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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.

Pavement licence scheme to be made permanent

19 May 2022

Cafes, restaurants, pubs and other hospitality businesses will benefit from plans announced in the Queen's Speech to make the temporary COVID-related pavement licence scheme permanent.

The relaxations originally came in when the Business and Planning Bill 2020 was introduced to streamline the process by which businesses could apply for a street furniture licence (aka pavement licence). The intention was to mitigate against the impact of social distancing requirements on hospitality businesses, to provide much needed income and protect jobs.

The relaxations included a fast-track application process (with a reduced public consultation period) and low fees, with licences running for up to a year.

Since the scheme was introduced, a wide range of businesses have benefitted from the relaxations from public houses to cafes, bars and restaurants, snack bars, coffee shops, and ice cream parlours. A licence covers outdoor use of tables, chairs and other seating, counters for food or drink, umbrellas, heaters, and barriers.

The current arrangements were due to expire on 30 September 2022. However, the scheme will now become a permanent arrangement, but with some changes. Local authorities will be able to grant longer, two-year licences, but charges for licence renewals will rise from £100 to £350. Applicants for a new licence will have to pay £500.

Businesses can act now to benefit from the lower fees currently in place. Businesses with a pavement licence or table and chair licence that is due to expire before 30 September should consider renewing (or converting it) now to benefit from lower fees. Businesses without a pavement or tables and chairs licence should consider whether to apply for one now before the increased charges come in.

Written by Fiona Prior.