General Advice

Business advice on everything from fire safety regulations to basic copyright matters.

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Energy Performance Certificates for buildings

Energy Performance Certificates Buildings are responsible for almost 50% of the UK’s energy consumption and carbon emissions. The ways in which we light, heat and use our 25 million buildings all contribute to this. Even small improvements to energy performance and the way we use our buildings could have a significant effect on our fuel bills and carbon emissions and the UK’s commitment to tackling climate change. Improving the energy performance of buildings The way a building is constructed, insulated, heated, ventilated and the type of fuel used all contribute to its energy consumption and carbon emissions. The government is introducing a range of initiatives aimed at helping the UK improve the energy efficiency of its buildings and meet its carbon emission reduction tar... »

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EPCs for Commercial Buildings

EPCs – A Preface This guide is not a statement of the law, but is intended to help prospective sellers, buyers, landlords, occupiers, building managers, builders and their agents understand how the Directive and Regulations work in practice, how to apply the Regulations, what their responsibilities are and when energy certificates are required. Non-dwellings are responsible for almost 20 per cent of the UK’s energy consumption and carbon emissions. This guide provides an introduction to the Regulations for energy performance certificates for non-dwellings on construction, sale or let in England and Wales. Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) promote the improvement of the energy performance of buildings and form part of the final implementation in England and Wales of the Eur... »

Business Continuity: What, why and how.

What is Business Continuity? Business continuity management has been around for ages. Think of Noah’s ark. Although many definitions exist, in essence it is about trying to avoid bad things happening to your business but having a plan if they do. This can cover a lot of things such as taking out business insurance, adding extra security measures or even changing the way you do things. It can reveal the need to create a specific plan e.g. how to work elsewhere in case your premises are out of action. Since you cannot plan for every possible threat or spend a fortune on stuff you might never need, some tips and techniques have been developed to help you prioritise the planning aspect; Identify the really important things you do and what things you need to do them e.g. you decide custom... »

Rent Reviews and Rating Assessments

Rent reviews are a mechanism for adjusting a tenant’s rent to the current market level. Similarly, the revaluation of rating assessments adjusts the rates an occupier pays, bringing it into line with rental values. You negotiate rent reviews (if your lease provides for them) with your landlord. You discuss rates with your local valuation office. The key questions are whether an increase is reasonable and if you should challenge it. This briefing covers: The rent review terms in your lease. How to negotiate a low open market rent valuation. How to appeal against a rent review. Rating assessments, and how to query your valuation. »

Print Postage Online with Royal Mail SmartStamp

Saving time and maintaining a professional image are important to any business. We all know the frustration of having to rummage around drawers and cupboards to find a stamp or finding the time for constant stamp licking so we can send a letter. With Royal Mail’s SmartStamp®, however, you can now benefit from printing your postage online from the comfort of your desk – and it can even help to give your mailings that professional-looking edge to boost your mailing campaigns. An important benefit of SmartStamp® for small and medium-sized businesses is that mail can be personalised by printing a company logo (or a marketing message) along with the postage and address. And, because you can mail-merge your address databases using SmartStamp®, larger mailings like direct ... »

Fire (Scotland) Act

For England, North Ireland & Wales see the Fire Safety Regulations Guide The Act details the duties of the Fire and Rescue Service which include the promotion of community safety as well as responding to emergencies, such as fire. The Act also specifies who has responsibility for fire safety in non-domestic premises in Scotland. Since August 2005 a number of amendments have been made to the Act and several statutory instruments made under the Act. An overview of Part 3 of the Act and associated subordinate legislation including the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006 is now available by clicking on the links below: Click here for Legislation Overview in PDF format Click here for Legislation Overview in HTML format You can view the most up-to-date version of the Act and all legislat... »

Fire Safety Regulations Guide

Since 01/10/2006 every company has been required to carry out their own risk assessment to ensure compliance with Fire Safety Regulations, Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, and to identify precautions that should be taken. This guide applies to England and Wales and provides guidance on how to make sure that you are meeting the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requirement Fire (Scotland) Act For further information on The Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 Part 3 and The Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations 2006 take a look at the Fire (Scotland) Act. Crown Copyright © 2011 »

Frauds and Scams

Protect your business against frauds and scams, by making you aware of the most common types of each. Introduction Increasing numbers of frauds and illegal scams are directed at small companies and individuals. Greater use of the Internet is one reason for this increase, although it is not the only factor. The National Hi-Tech Crime Unit (NHTCU) provides advice on a range of technology-based frauds. It recognises that improved technology has aided the development of new frauds whilst existing frauds have been adapted to exploit these improved technologies. Some common frauds include: Telemarketing frauds Advanced Fee frauds Lottery scams False billing Financial fraud Identity theft Phishing These examples are not restricted to technology-based issues but they do rely on remote communicatio... »

Importing Cars

Increasing numbers of British motorists are buying their cars abroad and enjoying savings of 30% on average, rising to 90% in a few extreme cases. This year almost 20% of all new cars will be imported from Europe, an increase of 100% on 1999. According to a recent EU survey, the British motorist pays up to twice the price as on the Continent for the equivalent car. The British government has acknowledged that car prices are too high and earlier this year the Trade Secretary ordered manufacturers to give private customers the same discounts offered to large fleet buyers to bring car prices down in line with those on the Continent. For the uninitiated the process of finding and buying a new car abroad may seem daunting, but if you’re prepared to put in some time and effort you can be r... »

ISO 9001 – the quality certification

Increasingly organisations ranging from start up dot.coms to well established manufacturing organisations are recognising the benefits that an effectively implemented quality management system (QMS) can bring. In addition, a QMS that is certified by an independent, accredited third party assessment body to the international quality management system standard, ISO 9001 gives clear demonstration of an organisation’s commitment in consistently providing a product or service that meets customer needs. ISO 9001 involves an ongoing, systematic evaluation of a QMS, together with an internationally recognised certification that confirms to customers, shareholders, suppliers and employees that the management systems conform to world standards. ISO 9001:2000 – the ‘new’ stand... »

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