For all entrepreneurs out there one the first hurdles when starting out is to obtain good, reliable tax advice. Focusing on the business model and its development, many entrepreneurs struggle with the legal and fiscal sides of setting up a business. This issue has been identified by HMRC as an area that requires urgent action. The recent launch of an online forum dedicated to offer tax and legal advice to small businesses is one such attempt at filling that gap in the business community.
It is often said that small businesses are the backbone of the UK economy, driving growth, opening new markets and creating jobs. It follows that their contribution is vital to the British economy. As hotbeds for innovation, they encourage competition and bring fresh ideas that challenge the status quo. This stimulus in turn generates an incentive for others to adapt and evolve. After all, small businesses represent 99.9 per cent of businesses. It goes without saying then, that they should be encouraged to flourish.
It is worth remembering that according to recent research by RSA, 55% of small and medium-sized enterprises don’t survive more than five years. Beyond survival, businesses also face considerable challenges in achieving growth with two thirds (63%) of small business owners admitting that it is difficult to grow their firm and three fifths (61 per cent) of owners lacking confidence in their ability to achieve three-year continued growth.
One way to help and contribute to the success of small businesses is to provide an accessible platform where basic information is available to all interested. The new forum dedicated to small businesses provides an extensive and valuable source of information that caters to a wide range of micro and small businesses. This online support forum is a website based technology that allows users to post questions, read and respond to posts. The forum will be a means for providing customer service, as well as allowing users to self-serve and provide peer-to-peer support. HMRC advisors moderate the forum between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
The forum is divided in three main categories covering starting out, growing a business and managing it. Providing a centralised and user-friendly platform also helps with compliance, which can be a challenge, particularly when starting out. Entrepreneurs and small business owners can now learn and discuss any relevant issues that may affect their businesses. Find out more here.