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Small businesses are vital to the UK economy

The rise in the number of self employed individuals choosing careers as freelancers or starting their own small businesses has been well documented, as has their struggle to have their status recognised by those in power and the problems that many of them face in doing business. The new government has made promises which are […]

By Laura Nixon on 16 Jun 2015
Read time: 3 minutes

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The rise in the number of self employed individuals choosing careers as freelancers or starting their own small businesses has been well documented, as has their struggle to have their status recognised by those in power and the problems that many of them face in doing business. The new government has made promises which are supposed to improve the lot of those who work for themselves, but experts have expressed concern that the measures may not live up to independent professionals’ expectations.

A report released by the RSA this week has revealed what many small business owners have suspected for some time: that the UK’s economic success has been driven, at least in part, by those who are working for themselves, including freelancers, micro businesses and contractors. The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed have welcomed the news, confirming, as it does, that the need for support and consideration for those who work for themselves is crucial to the wellbeing of the entire country.

Chris Bryce, Chief Executive of IPSE, is unsurprised about the report. He believes that hard-working independent professionals do not get the recognition they deserve considering how vital their work is to the UK economy. He described the self employed workforce as a ‘significant driver’ when it came to the UK’s ongoing stability, making it all the more unfortunate, not to mention potentially damaging, that they are not necessarily recognised as such.

However, he was also keen to point out that those considering working for themselves should not only be heartened by the news from this report, but also consider the fact that self employed individuals are generally more satisfied with their working lives. The enthusiasm levels amongst independent professionals are higher than amongst their employed counterparts, as is their general level of job satisfaction.

But in order for these small business owners and freelancers to continue to make the important contribution to the economy, there are areas where the government should be focussing their efforts. One which comes up time and time again is the damaging culture of late payment that has become more and more of a problem over recent years. With 85 per cent of businesses saying that they have been the victim of a late payment in the last two years, this matter is one which needs urgent attention.

Mr Bryce is also keen for some reform over the way the tax system treats training for self employed individuals. He wants to ensure that those running their own businesses are able to diversify by allowing training for new skills to be tax deductible. This would encourage entrepreneurs and therefore improve the country’s prospects significantly.

If you want to work for yourself but are concerned about keeping on top of your finances, then using specialists in freelancer accountancy is an ideal way to ensure you have everything covered. Our friendly and experienced accountants are always on hand to help you with everything from starting up to saving for your retirement, so call today on 01253 362062 or email us at contractoradvice@nixonwilliams.com.

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