.

Business secretary Vince Cable said the new legislation was designed to help entrepreneurs looking to establish new and growing businesses.

“The Small Business Act will create the right environment for small businesses to continue to thrive by giving them greater access to finance to help them innovate and grow, and make it easier for them to export goods and services made in Britain.

“The bill’s measures also mean there is nowhere to hide for firms who do not play by the rules, whether by abusing zero hours contracts or not paying the minimum wage,” Cable said.

The act focuses on the following 11 key areas:

  • Access to finance
  • Regulatory reform
  • Public sector procurement
  • Childcare and schooling
  • Company transparency
  • Company filing requirements
  • Directors’ disqualification
  • Insolvency
  • Employment
  • Pubs Code Adjudicator and Pubs Code
  • Education evaluation

On access to finance, the legislation now requires banks to pass on details of small and medium-sized enterprises they decline for a loan to online platforms which can help match them with alternative finance providers.

Late last week the government's British Business Bank issued a call for delivery partners to be part of the referral programme.

Adam Tavener, of Bristol-based firm Clifton Asset Management, said the new legislation would change lending to small businesses forever.

“At government level the legislation is not seen as the end game but the beginning of a new way for small businesses to access finance in the future.”

Business minister Matthew Hancock added that the bill had taken radical action on prompt payment to end the late payment culture where the largest companies will now have to report on payment practices twice a year.

“It contains measures across the board to make it easier to start and grow a business.

“As someone who understands how it works, having been part of a small business myself, to be able to make the changes available today is one of the reasons I went into politics,” Hancock said.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said the act was “landmark” legislation.

“For the first time, an important piece of legislation has been devoted to small businesses. This underlines the huge economic contribution small firms make to the UK economy and recognises their distinct needs,” John Allan, national chairman of the FSB said.

The Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 was passed on 27 March.

Replies (7)

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By slarti
09th Apr 2015 10:34

An invitation to fraud?

"the legislation now requires banks to pass on details of small and medium-sized enterprises they decline for a loan to online platforms which can help match them with alternative finance providers."


That would put me off even applying, knowing that the fact that I am looking for funding might end up on the internet, for all to see, and thereby generating loads of phone calls from people out to rip me off.  (All cold calls ar out to rip you off)

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
By Susannap
09th Apr 2015 11:24

Cold Calling

" All cold calls are out to rip you off " really ? I thought this site was for open minded professional people

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By slarti
09th Apr 2015 12:28

Re Cold Calling

Well I've only been answering calls at businesses for 40 years, so I suppose I could have missed one that wasn't. Cold calls are something that I very rapidly stopped being open minded about.


But the main point is that, from the report above, this government has decided that something that should be confidential between you and your bank will now be put out into the public domain.

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By [email protected]
09th Apr 2015 13:02

Small Business Act

What size is a small business that this act refers to please?


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By slarti
09th Apr 2015 16:07

Small Business Act

Usually taken as less than 250 employees, but


" 33 Definitions of small and micro business
(1) This section applies where any subordinate legislation made by a Miniser
the Crown (the “underlying provision”)—
(a) uses the term “small business” or “micro business”, and
(b) defines that term by reference to this section.
(2) In the underlying provision “small business” means an undertaking other
a micro business (see subsection (3)) which meets the following conditions
(“the small business size conditions”)—
(a) it has a headcount of staff of less than 50, and
(b) it has—
(i) a turnover, or
(ii) a balance sheet total,
of an amount less than or equal to the small business threshold."



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10th Apr 2015 09:58


Not having read the provisions of the Act relating to the problem of late payments to suppliers by the major Companies responsible for most of the trouble, anything that helps to alleviate the problems caused by such late payment terms can only be helpful. Otherwise it would appear that Commercial Law practices can look forward to increased fees.

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By NicolaHarrison
17th Jul 2015 12:41

The Small Business Act

Thanks for bringing The Small Business Act update to us. If any one is looking for business solicitors in Cardiff, visit my profile.

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