UK Budget July 2015: What this means for your business

“The British economy I report on today is fundamentally stronger than it was five years ago. We’re growing faster than any other major advanced economy. Our businesses have created two million more jobs” – these were the words from Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, as he gave the first Conservative Budget since May’s General Election victory.

Business owners should continue to benefit from the government’s commitment to ensuring Britain remains one of the world’s most hospitable business environments.

Mr Osbourne announced, “Britain is open for Business”, following plans to reduce Corporation Tax to 19% in 2017, and, again, to 18% in 2020, in a bid to create more jobs. We predict this move will attract considerable international interest for UK-based companies looking to sell, and this should prompt business owners to begin planning their exit strategy now.

However, the reduction to Corporation Tax appears to have been offset by the new National Living Wage, which is welcome news for working people currently earning the minimum wage.

The Chancellor also revealed greater spending powers for local regions and has promised to put the “power into the Northern Powerhouse”. Transport for the North has been created to improve connections between northern UK cities, and £30 million is to be set aside for the body.

Mr Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse project is set to devolve powers to Manchester, including fire services, children services and employment programmes. Similar devolution is also planned for West Yorkshire, Leeds, Liverpool and Sheffield.

With several key announcements affecting business owners, it looks to be ‘more of the same’ for the M&A market, with the overall forecast remaining extremely strong for the foreseeable future.

Here at Benchmark International, we believe UK businesses will continue to achieve high multiples from international acquirers and there has never been a better time for business owners to consider sale.

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