GDPR Aide Memoire for Sole Traders and Small Businesses

GDPR

As sole traders and owners of a small business return to our desks at the dawn of 2019, it is time to review our Data Protection requirements.  The new EU rule, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became law in May 2018, there is still a great deal of confusion at SME and sole trader level.

Many small businesses do not have the time or resources to ensure they fully comply with the new GDPR requirements as it requires several obligations around data security and data usage.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published an eight question checklist  aimed at helping sole traders and self-employed individuals assess their compliance with new data protection laws.  A copy of the questions and accompanying notes is available on our website and can by accessed by following the GDPR checklist link

The ICO said its checklist is aimed at improving understanding of data protection and making sure sole traders are keeping people’s personal data secure.  The checklist will help sole traders understand how compliant they are and provides links to relevant ICO guidance and further information as well as practical suggestions on how to stay in line with the law.

Helpline and resources
The new Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in May and applies to all businesses that hold and use customer data.
Fines for those who break it can be significant reaching go up to €20m or 4% of annual global turnover.
A range of resources is available on the ICO website while sole traders and small businesses can also contact the dedicated ICO helpline on 0303 123 1113.

If you would like a copy of the checklist in word, PDF or excel format please contact the team at Elite Corporate Solutions on 01482 635400 or to request a call back please click this link to take you to our contact form.

 

 

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Easy access to Unsecured Business Loans for instant working capital

Almost all businesses will need to borrow money at some point in their life.  Whether you are a brand new Start up business looking for some working capital to establish yourself, or a large established business exploring new markets or need to fund the cost of that new contract.

Whilst your bank may be willing to look at assisting you up to a certain point, once past their comfort zone the barrier goes up or you need to secure the loan against property.

We have access to a wealth of unsecured business loan providers and with our experience we can identify the most suitable lender for you.

We can source funds for

  • New business start ups

  • Existing business with as little as 6 months trading

  • Amounts from £500 to £500,000

  • Terms from 1 month to 10 years

  • Interest rates starting from as low as 3%

  • Decision within 24 hours of full application

  • Funds released within a few days

  • Less than perfect credit history

Businesses are no longer limited to the decision of their bank manager when it comes to raising capital for their business.  Our managers work closely with specialist short term, unsecured lenders, peer-to-peer or crowdfunding lenders, lenders who only work with intermediaries and banks or private investors who are able to make a decision based on the requirement and potential of the business without being tied to automated decision making.

See below for a few examples of lenders policies for unsecured, short term loans.

Lender

ECS011

ECS019

ECS166

ECS223

Loan Amount

£3k – £500k

£25k – £100k

£500 – £25k

£10k – £250k

Term

6m – 5 yrs

1m >

12m – 5 yrs

1m – 15m

Age of Business

2 yrs accounts

Min 6 months

Under 6 months

Min 2 years

Early Repayment

No penalty

No penalty

No Penalty

No Penalty

Personal Guarantee

Yes

Yes

Yes

Not Required

These are just a sample of the lenders who support SMEs where their main bank has not been able to support them.

If you have any clients who require cash quickly and have a profitable business or strong projections (borrowers do need to be able to demonstrate they can afford to repay the finance), please contact us with a brief overview of your clients needs and we will do the rest.

(a fee may be charged direct to the client.  This will be fully discussed and advised before any commitment is made by the client)

 

If you have any questions regarding buy to let borrowing please contact a member of the team on 01482 635400 or click the “Contact Us” button below to send a message to us.

 

HMO mandatory licence changes with effect from 1st October 2018

terraced-HMOs

Mandatory HMO Licensing scheme is changing from Monday 1st October.

If you are a landlord with shared properties, the new changes may affect you.

Main Changes
1. Extension of Mandatory Licensing
2. Introduction of minimum room sizes
3. New rules for rubbish

Extension of Mandatory Licencing

What Properties are affected?
   – Any property rented to FIVE or more people
   – From two or more separate households
   – Sharing basic amenities such as shared kitchen, bathroom lounge etc.
   – Number of storeys are irrelevant (previously three or more storeys)

Are there any exclusions?
Yes. Even if the HMO meets the above criteria they may be excluded from mandatory licencing. E.G.
   – Purpose-built, multi-occupancy flats in a block of 3 or more self-contained flats
   – Converted blocks of flats classified as Section 257 HMOs.
(check with local authority for local rules re HMO licencing)

What Type of Licence is Required?
Most qualifying properties will require a Mandatory HMO licence, however local rules vary so check with the local authority to see if an Additional Licence or Selective Licence is required. If you already have an additional or selective licence, you do not need to reapply until the existing licence expires.

What do I need to do and when?
If your HMO requires a new Mandatory Licence under the new criteria you must:
   – Apply to the local authority for a licence for each HMO BEFORE 1 OCTOBER 2018
   – Failure to apply for a licence is a criminal offence, which may lead to criminal prosecution or a Local Authority fine of up to £30,000.

What else is changing from 1st October?

Introduction of minimum bedroom size

Why is a minimum bedroom size being introduced?
   – To tackle over-crowding in HMOs,
   – Under a new mandatory HMO licence from 1 October landlords cannot let a bedroom if it doesn’t meet the minimum requirement.
   – Cannot use communal space within the HMO to make up for a bedroom that is deemed too small.
(If you have a current licence, you do not need to comply with this rule until the licence expires. The local authority can extend this period up to 18 months).

