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When starting a small business, one of the first things to be decided is the legal structure used for the business. It can either be a sole trader (also known as a sole proprietorship), a limited company or a partnership. Setting up as a sole trader is the most popular legal structure in the UK, with approximately 3.4 million sole proprietorships created in 2017. Sole traders accounted for 60% of small businesses in the UK. There were also 1.9 million limited companies, making it the second most popular legal structure.

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Hiring young people can be very beneficial for small business owners that have a heavy workload and small budget. You can take on young people through various programmes; you may wish to offer a week’s work experience, a three-month internship or even longer apprenticeships. When it comes to taking on young people as employees, you will need to make sure that you are fully compliant with the employment law. Seek the advice of an HR professional, if you don’t have an in-house HR team/department.

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When it comes to hiring for any role, the main priority is getting the right candidate. You may need to look outside the UK if the applicants you are getting are not quite what you are looking for. There may be various reasons for wanting to employ people from overseas, however, whatever your reason you will need to adhere to certain rules and regulations.

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If you are thinking of selling, renting out or building business premises, you need to be aware of what an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is and why you will need one. If you do not pay attention to this requirement and ensure that you have an EPC in place, you could end up facing costly fines. Here is a guide from EPC For You to get you prepared.

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All business owners look for ways to grow their business quickly. It’s dangerous when you become too comfortable, it means that your business can get stagnant. Always strive for more, challenge yourself and take risks to reap the rewards. Below are seven tips from David Simmons, a financial analyst from Ebroker, to help you grow your business quickly.

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Gareth Southgate is receiving high praise for the positive management of the England football team in the 2018 World Cup.

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Giving to charity is an honourable, kind-hearted thing to do, yet for many, the giving stops once we enter our office or place of work. Although putting money in charity collection boxes, donating to food banks and homeless shelters or even just volunteering an hour or two of our time is becoming increasingly commonplace, when we are at work, the options for giving seem to dwindle.

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HR is an important part of a business, whether you have an entire department looking after the HR of your business or just one person. It’s vital that a small business has an HR professional on board. However even when businesses have dedicated professionals to manage their HR, mistakes are still made that can be avoided. In the worst case scenario, HR mistakes can lead to a court case, with huge legal fines that can be detrimental to a business.

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Business growth is what every entrepreneur wants to see. But as your fledgeling organisation begins to spread its wings, you will likely find yourself spread ever thinner, spending more of every day distracted by things that have nothing to do with your core business.

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DBS (Disclosure and Barring Services) checks are sometimes a legal requirement when going through the hiring process. If you are a small business owner looking at recruiting for your business, you will need to familiarise yourself with DBS checks, if they are relevant. DBS checks, previously known as CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) checks, may be essential to working in certain places and positions.

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In the latest research conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), it was found that the self-employed are not very optimistic about the future. The self-employed in the UK are the largest business group, with there being an estimated of 4.8 million sole traders. The FSB are launching a ‘Think Self-Employed’ scheme to rescue the collapsing confidence of the self-employed in the UK.

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Like many business owners, you may dread holiday periods coming around. Finding someone to fill in for an employee’s essential duties can be a dismal task. However, there are positive days ahead, as your business will benefit in the following ways when your employee returns from their vacation. Here Austrack Campers highlight why it’s important to encourage your employees to travel while on paid time off.

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When you are self-employed you will pay your tax based on the income and expenses you show on your Self Assessment tax return. Here Simple Tax will give you an insight of the Self Assessment process and your legal obligations as a self-employed individual.

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Telecom related issues can cost a business time and money, and create stress for anyone in the department that has to operate the telecom software alongside their usual tasks. Although telecom software can be an asset to certain businesses, it’s not always the perfect answer to your Telecom Expense Management (TEM) needs. There are so many components of TEM – from reviewing invoices, dealing with vendors, auditing invoices and negotiating contracts – so why not hire an expert team to do it for you?
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Jose Melico is the latest entrepreneur to join others in our success story series. Jose came up with the idea of Zypho when he was just fourteen. Zypho is a water heat recovery device that reduces shower water heating energy bills. Being energy conscious and thinking about a solution to a problem enabled Jose to come up with this winning business idea at such a young age. In his success story, the entrepreneur discusses having a solid team and the skills required to keep a business going.

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Within the arsenal of today’s most effective marketing tactics is SMS (aka text messaging) campaigns. While mass texting can yield an incredibly high return on investment, as it lands directly in the hands of your target audience, you need to incorporate the best practices into your strategy to ensure your recipients are actually paying attention to the message you’re seeking to deliver.
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When it comes to your eCommerce business, there is always work to be done. New technologies and trends are constantly changing how consumers shop, which means that we need to change with them or risk getting left in the dust by our competitors.

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In the latest Small Business Index (SBI) carried out by the Federation of Small Businesses, it was found that small business confidence has risen again. The confidence of small businesses has hit a one year high, which is great news for the sector across the UK. The steady rise in the confidence portrays a bright future for small firms that remain strong and positive despite adversities.

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Online shopping is getting increasingly popular, with consumers flocking to the internet rather than the high street. As the popularity of online shopping grows, small businesses need to capitalise on the trend and get online. An online presence is an absolute must for small businesses in today’s society. You can either create an e-commerce website to be an addition to your existing business, helping to increase revenue, or you can start an online business from scratch.

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You may think that the success of established global companies is the most vital factor in the health of the economy. However, you should not underestimate the importance of entrepreneurs in the business world. They start up fast-growing businesses that are responsible for creating around twice as many jobs as established companies. Entrepreneurs also innovate; they need to question practices and think creatively in order to survive and thrive. Established major companies do not have the same impetus to innovate. As the Financial Times reported, we need the innovation and job creation of the entrepreneur community, to help keep the economy stable and to keep the status quo from taking over and hampering technological and creative progress.

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