The £80m funding announced to help small businesses to recruit apprentices could be great news for tech firms. Apprentices can be a brilliant source of the talent that’s so critical for a growing business; they are often digitally native, quickly able to get to grips with new technology and full of innovative new ideas. Apprenticeships are also a great way for tech firms to train up staff with the technical skills needed.
However, there are some opportunities that have been missed to help growing tech businesses. The increase in R&D Tax Credits announced in the Autumn Statement only applies to large companies, and it is disappointing that the Chancellor has not increased the amount received by start-ups. Given that R&D Tax Credits can help start-ups to bring their idea to market, fast – and that can make all the difference in the current climate – this is a disappointing omission.
It is also concerning for growing businesses that the government is considering a revenue-based tax for digital businesses. The government has recognised the potentially negative consequences of this move for start-ups and has proposed some measures such as a significant de minimus revenue level; however, whatever system is eventually implemented, it is likely to catch out unsuspecting start-ups. The consultation with industry is ongoing and SMEs should make sure they input into this review to make their voice heard against protests from large tech businesses.
Overall, it’s vital that all growing tech businesses understand the implications of the statement for them, both in terms of potential support and even threats. Getting specialist advice can enable SMEs to secure the support they’re entitled to from the government, and mitigate any risks. This will help them to succeed in a challenging global environment. The government is committed to supporting innovation and the ambition of British businesses, so it’s vital that small businesses take advantage of all support offered to them.
For more information on updates announced for Entrepreneurs’ Relief, please click here.
If you have any questions or concerns and would like advice tailored to your situation, please do not hesitate to speak to your usual Buzzacott contact or:
+44(0)20 7556 1231