Starting and selling a business

Complex economic outlook

With the UK going in and out of lockdown throughout much of 2020, many plans of starting a bricks and mortar business will have been put on hold. Unfortunately, the start of 2021 doesn’t offer much improvement, with depressed growth expected until at least Easter. Retailers and the hospitality sector have been hit particularly hard.

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.