Micro Businesses don’t officially exist by Government’s definition

If you are a micro business – (sole trader or under 5 employees) then you know how this affects you.  Legislation is designed to ‘control’ large companies. It does not make provision for sole traders or very small employers. I don’t need to detail it for you, but let’s just quickly mention: employment law, Health & Safety, Distance Selling Regs, and we won’t bother mentioning tax.
There is some good stuff in the Autumn Statement that will hopefully help SMEs get more funding and finance.
But none of this helps micro businesses.  99% of all businesses are SMEs and 90% of SMEs are sole traders or have fewer than 5 employees. The Chancellor was talking about help for business with a turnover of £50m – I wouldn’t call that a small business.
This is the age of the Internet, (and ebay!) anyone can start trading tomorrow. A sole trader working from a spare room has to be treated differently than a company turning over €2m.
The definition is out of date and needs to be changed.
Until Government creates a new definition it cannot address us directly. There is little point is us asking for different treatment – it would be like asking that all the nice children be given extra free pudding. How do we decide which are the nice ones?
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Micro Business wants to create a narrower and more meaningful definition of micro business so that Government can address us separately
Initial discussions were that the definition should be for fewer than 5 employees, but without a turnover limit.
Unfortunately Mark Prisk MP, Minister for Business and Enterprise doesn’t think we need a new definition.  Until that changes, we Micro Businesses will continue to be invisible to Government so they can’t help us.
Things that we want but can’t ask for, until Government accepts that we exist:
  • Exemption from EU legislation
  • Small grants/loans from Gov, repayable when in profit.
  • Simplification of employment laws
  • Simpler and lower tax
If you are a micro business please write to Mark Prisk MP, Anne Marie Morris MP or Julian Smith MP and express your feelings as to why we need this.
When Government recognises that we exist and starts helping us, then we can really start to help the economy recover.
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