UK small businesses set to benefit from new Enterprise Act

Act has now become law and will introduce a small business commissioner to tackle late payments and cut red tape by £10bn

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Small businesses will now benefit from the introduction of the Enterprise Act – originally announced as the Enterprise Bill by business secretary Sajid Javid last year – with the bill now having received Royal Assent and become law.

Primarily, the Act includes measures such as introducing a small business commissioner to help smaller companies resolve late payment disputes, extending the Primary Authority scheme to make tailored business advice more accessible from local authorities, and to reduce red tape by £10bn over the next five years.

The Act will also establish an Institute for Apprenticeships to make sure apprenticeships meet the needs of business.

Anna Soubry, business minister, said of the Enterprise Act:

“Together these measures will give a big boost to British enterprise. The small business commissioner will help tackle the scandal of late payment – one of the leading issues for smaller firms. While the positive steps to reduce the burden of regulation and give more young people the opportunity to do an apprenticeship will benefit millions of businesses across the country.”

Chris Bryce, CEO of the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), added:

The commissioner has been given the power to ‘name and shame’ companies which persistently pay late. It’s essential he or she uses this power to drive real culture change among these companies, so the self-employed can get on with work without the worry of late, or non-payment hanging over their heads.”

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