How to Get Help with your Business Debt in UK

If your business has run into financial difficulties, then Business Debtline may be just the thing for you. It was launched in 1992 to provide advice to small businesses. At first it focused on the Birmingham area, but in 2000 it launched a telephone helpline to cover the whole of England and Wales, and from January 2005 it has also been able to advise callers from Scotland. In January 2004 the service became part of Money Advice Trust (MAT), a charity formed in 1991 and a leading organisation promoting free, independent money advice. The new service is funded by the DTI’s Small Business Service and 12 major banks.

Through telephone advice and assisted self-help material, Business Debtline advisers can provide guidance on most debt problems a business may face. These include: how to prepare a business budget, prioritise all debts, deal with court proceedings, understand bankruptcy and limited company insolvency, avoid repossession of property, deal with tax matters, and negotiate with creditors and bailiffs. Callers receive a free information pack called ‘Dealing with your Business Debts’, which shows you how to tackle a multiple debt situation.

In a survey sent out to a sample of callers who received the information pack, 88 per cent of callers rated the advice ‘useful’ or ‘very useful’ and 98 per cent of callers said they would use the service again.

In 2005, Business Debtline handled approximately 8,000 calls. This figure is predicted to rise in line with the expansion of the service and recruitment of further advisers.

Business Debtline advisers can help business people from all walks of life to sort out their debts and increase their income by getting extra benefits and tax allowances. For example, you may be entitled to apply for the Working Tax Credit. This is administered by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). You will be able to claim the Working Tax Credit if you are working and on a low income. You may also be able to get the interest frozen on your debts, and if you owe the HMRC money it may be possible to come to an arrangement with them. Your Business Debtline adviser can help you with all of these and many other benefits, tax credits and money-saving strategies. Your adviser may also show you how to cut down your outgoings and increase your profitability.

Your local Citizens Advice Bureau can also give you lots of free advice and help with your business debts, so give them a call.

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About the Author: Marie Mayle is a contributor to the MegaHowTo team, writer, and entrepreneur based in California USA. She holds a degree in Business Administration. She loves to write about business and finance issues and how to tackle them.

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