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How to finance your business

Without sufficient funding, any new business will struggle to survive. There are several different types of finance available to small firms – from taking out a business loan, to seeking angel investment, and applying for a Government grant.

Directors’ loan accounts can appear to be a complex element of your business at first glance, but the basic concept behind them is straightforward – to provide transparency when moving monies between you, as a director, and the company.
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One of the things everyone dreads hearing is that their client has gone out of business. It can understandably cause a lot of stress in your business, as you don’t know if or when they will ever be able to pay your invoices or just how much trouble the debtor company is in.
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Late payment is a fact of life for many businesses but for many SMEs it can prove to be a constant battle to get paid on time. But it doesn’t have to be that way as small businesses now have more options for taking the leg work out of their credit control than ever before.
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Whether its clients “forgetting” to pay, stalling for time before settling their bill – or sometimes just deciding not to pay you at all – having to chase up money that’s rightfully yours is frustrating and time-consuming.
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When you supply goods or services to other businesses, you’ll usually extend them some form of credit. Setting the right credit terms is essential if you are to protect your business from the risk of late payment.
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Many SMEs leverage the power of the internet to broaden their horizons and trade with companies overseas. It’s also allowed micro-businesses and freelancers to compete with much larger suppliers, both in the UK and elsewhere, without the costly fees associated with a traditional merchant account.
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There may be times when you need access to extra funds to help with your business cashflow, or simply to know that a short-term lending facility is in place should you need it.
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With lenders reporting record advances to clients in recent months, we look at how asset based lending works in practice, and if it offers a solution to businesses who may have experienced difficulties securing finance from ‘traditional’ sources.
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How do you set up / apply for a company bank account? post image

When you set up a new limited company for your business, you will also need to set up a business bank account. Here we look at the practicalities of opening a new account.
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Whether you have decided to sell or buy a company, or simply want to know how much your company might be worth, there are a number of conventional ways to value a business.
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Late payment is one of the leading causes of business failure. When the cash stops flowing, many firms  – even successful ones – could be forced out of business. Keeping on top of your cash flow should be a priority for all business owners.
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You may need finance to get your business started, or seek an injection of capital further down the line once your business has grown. Here, we look at how most small business owners raise funding.
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Many business owners, including contractors, may have found it difficult to secure a competitive mortgage in the past. However, more enlightened lenders are happy to lend to limited company directors, who may find it hard to prove income on a ‘traditional’ basis.
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Pensions remain one of the last remaining significant tax breaks available to contractors, freelancers and business owners. And with the sweeping changes to the flexibility surrounding how you access your pension, announced in the Chancellor’s 2014 Budget and Autumn statement, there has never been a better time to invest.
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Whether you are on an initial ‘free’ banking period, or have an established business bank account, you may be surprised at how much your bank charges to process inbound and outbound transactions.
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In good and bad times, the most successful companies are those which keep and eye on costs and cashflow management from day one. Here are some ideas to increase the efficiency of your business.
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Many small business owners are reluctant to move banking providers, even if they can get a better deal elsewhere. The perceived ‘hassle’ associated with a switch is the main reason. However, since 2013, the major banks have all guaranteed to complete a business bank account switch within 7 days.
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How to choose a limited company bank account post image

When you have formed a limited company, one of your first tasks will be to choose the best bank account for your new business.
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The role of business angels (and ‘dragons’) has been publicised a great deal in recent years thanks to a growing number of ‘entrepreneurial’ TV shows. For many growing businesses, angel investors can provide numerous benefits, although you should also be aware of the pitfalls.
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Almost all of us will have to deal with late paying clients and customers at some point or another, but new research from Bacs illustrates just how serious a problem overdue payments have become for the nation’s small businesses.
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