Skip to main content
We're here with practical information for your business. Learn about business planning, running a business and more.


For a successful business, you need a viable business idea, the skills to make it work and the funding. Discover whether your idea has what it takes.

Forming your business correctly is essential to ensure you are protected and you comply with the rules. Learn how to set up your business.

It is likely you will need funding to start your business unless you have your own money. Discover some of the main sources of start up funding.

Businesses and individuals must account for and pay various taxes. Understand your tax obligations and how to file, account and pay any taxes you owe.

Businesses are required to comply with a wide range of business laws. We introduce the main rules and regulations you must comply with.

Learn why business planning is an essential exercise if your business is to start and grow successfully, attract funding or target new markets.

Marketing matters. It drives sales and helps promote your brand and products. Discover how to market your business and reach your target customers.

Some businesses need a high street location whilst others can be run from home. Understand the key factors from cost to location, size to security.

Your employees can your biggest asset. They can also be your biggest challenge. We explain how to recruitment and manage staff successfully.

It is likely your business could not function without some form of IT. Learn how to specify, buy, maintain and secure your business IT.

Few businesses manage the leap from start up to high-growth business. Learn what it takes to scale up and take your business to the next level.

Big firms must raise their game on late payments says FSB

30 May 2018

Big firms must raise their game on late payments says FSBThe Federation of Small Businesses has called on large companies in the UK to do more to end late payments, poor payment practice and supply chain bullying.

Mike Cherry, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), has written to all the FTSE 100 companies urging their leaders to take immediate action to stamp out poor payment practices for good. He has asked them to work with small businesses to help foster a new payments culture in the UK.

FSB research shows that the majority (84%) of small firms report being paid late, with 33% saying at least one in four payments arrives later than agreed. A similar proportion (37%) say that agreed payment terms have lengthened in the past two years, hampering cashflow. Only 4% of SMEs say payment terms are improving.

Last week's release of the Parliamentary joint select committee report on the collapse of Carillion highlighted failures at the company including the squeezing of its suppliers and the frailty of the Prompt Payment Code.

The FSB is calling for a non-executive director on company boards to be given specific responsibility for good supply chain practice, not just doing the bare minimum.

"Carillion's demise shone a light on the worst kind of payments practices but unfortunately it isn't a one-off," said Mike Cherry. "Some big businesses use inequality of power in business relationships to squeeze small suppliers and delay payments to improve their own cashflow. This is bullying, pure and simple."

Cherry described poor payment practices as a "national disgrace" and said the UK is "falling behind almost all other industrialised nations in our ability to pay small businesses on time".

Small firms, he said, have the support of the Government; now they need big businesses to get on board. "We can only end the late payments crisis and poor payment practices when we see a fundamental cultural shift in the boardrooms of big business, with those at the very top showing a willingness to address the issue and be accountable for their payment practices."

The FSB estimates that late payments lead to 50,000 small businesses a year closing their doors, costing the economy £2.5 billion annually.

Stay up-to-date with business advice and news

Sign up to this lively and colourful newsletter for new and more established small businesses.

Contact us

Make an enquiry