Starting and selling a business

Complex economic outlook

With the UK going in and out of lockdown since March 2020, many plans of starting a bricks and mortar business will have been put on hold. However, if the current roadmap out of lockdown proceeds as intended, the second half of 2021 should bring some improvement; and the latest forecast for 2022 sees the economy surging ahead at the fastest pace since 1948.

But even when restrictions are lifted again, the slow return of workers to their normal place of work may make many business plans uneconomical at least over the short term. The planned ending of the employee furlough scheme in September will not help.

Another uncertainty is the long-term economic impact of the UK leaving the EU. Even though a UK–EU trade deal is in place, retaining tariff-free trade, there are likely to be higher costs and worker shortages. Business travellers to the EU will face extra requirements.

When it comes to selling a business, it doesn’t matter whether you are developing a business idea to quickly cash in before starting all over again (the typical serial entrepreneur), planning a smart career move (with the successful sale of a self-started business looking very good on your resumé) or are in for the long haul – planning your exit strategy at an early stage will ensure you don’t pay more tax than necessary. This might be just the time to do that planning.