The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has recently published the government’s proposed Enterprise Bill. Verastar explains the significance of this legislation for UK small businesses.

Addressing late payments

Estimates suggest that late payments cost UK small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) £26.8 billion per year. This is because when companies are forced to pursue late payments, they waste a lot of time and money. The Enterprise Bill proposes the creation of a Small Business Commissioner.

The role has been established to resolve payment disputes between SMEs and larger firms, as well as promote a general culture change surrounding late payments. They’ll also be responsible for ensuring small businesses can operate within an environment which facilitates growth. Furthermore the Commissioner has been tasked with cultivating understanding in the SME community of how to seek support when confronted with late payment issues.

Reducing red tape

Regulation is a major issue for SMEs; it distracts them from completing the core tasks that must be undertaken to achieve growth. The Bill commits the government to reducing £10 billion worth of red tape over the next five years. The remit of this measure extends to independent regulators, in order to persuade them to think carefully before they introduce additional sector regulation.

Reforming apprenticeships

The government has placed the idea of encouraging small businesses to invest in their employees’ skill sets at the heart of their proposals to raise the UK’s productivity levels. They plan to do this by protecting apprenticeships in the Enterprise Bill. A provision has been written into the legislation which is designed to prevent businesses and training providers from labelling ineffective training programmes as ‘apprenticeships.’

Transforming business rates appeals

Business rates have consistently acted as a significant barrier to SME growth. The Enterprise Bill includes measures to streamline the business rates appeals system, to encourage transparency and make it easier to navigate. This is designed to ensure that SMEs can produce accurate valuations, so they can fulfil their business rates obligations. Specifically the legislation will facilitate an appeals system centred on three core principles; check, challenge and appeal.

The Bill has yet to pass the House of Commons and House of Lords. However, if the Enterprise Bill is signed into law, it could provide UK small businesses with some of the reforms they need to overcome key issues and cultivate successful operations.


Verastar is a leading provider of essential business services to micro SMEs, operating under the following brands: Kinex, Clear Business Water, Unicom, Titan Telecom and 118777 Limited. Our business model is focused on providing a spectrum of consolidated services that disrupt traditional markets and create great savings, efficiencies and value for our customers.