What is the minimum Bedroom size?

The new rules set three statutory minimum sizes, but your local authority has the discretion to increase these. Check with the local authority for clear guidance.

Statutory sizes
Firstly, any part of a bedroom with a ceiling height of less than 1.5m is discounted when measuring.

The following table shows the minimum sizes.
No of people Sleeping           Age                  Minimum Bedroom Size
                  1                        Over 10 years                  6.51m2
                  2                        Over 10 years                10.22m2
                  1                      Under 10 years                  4.64m2

It is the Landlords responsibility to tell the local authority about any room in the HMO with a floor area less than this minimum.

Local Authorities have the righto to inspect the property if they are not happy with the information provided on the Mandatory Licence Application.

I already have a Licence

   – If you already have a mandatory, selective or additional HMO licence, you won’t need to comply until it expires.
   – If in doubt about anything talk to your local housing authority, especially if you think your property might not be compliant with the new rules.

Do you need finance to pay for alterations to your property to comply with the new rules?

If you need to undertake work to your HMO to comply with the new minimum bedroom sizes, it is likely the local authority will give you some additional time to comply.

There are a number of options to consider when raising finance. If the property is in your own name this may include a Personal Unsecured Loan, or a loan secured on your home (1st or 2nd charge).

Alternatively, you may wish to raise funds against the investment property whether this is in your own name or in the name of a limited company. Again, this may be an unsecured loan or a secured loan against the property (1st or 2nd charge). The sooner you talk to your lender or a specialist in raising commercial finance, the better.

Please call me on 01482 635400 or click the link to and a member of the team will be in touch if you have any questions around HMO, student lets or standard Buy-to-Let property finance.

 

The other major change from Monday 1st October 2018 is around Waste Disposal

From 1 October 2018, a mandatory HMO licence will include the requirement for landlords to comply with the council’s storage and waste disposal scheme.

Why?
   – HMOs typically produce more rubbish than single family homes
   – government wants to ensure all waste is disposed of properly.

It is the Landlords responsibility to ensure:
   – The HMO has sufficient waste disposal facilities inside and out
   – The occupiers know what waste goes in which bin
   – Which day to put out the rubbish
   – Ensure the bins are not obstructing the pavement.

Check with your local council for details of their specific scheme.

If you would like to find out more about HMO or other Investment Property Finance please contact the team on 01482 635400 or to request a call back please click this link to take you to our contact form.

 

Latest News Summary

GDPR Aide Memoire for Sole Traders and Small Businesses

As sole traders and owners of a small business return to our desks at the dawn of 2019, it is time to review our Data Protection requirements.  The new EU rule, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became law in May 2018, there is still a great deal of confusion at SME and sole trader level. Many small businesses do not have the time or resources to ensure they fully comply with the new GDPR

Read More »

Christmas Opening Hours

We would like to thank all our loyal clients, introducers and partners for working with us in 2018. Christmas Opening Hours:Friday 21st                     9am to 1pmChristmas Eve               9am to 1pmChristmas Day                         ClosedBoxing Day                            

Read More »

Easy access to Unsecured Business Loans for instant working capital

Almost all businesses will need to borrow money at some point in their life.  Whether you are a brand new Start up business looking for some working capital to establish yourself, or a large established business exploring new markets or need to fund the cost of that new contract. Whilst your bank may be willing to look at assisting you up to a certain point, once past their comfort zone the barrier goes up or

Read More »

Need help with Cashflow over Christmas?

money photo

Cashflow Finance is often wrongly associated as a lending facility favoured by businesses in trouble.  However the majority of businesses seeing the most benefit of opting for to use invoice discounting or factoring instead of a traditional overdraft facility is the ability to take on new or larger contracts to enable the business to grow.

Companies in the North East have billions of pounds tied up in excess working capital which could be used to fund growth, according to new research by Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking.

Businesses could be left ill-prepared to deal with unforeseen opportunities and challenges as a result.

Lloyds analysed 5,000 UK businesses and found those in the North East have about £116.4bn tied up in working capital, the equivalent of 8.9 per cent of their total revenue.

Simon Quin, area director for global transaction banking in the North East of England, said: “Revenue growth is good news for any business, but to improve efficiency is going to take investment and that requires cash flow”.  He added.  “Small firms in particular are taking even longer to free up cash from things like inventory and unpaid invoices. The longer that money remains unavailable, the less firms can invest in growth, new machinery or pay their own debts.”

How can Elite Corporate Solutions help?

Nationally, the amount of money tied up in working capital jumped by 37 per cent in the past 12 months to £680bn.
A business owed £100,000 by its clients could raise £80,000 to facilitate growth and take on additional staff or source stock at more preferential rates by buying in bulk or paying their suppliers quicker.

We have access to most cashflow finance providers, many of who only deal with intermediaries and specialise in sectors that traditional lenders tend to avoid. 

If you would like to find out more about cashflow finance please contact the team on 01482 635400 or to request a call back please click this link to take you to our contact form.

Source of information for this article was first published on 21st May 2018 by Insider Media.