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November 30, 2012

Also in the news this week — 30 November 2012

Lack of funding is holding back new businesses

A lack of start-up funding is the biggest reason for new business failure, according to a survey of accountants by Bloomsbury Professional. 71% of accountants said that insufficient start-up finances was one of the key reasons for new business failure. 60% identified poor market research as another key factor. The next most identified reason was “costly overheads” (57%). Martin Casimir, managing director of Bloomsbury Professional, said: “The continued difficulty in obtaining new business bank lending is holding new businesses and the UK economy back. The small businesses that could drive the UK out of recession can’t even get out of the blocks.”

One in three Brits unhappy about “do not track” browsers

One in three Brits would stop using internet browsers if they automatically blocked websites from being able to retain information such as password or auto-fill functions. These are the findings of the 2012 Digital Tracking Research conducted by YouGov for Mediasyndicator. Under its Do Not Track initiative, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) browser will turn off ad targeting and tracking functions by default. According to the research, this could upset 87% of Brits who favour auto-fill services and more relevant advertising.

Patent Box unveiled on YouTube

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has produced a video on YouTube explaining the Patent Box, a new tax incentive designed to encourage businesses to develop innovative products. The Patent Box will allow them to apply a lower rate of corporation tax (10%) to profits from patented inventions and certain other innovations. The tax relief will be phased in from 1 April 2013.

When is a gift a bribe?

A new briefing from the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) weighs up some of the issues around the giving and accepting of corporate gifts and hospitality. The UK Bribery Act (2010) has made the giving and accepting of gifts and hospitality a real concern for businesses, especially those that trade overseas. Giving gifts can leave firms vulnerable to accusations of unfairness, partiality or deceit, or even unlawful conduct. The free briefing can be downloaded here.

Illegal downloads are rife, finds Ofcom

Nearly half of all internet users are unsure whether the content they are accessing online is legal, Ofcom research has found. The findings come from the first wave of a large-scale consumer study into the extent of online copyright infringement. The ongoing research will examine infringement of copyright on music, films, TV programmes, software, books and video games. According to the report, 47% of users cannot confidently identify whether the online content they download, stream or share is legal or not.